Are you not as mobile as you’d like? Is your balance or lack of strength keeping you from exercising? Lucky for you, you can still get a great and effective workout. Yes, you read that correctly—no more excuses. There are simple exercises suitable for older adults that you can do while sitting in a chair.
A seated chair exercise helps to build strength while reducing your risk of falling or losing your balance. There are many ways to move your body and many exercises that can be modified for a chair and older adults.
All you will need to do the exercises below is a sturdy chair, preferably one with armrests. Start by sitting up tall and maintaining good posture. Position your shoulders so they are down and back. Tighten your core and continue breathing normally. Try to do two to three sets of each exercise.
Chair Exercise #1: Resisted Knee Lift
Sit tall with your feet flat on the ground and palms resting on the top of your thighs. Engage your core. Gently press your right palm down into your right thigh while pressing your thigh up. Press firmly enough that you feel your abs tighten. Hold for a couple of breaths, and release. Repeat on the opposite side for one rep. Do eight to 10 reps.
Chair Exercise #2: Chair Stand or Sit-to-Stand
Sit on the edge of the chair with your feet flat on the ground. Rest your hands on your hips and engage your core. Push down through your feet to stand up, keeping your chest up. Try not to use your arms for help. Pause, and slowly lower back down. Do eight to 10 reps. If you can’t stand up all the way, that’s okay. Just push yourself up a couple of inches until you feel some tension, then slowly sit back down. Once you build strength, you can push up a little more.
Chair Exercise #3: Armchair Pushup
Sit tall with your feet flat on the ground. Place your arms on the chair armrests. Tighten your core. Push up to lift your bottom off the seat, trying not to use your lower body for help. Pause, then slowly lower back down. Do eight to 10 reps. If your chair doesn’t have armrests, push yourself up to standing by pressing your hands into the seat.