5 Chair Exercises for Seniors

Published on: 3rd August 2019

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In your later years, the need to work out to keep your body healthy and in shape does not change. As you age, reduced mobility and other conditions like arthritis that might have crept in, you need to change the way you work out to continue enjoying the benefits of exercise without putting stress on your body.

For seniors, you can work out when sitting down. All you need is a chair and a few tips and exercises to get you started. Here are five great exercises you can start with provided by Access BDD the leading stairlifts company.

  1. Shoulder Rolls

Shoulder rolls are a great way to get warmed up and increase the amount of synovial fluid in the joints to reduce straining and injury. They are also a great way to improve your shoulder and upper body muscle.

As much as they are simple, they are highly effective. For this exercise, sit upright with your feet flat on the ground. Make a knuckle with your hand and make it touch the sides of your temple. Rotate the shoulders in a circular motion. Have ten repetitions in a clockwise direction then anti-clockwise for a similar number of reps. This counts as one set. You can do between 3-5 sets with rests in between.

  1. Seated Torso Twists

Working on your torso and abdominal muscles can be a challenge when sitting down. But, it’s not impossible. You only need to be a little creative and motivated.

The seated torso twists are the perfect answer to any challenges that you might be having when working on your core muscles. They are just as simple to execute with impressive results.

Start in a sitting position close to the edge of the chair and at an upright position. Your legs should be flat on the floor and if possible, you can arch your chest forward a little bit to avoid slouching.

Interlink your fingers at the back of your head while still holding the upright position with your elbows pointing to the sides of the room and engage your core muscles. Exhale and twist your torso to the right as far as you comfortably can then slowly bring it back to the starting position and turn it to the right.

Count until you have twisted on each side between 6-8 times then you can take a break and count that as the first set.

  1. Modified Leg Twists

Seniors who exercise regularly and have more mobility in their body might be looking for something a little more challenging. If you fall into this category, the modified leg twists are perfect. They focus on the same core muscles and add the glute muscles.

You need a sturdy chair with armrests for this exercise. Sit in the chair with your core engaged and your feet together on the floor. To maintain the perfect posture, roll your shoulders back.

Hold the armrests on the chair, or you can grip the sides of the chair near your hips for this routine. With your knees together as closely as possible, lift your legs as high as you can with the knees bent. Don’t forget to exhale.

Once you reach the highest point, hold for about five seconds before slowly taking the knees back down. That counts as one repetition. You need to do between 8-10 reps for three sets. But, don’t forget not to stress too much.

  1. Knee Extensions

Knee extensions are a great exercise that targets multiple muscles in the legs. You start by sitting near the edge of the chair with the knees bent and an upright posture. Hold the sides of the chair for better control. Extend the left knee out with the toes pointing to the ceiling.

Why not also read: Stairlift Measuring Guide

The knee should not be locked. It should bend a little. Bring the left leg back to the initial resting position and repeat 8-10 times. You can then switch to the right leg for the same number of repetitions.

  1. Hand Squeezes

As the name suggests, this work out strengthens the shoulders and arms. For this workout, you need an armless, sturdy chair. You also need weights. If you don’t have weights, you can use water bottles filled with water.

Sit on the chair with your back straight and feet flat on the floor. Your arms should be bent with the elbows pointing to the sides and the palms facing forward. With the weights on the sides of your shoulders, slowly raise them above your head and pause then lower them back to the starting position. Repeat 8- 10 times.

You might not be as fast or as strong as you used to. But, that shouldn’t be a reason not to work out. There’s a lot that you can still do. You just need to be creative not to hurt yourself in the process. With these simple routines, you will quickly improve your strength and balance.