Best Chair Exercises for Seniors

Best Chair Exercises for Seniors

Would you like to be more mobile? Is your balance or lack of strength keeping you from exercising? Lucky for you, you can still get a great and effective workout with these chair exercises for seniors. Yes, you read that correctly—no more excuses.

A seated chair workout helps 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.

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Benefits of Chair Exercises

Living an active lifestyle is one of the keys to Better Health. Chair exercises are a great starting point for working exercise routine into your schedule.

Building strength is probably the most obvious benefit to chair exercises. You don’t even need to be holding weights to build up those muscles. Remember, your arms and legs already have weight to them, so just lifting them over your head is working out many of the muscles there.

While you’re doing those movements, you’re also increasing your flexibility and range of motion. Keeping good form while you exercise helps loosen up stiff muscles and joints, which can also help with pain relief.

Being stronger and more flexible can also help with balance problems and lead to more confidence as you’re going about your day. Adding some exercise to your weekly routine can help reduce stress in your life.

Remember, Safety First

Before you get started, it’s important to remember safety precautions. You don’t want your efforts at getting healthier to end up causing other health issues.

Always listen to what your body is telling you. If you feel any kind of pain or discomfort, you should stop what you’re doing immediately. Pushing too hard could lead to an injury. You may want to work harder for better results, but consider how getting injured could hold you back even more.

Pick a sturdy chair to do these exercises. A wobbly seat might throw off your balance or even break during your routine.

Put your chair against a wall if possible. That way it won’t slide or tip backwards. For some exercises, it can also give you a good frame of reference to make sure your form is perfect.

Best Chair Exercises for Seniors

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.

Resisted Knee Lift

Sit tall with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground with palms facing down on the top of your thighs. Engage your core to stabilize yourself.

Now, gently press your right palm down into your right thigh while lifting your right leg. Press firmly enough that you feel your abs tighten. Hold for a couple of breaths, and release.

Repeat on the left leg to complete one rep. Do eight to 10 reps. You can adjust how many you do based on how your body is feeling (remember, don’t overdo it).

Chair Sit-to-Stand

Sit on the edge of the chair with your feet flat on the floor. Don’t go too far toward the edge of the seat. You don’t want to accidentally fall off the chair.

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. Eventually, you will work up to fully standing.

Leg Extensions

This exercise will work out your quadriceps. It can help with walking, navigating stairs, and make more progress in doing a full sit-to-stand (the previous exercise).

While sitting in your chair with feet flat on the floor, hold the arm rests or sides of the seat to stabilize yourself. Then, life one foot until your leg is fully extended in front of you. Slowly lower it back down to the ground. Repeat with the other leg to complete one rep.

Eight to 10 reps is a good target. You can add or subtract reps depending on your ability level.

Seated Calf Raises

To round out your leg workout, move on to calf raises. These also help work on your stability. Your calf muscles help support your ankles when you walk.

Set up just like you would be doing leg extensions. This time, instead of extending your legs, just lift your heels off the ground while keeping your toes on the floor. You can do both legs at the same time for this one.

The usual eight to 10 reps is still a good target. If it’s too easy for you, try holding some small weights on top of your leg near the knee (just make sure you aren’t going too heavy).

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 to return to starting position. Do eight to 10 reps.

If your chair doesn’t have armrests, push yourself up to standing by pressing your hands into the seat.

Seated Shoulder Press

The seated shoulder press helps build your shoulder and upper back muscles. You use them when you’re reaching for things, like getting something out of a kitchen cabinet.

Sit up tall in your chair with feet firmly on the ground. Hold your arms up in a goalpost position (arms bent 90 degrees at the elbow. Now press upward so your arms are straight up in the air.

Once you get to the top, lower back down into the elbows bent position where you started. That’s one rep.

Keep in mind, your arms have weight to them, so you don’t have to hold weights if you don’t want to. If you do opt to use small weights, be sure to put them down at the first sign of pain in your shoulders or back. You don’t want to drop them and hurt yourself.

Seated Biceps Curl

Let’s finish up your arms by working those glamour muscles! You use your biceps every time you pick something up.

While sitting in your chair, let your arms hang down your sides and palms facing up (you may need a chair without arm rests). Now lift upwards, bending your elbows until your palms face your shoulders. Then, lower them back down to where you started.

This is another exercise you can do with or without weights. If you don’t have any weights but need a little more than just the weight of your arms, try holding something like a small water bottle. You can do one arm at a time or both at the same time.

Up Your Exercise Game While Sitting Down

If standing exercises are too challenging for you, try these chair exercises for seniors to start a workout routine. Even after you can do some more mobile moves, these are a great way to get your muscles moving without spending a ton of time on your routine.

Talk to your healthcare provider before you start an exercise regimen. Your doctor can give you some advice on how much you can do and give you some limits so you don’t push it too hard right from the start. You’ll be on your way to achieving Better Health in no time!

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