Resistance training for seniors

Providing real benefits to the community and real world experiences for exercise science students

When his father was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, Professor and Exercise & Rehabilitation Sciences Program Coordinator Dr. Charles Fountaine witnessed the incredible impact that physical therapy and exercise could have on seniors. It was an inspiration for a new class and a new program for his students. Through a partnership with the University for Seniors, Fountaine developed the Resistance Training for Seniors class.

“This has been a wonderful community outreach initiative,” said Dr. Fountaine. “It gives students a chance to work with seniors and understand that this is a population that really is looking for some exercises that challenge balance, challenge power, and build muscle and strength.” His students, like Exercise Science Major Talli Martinez, recognize the importance of the work and the practice, too.

Participants in the class meet regularly and work through a number of exercises designed to keep them moving as they age. These range from high intensity kettlebell, battle rope, and medicine ball work, to exercises less likely to appear in a normal gym setting, like evasive walking, and practicing getting up from the floor.

It’s through exercises like these that Dr. Fountaine hopes to empower both his instructor students, and the seniors taking the class. “That’s something that we really do well in our program,” said Dr. Fountaine, “to help make people’s lives so much better.”