Are You Over Fifty Fit?

Patrick Pryzbrowski

Patrick Pryzbrowski

I write a lot about fitness for those of us who are between 50 and 80 years of age, and my at-home video program is designed to ensure that you continue to move well until you are eighty and beyond. One thing I haven’t addressed until now is a simple way for you to test yourself to see if you are “Over Fifty Fit.”

I consider all 64 patterns in Series 1 of my program to be essential for anyone over fifty, so in that sense they are each a movement test in their own right, but I do think it’s possible to provide you with some proxies that you can do that will give you a sense that you currently have the bare minimum mobility, stability, balance and strength to move well enough to support your current lifestyle. Here are five that are vitally important:

1. Mirror Mirror

Stand facing away from a mirror in your home. Keeping your feet facing forward, rotate the rest of your body toward the mirror. You should be able to see your head, shoulders and both feet in the mirror behind you. Repeat to the other side

2. Toe Touch

Start in a standing position, looking forward, then fold at the hips and touch your toes with the fingers on both hands, simultaneously. Return to a standing position without losing balance.

3. Single Leg Balance

Start in a standing position with legs together, hands on hips or arms out to side. Shift slightly in the direction of the supporting leg and then lift the gesture leg slightly off the ground. See if you can maintain your balance without touching down for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other leg.

4. Modified Push-up

Start face down on the floor, with knees bent and the shins and feet lifted off the floor. Hands are by the shoulders with the elbows bent and lifted off the floor. While maintaining a rigid torso, extend the elbows fully to lift the torso and thighs off the floor, creating a modified plank position. Then return to the floor by bending the elbows, maintaining a long line from the knees to the top of the head. 

5. Stand and Sit

Start seated upright on the floor, with your legs in front of you, straight and together. Your arms are crossed over your chest with hands on the front of the opposite shoulders and stay that way throughout the test. Without losing balance and without fearing that you might lose balance, stand up, then return to your seated, starting position.

If you are unable to complete one or more of these test patterns, then there is work to do!

  • If you are currently working with an instructor, let them know about it so they they can work on a development plan for you.
  • If you aren’t currently working with an instructor and you are local, consider a New Journey package here at the studio. Reply to this email and I can help you.
  • If you are outside of dayton, subscribe to Over Fifty Fitness.

I really can’t say this strongly enough: the quality of your life is directly tied to the quality of your movement. Let’s keep them both going well.  

Best wishes,


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