Flexibility, mobility and strength are keys to keeping your body healthy as you get older. Here’s one daily stretch that can help bulletproof your body as you age.
There are few certainties in life. However, one thing is certain: we are all getting older by the minute. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With age comes wisdom, and often, our later years are the best ones of our life.
Unfortunately, getting older often comes with some physical difficulties as well. For instance, many people begin to lose their balance later in life. Others may notice that they’re no longer as strong as they once were.
Luckily, with just some simple exercises, you can overcome some of the less desirable aspects of aging, while keeping yourself healthy and agile.
In this article, I will outline one of the best exercises for improving balance, increasing flexibility, improving strength, and keeping yourself as young as possible!
The Modified Reverse Triangle Pose
If you’ve taken a yoga class before, you’ve more than likely completed a triangle pose. In fact, you may have also performed the reverse triangle pose.
The version of the reverse triangle pose described in this article provides the same benefits as the traditional movement, with added isometric strengthening for the muscles of the legs.
How to Perform this Full-Body Stretch (World’s Greatest Stretch)
Follow this step-by-step guide below to complete the modified reverse triangle pose!
- Start in a lunge position with your right leg in front of you and your left leg fully extended behind you.
- Bend your trunk forward so that you can comfortably place the palm of your left hand on the ground (just a few inches to the left of your right foot).
- Next, you’ll twist your trunk to the left as you bring your right elbow into contact with the ground.
- Hold this position for 3 seconds, then twist to the right, opening your chest and bringing your right arm as high as possible in the air (while still keeping your left-hand flat on the ground).
- Again, hold this position for 3 seconds before twisting again to the left in order to bring your right elbow back to the ground.
- Repeat this process 10 times on this side, then switch to the other side.
While this exercise is difficult, it isn’t overly taxing on the body’s systems. Therefore, it’s perfectly ok for you to perform this exercise every day. Furthermore, you can even complete this movement multiple times in a day, if you like the way it feels!
What are the Anti-Aging Benefits of The Modified Reverse Triangle Pose?
Of course, there are tons of good, full-body stretches out there. So, why choose this one? The answer lies in the many benefits this stretch provides.
When you’re holding the lunge throughout this movement, your glutes, quads, and other muscles of your legs are getting a great workout. Holding a contraction is known as isometric exercise and is an excellent way to improve strength throughout the body.
Getting older often goes hand in hand with decreased strength. So, completing regular strengthening exercises goes a long way in keeping an aging body healthy.
As we get older, we tend to lose our ability to balance. This isn’t anything to be ashamed of, it’s a part of life!
However, this loss of balance isn’t something we should just accept without a fight. Decreased balance can lead to falls and devastating injuries. So, naturally, we need to do everything we can to maintain and improve our balance as we age.
This movement forces you to balance in a narrow and awkward stance throughout the exercise. Better yet, once you master the stretch, you can try it without the support of your hand for an added balance challenge!
Of course, this exercise is primarily a flexibility/mobility movement. It places a large stretch on the muscles of the trunk and legs, forcing you to reach as far as you can comfortably.
Inflexibility is one of the major issues suffered by the aging population. Our muscles tend to stiffen naturally as we age, and our only hope of keeping ourselves limber is to stretch and move as much as possible.
Without going too far down the rabbit hole of planes within the body and biomechanics, we can essentially say that we move in three distinct ways:
- Forward and backward (the sagittal plane).
- Side to side (the frontal plane).
- Rotationally (the transverse plane).
All of these planes of movement are incredibly important, but movements in rotation are especially crucial to our athletic and functional abilities.
Therefore, exercises that focus on this plane of movement should be heavily emphasized by older individuals.
Whether you’re under 5 years old or over 100 years old, we all need to think about how to move well as we age. There are many great exercises that should be incorporated into a regular exercise routine such as squats, pushups, and many others.
That being said, the exercise described in this article is one that can combat aging in many ways. Best of all, it requires no equipment, and virtually anyone can do it.
Give it a try and see what you think!
- Wong R. Y. (2018). A New Strategic Approach to Successful Aging and Healthy Aging. Geriatrics (Basel, Switzerland), 3(4), 86. https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics3040086
- Alshammari, S. A., Alhassan, A. M., Aldawsari, M. A., Bazuhair, F. O., Alotaibi, F. K., Aldakhil, A. A., & Abdulfattah, F. W. (2018). Falls among elderly and its relation with their health problems and surrounding environmental factors in Riyadh. Journal of family & community medicine, 25(1), 29–34. https://doi.org/10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_48_17