Exercises for Crossing the Midline

As you age, you lose muscle mass, and your ability to perform your activities of daily living decreases. Exercises in which you have to cross the middle of your body mimic everyday activities such as wiping counters, grabbing pantry items off the shelf and scooting objects across the floor with your foot. Aerobic exercises and resistance training activities that cross the midline can help reduce the effects of aging and improve your ability to perform daily functions.

Single-Arm Front Chops

Front chops work your lats, posterior deltoids and your triceps muscles. This exercise will improve your ability to reach and pull at a diagonal. Face the pulley bars, and secure a single rope attachment. Raise the pulley to its highest level. Hold on to the rope in your right hand, turn to your right 90 degrees, and then step sideways by about six feet. Your right arm should be diagonal across your chest. Perform a front chop by pulling the rope in an arch across your body from your left shoulder toward the right side of your body.

One-Arm Cable Flies

One-arm cable flies focus on your chest muscles in the front of your deltoids, or shoulder muscles. This exercise increases your strength for pulling objects across your chest in a horizontal direction. Place a one-arm handle on a cable pulley set at shoulder height. Face the pulley bars with the cable in your right hand then turn to your left 90 degrees. Step sideways six feet with both legs then step forward three feet with your left leg only. Straighten your right arm in front of you. Complete a one-arm cable fly by drawing your right arm toward the right side of your body then pulling it back in front of you across the center of your chest.

Cable Hip Abduction and Adduction

Cable hip abductions focus on the muscles you use to swing your leg out toward the side, the smaller glute muscles and the tensor fascia latae. Though the movement is quite unnoticeable, these muscles abduct your thigh bone while you walk and run. Place an ankle strap around your right ankle, and attach it to a lowered cable pulley while you face the pulley bars. Turn to your right by about 90 degrees, then step to your right by about two feet. Lift your right foot off the floor, and cross it over your left ankle. Draw your right leg across your left ankle, and raise your leg out to your right side, one foot off the floor. Complete one set of 12 reps, then face the opposite direction. Keep the ankle strap on your right foot.

Perform hip addutions by drawing your right leg across your left leg as far as possible. Repeat for one set of 12 reps. Remove the strap, and place it on your left ankle to do hip abductions and adductions for your left leg.

About this Author

Paula Quinene has been writing since 2006. Her book, \”Remember Guam,\” won two Gourmand Cookbook Awards and she was featured in \”Oxygen Fitness Magazine.\” She\’s certified by the American College of Sports Medicine, American Council on Exercise, was a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a CPR/First Aid instructor. She earned her bachelor\’s degree in exercise and movement science from the University of Oregon.