Boost your body strength with these strength training tips for seniors.
Strength training can be beneficial for everyone – especially seniors. Building and maintaining your body strength keeps your bones healthy, improves mobility and stability, prevents falls, and reduces pain from arthritis. It also can be a fun and rewarding way to stay active. With these benefits in mind, we’ve collected five strength training exercises for seniors you can try in the comfort of your home.
For your safety, be sure to talk to your doctor or a fitness expert to ensure proper technique before you begin a new exercise regimen.
- Lying hip bridges
- Wall push-ups
- Toe stands
- Dead bugs
Keep reading to learn how to do these easy exercises for seniors.
1. Lying hip bridges
This strength training exercise focuses on your gluteal muscles (or glutes) in your backside, the largest muscle group in your body. To begin, lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Flatten your lower back across the floor, squeeze your butt, and gently push your hips up into the air. Ground through the entire foot, as if you are trying to push your toes out your shoes. Pause, then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position. Increase repetitions as your body allows.
Squatting strengthens your entire lower body and core, which can make tasks like climbing stairs and picking things up off the floor easier and safer. To do this exercise, start by standing directly in front of a sturdy chair. Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and extend your arms to be parallel to the ground. As you count to five, carefully bend your knees as you slowly lower yourself towards the chair, making sure your knees do not extend beyond your toes. While the chair is there to catch you if you need it, try not to sit down – simply hover over the seat. Pause. Then, slowly rise back up to a standing position as you count to three. Repeat.
3. Wall push-ups
This strength training exercise for seniors is a modified version of the classic floor push-ups you may remember from phy-ed class as a kid. Find a blank wall and stand a little farther than arm’s length away. Facing the wall, lean your body forward, and place your palms flat against the wall at about shoulder-length and shoulder-width apart. Bend your elbows as you lower your upper body toward the wall slowly. Count to five while keeping your feet firmly in place. Pause, then slowly push yourself back until your arms are straight once again. You can repeat these wall push-ups up to 10 times, or as many as feel challenging.
4. Toe Stands
Toe stands can help you strengthen your calves and ankles and restore or maintain your body’s stability and balance. To complete this move, start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart near a counter or chair that you can use for support. Slowly push your heels up as far as you can go onto the balls of your feet as you count to five. Try to hold this position for two to five seconds. Then, lower your heels slowly back to the floor as you count to five, where you’ll find yourself flat on your feet.
5. Dead bugs
Our last strength training exercise for seniors helps improve your core stability for greater balance and overall strength. To do a dead bug exercise, lie flat on your back with your arms and legs up in the air, your knees bent. Press the small of your lower back into the floor. While keeping your core tight and knees bent, lower one leg toward the floor and the opposite arm behind you. Pause, then lift them back up to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg as many times as your body allows without pain or straining.
With these five strength training exercises for seniors, you can boost your body strength and feel great!
For more articles on living your best independent life, check out our senior living and independence blog.