Agile, Mobile & Un-Fragile
These CBFers do similar hurdle drills to those used by football players preparing for next week’s season opener. The only difference is that the CBFers are training for a much bigger game with much higher stakes – everyday life.
After you watch this video, we’ll talk about a few fine points (the freeze frames and slo-mo to help you see them better) and why this type of exercise, as opposed to, say, another hour on a treadmill or other machine, is so important to older exercisers.
Here’s what deserves attention:
- The video is slowed so you can see the excellent form in the opening jump sequence; notice the feet landing apart, forefoot first, then the knees flexing to absorb the force of the landing. Some of that force is stored as energy in the stretched Achilles tendon to propel the next jump.
- An upright posture helps everyone stay balanced as they go up and down. Backs stay straight throughout.
- In the freeze frames you see knees up high, whether going forward or sideways. This helps propel the CBFer over the hurdle and gain enough distance to re-establish their center of gravity on the other side. Many older adults cannot move quickly sideways or forwards because their leg and outer hip muscles are too weak to stabilize their body mass, resulting in falls.
- This type of quick, one-footed leap relies on a type of muscle fiber (Type II) that vanishes if it not used. All power moves, like pushing a heavy object or jumping over a puddle, originate in the muscles of the foot and lower leg. Power is dependent on Type II muscle.
- Mobility, starting with walking, requires strong ligaments and tendons in the foot and knees. In the freeze frames you see CBFers launching with strong plantar flexion (toes pushing down) and landing with strong dorsiflexion (toes moving up). Due to the added force of gravity, they are lifting and slowing a multiple of their body weight. You don’t see wobbling, and best of all,
This is what it looks like to be agile, mobile and un-fragile. And be ready for the game.