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Posted December 13, 2019

7 Chair Exercises for Seniors

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As you settle in your new community, your old habits will change. You now have a new walking path and the excercize machine from back home won’t be around. In order for an individual to remain active, they need to exercise. This is even more important as we age since the muscles and joints start to weaken. To help them stay in shape and remain active at the retirement community that your family placed you in with the help of Senior Living Experts, some form of exercise is required.

Of course, as we age, we can no longer perform exercise that we once could. In fact, many find the process itself tedious and difficult since our body isn’t as agile as it used to be, mostly in the cold Chicago winters. However, some form of exercise must be done so your muscles and joints don’t deteriorate. Which is where chair exercises come in. There is no need for heavy weights or even a caregiver to help you with the exercises. All that is needed is a chair and the following exercises:

Seated Chest Press

3 sets of 10 repetitions

A major benefit of the chest press is that it works for three major groups at the same time, your chests, triceps, and shoulders. To perform this exercise you will need a resistance band and a chair:

1. Tie the resistance band to the chair. You want to tie it directly behind where you will sit on the chair so when you sit, the band will be at shoulder length to you. Make sure it is securely tied so it doesn’t move.

2. Sit on the chair, make sure you are far back in it so your back is against the backrest.

3. Grab the resistance band, making sure it is at shoulder length and push it forward using your chest and arms. Make sure to keep your abs and legs stable as you do this.

4. Bring the band back in towards the chest and repeat.

Seated Knee-Crunch

3 sets of 10 repetitions

The core is involved in your everyday activity so you want to make sure you perform exercises that strengthen it. To perform the seated knee-crunch you need to:

1. Sit on the chair towards the edge of the chair with your back slightly leaning back with your chest out. Make sure to tighten your back and stomach and place both hands on the side of the chair for stability.

2. Raise your legs and lift your knees as far up towards your chest as possible.

3. Lower your knees back to the starting position and repeat.

Modified Plank

Planks are another form of exercise that targets the core. To perform a modified plank you need to:

1. Stand up facing the chair.

2. Place your hands on the seat of the chair with your elbows slightly bent. Now move your feet back until you are positioned diagonally to the chair. You will be in a push-up position with the chair. Make sure to keep your core and back tight and hold yourself in this position for 30 seconds.

3. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Tummy Twist

3 sets of 10 repetitions

The tummy twist is the final exercise on our list that targets your overall core. To perform the tummy twist you will need a medicine ball and need to:

1. Grab the medicine ball and sit comfortably on the chair. You may want to sit at the edge so you have plenty of room to move your arms left and right while you have the medicine ball in between your hands.

2. Lift the ball so it rests in your hand at your lower chest and upper abs. Rotate the ball keeping your core tight with your arms to the left and right slowly. One rep is one rotation from left to right.

3. Repeat for 10 repetitions.

Chair Squats

3 sets of 10 repetitions

Legs are a major part of mobility and therefore there is a need for you to keep them in shape. Chair squats are a simple exercise that you can do to target the legs.

1. You can start off by sitting on the chair.

2. Place both hands in front of your body, make sure your feet are positioned so they point outward and push up using your hips and upper legs until you are standing.

3. Sit back down and repeat.

Knee Extensions

3 sets of 10 repetitions

You want to make sure your knees remain agile as you age. Knee problems aren’t just painful but can lead to other serious injuries. So make sure to perform knee extensions to keep your knees mobile.

1. Sit on the chair and lean back against the backrest.

2. Keep your core tight and have your chest out. Lift the lower part of one of your legs, making sure to start from it being at a 90-degree angle from the floor. Raise it until it is parallel to the floor.

3. Lower the leg and do the same with the other. Do 10 repetitions with each leg.

Seated Calf Raise

3 sets of 10 repetitions

The calves are an important yet neglected part of the legs. You want to make sure you exercise and target them as they help your legs stay in shape to walk. Seated calf raises are a simple exercise you can do:

  1. Sit comfortably on the chair with your legs relaxed. Make sure your feet rest on the ground.
  2. With your toes and the front heel slowly raise your legs up. As you do this, make sure that the toes are planted firmly and never leave the ground. You should use your calves as the main source to lift your leg. Do this until you notice your calves have tightened up.
  3. Slowly bring your back heel down but don’t touch the ground, right as you are about to touch the ground with your back heel, raise your legs up again.
  4. Repeat for 10 repetitions.

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It is important that you keep your body active as you age. It may be difficult to lift weights but there are other exercises you can do to ensure your muscles and joints remain active so they don’t cause you pain or get injured.

Misha Vilenchuk

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