Best Workouts for seniors

Last Updated on January 27, 2024 by Rachel

A little exercise can be just taking a walk while for others it’s palates or yoga because it accommodates a vast variety of levels of fitness. In this article we will highlight a few exercise which seniors can easily implement into their everyday lives to promote their health and wellbeing.


Abdominal Contractions

This exercise enhances the strength of abdominal muscles. It involves cycles of tightening and releasing abdominal muscles.

Steps to follow:

  • Take a deep breath before making your abdominal muscles tighter.
  • Release the contraction after holding it for 3 breaths.
  • The cycle if repeated 10 times.

Upper Back Stretches

They effectively relieve upper back and shoulder tension.

The exercise can be simply done comfortably by:

  • Sitting on a firm chair and position your feet shoulder-width apart and flat on the floor.
  • Hold your arms shoulder height, stretched up and out, while your palms are faced outward allowing you to press the backs of your hands together. Allow your shoulders to relax.
  • Stretch your fingertips out up until you feel a good stretch this will cause your back to move away from the chair’s back.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds.
  • Repeat the exercise at least 5 times.

Wall Push-ups

This is a great way to increase the strength of muscles around shoulders and chest.

The exercise can be smoothly executed by:

  • Positioning yourself approximately 3 feet away from a wall, with your feet planted shoulder-width apart while facing the wall.
  • Lean onto the wall and place your hands flat in line with your shoulders. Ensure that your body is in plank position, with your back bone straight.
  • Allow your body to lower toward the wall and then push back.
  • To be effective, this exercise should be repeated at least 10 times.

The Soleus Stretch

This stretch is great for the legs particularly the calf muscle. The stretch targets the lower body flexibility by increasing the deep calf muscle and the overall fitness of your legs.

To execute the stretching exercise:

  • Face the wall while standing.
  • Position your left foot behind your right foot while both hands are placed on the wall in front of you for support. Once the position becomes comfortable to you, then gently bend your knees until you feel a stretch in your lower leg. Maintain the position for a few seconds. Then swap the positioning of your left and right feet and redo the stretch.

Pelvic Tilts

This exercise targets lower back muscles. It comprises of the following steps:

  • Lay on your back, breathe deeply while ensuring that the buttocks are tightened.
  • Slightly incline your hips upwards.
  • Maintain the position for about 3 seconds.
  • Then tilt the hips to the opposite side, and maintain the position for 3 seconds.
  • Repeat the exercise at least 8 times.

Shoulder blade squeeze

These stretches are ideal for the chest as they strengthen postural muscles.

The stretch is done by simply:

  • Sitting upright on a chair, then placing your hands on your lap.
  • Followed by tightly squeezing your shoulder blades.
  • Ensure the shoulders are kept down, and maintain the position for a short while (approximately 3 seconds).
  • Relax the muscles and repeat the stretch for about 12 times.

Rock the boat

Rock the boat is slightly demanding as I needs you to stand, while your feet are planted hip-distance apart.

It also requires you to:

  • Raise your arms and spread them out.
  • Elevate your left foot and bring your heel to your bottom by bending your knee.
  • Maintain the posture for at least 30 seconds.
  • Then stretch the right leg.
  • The exercise cycle can be about 3 times for each leg.

Toe Taps

The lower part of the leg is strengthened quite well with this exercise.

The steps are not challenging at all and entail:

  • Sitting upright on a chair and planting your heels on the floor, then stretching your toes upwards until you feel the muscles tightening.
  • For the stretches to be effective repeat them 20 times.

Heel raises

Heel raises are excellent at stretching the upper calves.

The exercise is done by:

  • Sitting upright on a chair, planting your toes on the floor as well as the balls of your feet while the heels are lifted high.
  • Relax the leg muscles then repeat the position 20 times.

Knee Lifts

It’s the perfect exercise to strengthen the thighs.

To achieve this exercise:

  • Seat on a chair and rest your arms but don’t press on the armrest
  • Tighten muscles on the quadriceps on your right leg while lifting it.
  • Position the back of the thigh and your knee 2 inches off the seat.
  • Hold the position for 3 seconds then gently lower your leg.
  • Redo the stretch 12 then do it with the opposite leg.

Ankle rotations

This type of exercise is perfect for stretching the calves.

The exercise needs you to:

  • Sit on a chair with your right foot raised off the ground
  • Gently rotate your foot several times to left then rotate to the right.
  • Redo the stretch on the left foot.

Neck Stretch

Neck stretches are great for relieving stiffness on the neck as well as the upper back

The stretch needs you to:

  • Stand up straight, with your feet planted on the floor.
  • Keep the feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Relax your hands at your sides.
  • Gently turn your head to the right, while maintaining your upright position.
  • Hold the position for several seconds when you feel a slight stretch.
  • Now turn to the left. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the stretch at least 3 times.

Trunk Stretch

Trunk stretches are excellent for the torso, resulting in improved mobility and increased daily movements of twisting or bending. It also increases the blood circulation on the lower back this reduces back pain and significantly strengthens it.

For this stretch you need to:

  • Sit up straight on a chair, with your arms crossed over your chest
  • Comfortably twist to your right, aiming to only rotate at your trunk
  • Maintain the position for several seconds
  • Repeat the stretch on the opposite side.

Seated Piriformis stretch

Piriformis stretches assist in easing ankle and knee pain. It also assists in reducing sciatic pain.

The exercise needs you to:

  • Sit upright on the edge of a chair then have your left leg crossed over your right leg
  • Ensure your back is straight, then comfortably lean forward slightly.
  • Maintain the posture several seconds
  • Repeat for the opposite side.

Deep side stretch

These stretches relax hips, obliques, and shoulders and this allows you to be more active in your daily life.

The exercise needs you to:

  • Sit up straight with your left arm over your head
  • The conformably lean to your right side
  • Hold the posture for several seconds
  • Repeat for the opposite side

Bonus Tips

Pilates are a well-liked because it is a low-impact exercise. Pilates exercises promote, alignment, breathing, core strength, and concentration.

Equipment required:

  • Pilates balls
  • Mats
  • Any desired inflated accessories to assist in building strength with low stress.

Pilates significantly improves flexibility, increase core strength and increase balance in seniors.

Popular pilates exercises include:

  • Step ups
  • Side circles
  • Mermaid movement
  • Food slides
  • Leg circle

Chair Yoga

This exercise has shown a significant improvement in mental health for seniors. It has also shown to reduce occurrences of depression, an enhancement in the quality sleep, and holistic well-being.

Popular exercise for chair yoga include:

  • Seated cow
  • Seated twists
  • Overhead stretch
  • Seated cat stretch
  • Seated mountain pose