I've been talking with a lot of members lately who are older and the common theme when speaking with them is how exercising is affecting their joints in their hips and knees. One in particular was a former sprinter and jumper like me, and he's awesome because there's not too many people around here who talk track or understand the sport, which is so refreshing.
As we were talking, he was asking many questions (which is good!!!) about targeting specific muscles that he feels aren't being worked due to his hips and knees. What he was unaware of was that although he was using our selectorized equipment correctly, he wasn't paying much attention to what his body was doing. Sadly, this is more common than one may think. With a few corrections and tips, suddenly he was feeling the muscles working that he hadn't previously felt, and he was excited! He then went on and asked about other machines and wanted to know what he wasn't doing with them, then our free weights, etc., etc. Another big thing we discussed: doing exercises that target and improve his balance and stability, which are crucial to having a strong core. That strong core can and will improve balance, hip, knee, and ankle stability, and lessen the chance of a fall as we age. It's not going to eliminate all problems with age, but it will certainly help lessen the odds.
While I am an affiliate for TRX and I'm very much addicted to using it, for those with joint pain, it's a wonderful tool to use. He asked to try it out next week as he's eager to see how he can go back to doing squats and lunges without pain, something that he hasn't been able to do for a long time.
I love doing what I do, which is why I always want to be better than I was yesterday. Many trainers rely on what they've done in the past and aren't open to hearing what's new in the industry, but the great ones use those experiences to learn, grow, and look toward the future to be better. Settling is not an option for me. I want to be better tomorrow than I was today.