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5 Chair Exercises for Seniors

Exercise is beneficial to the body no matter the age. As you grow older, your body's ability to work out reduces. But, that doesn't mean you should stop working out. With benefits like improved healing functions, prevention of diseases and chronic conditions and improved balance and stability, even the elderly have numerous reasons to find new ways to exercise.
One of the best ways is to exercise while sitting down. It takes the pressure off the muscles and joints and encourages longer workouts. Here are five great exercises that you can include in your daily workout routine and improve your life.

1. Seated Row

The seated row is one of the best exercises for back and chest muscles. It's simple but effective. Start by sitting on the edge of the chair which helps to increase the range of motion. Hold your arms out in front of you with your elbows bent and the thumbs pointing to the ceiling.

Draw the elbows back and over your head trying to squeeze the shoulder blades together as hard as you can. Return to the starting position and count that as one repetition. You can do 8-10 reps and complete three sets in total.

2. Seated Tummy Twist

Once you’re done working your upper and chest muscles, your focus now switches to your core (Stomach muscles). These muscles are essential in a range of movements and play a vital role in balance. A good workout should keep them well toned and functional.

The seated tummy twist works on all the muscles in the core region and is very effective if done the right way. To start, you have to be in the correct sitting position to avoid straining and injury.

Once in the right position with good posture, ask someone to hand you a ball. If you don't have anyone who can help, you can have the ball in place before you take up the position. Hold the ball with both hands with your elbows bent and tucked in close to the body.

Slowly rotate the mid-section (torso) to the right as far as comfortable. Be careful not to move the rest of the body or the hips. Once you reach the far right, come back to the starting position and rotate to the left. Come back to the centre and that counts as one set.

When starting, you should do about eight sets and work your way up to as many as you can do comfortably.

3. Inner Thigh Squeeze

The next workout moves even lower and focuses on the thigh muscles. They are essential for standing and walking.

Start by sitting on the edge of the chair with an upright posture. Your knees should be bent preferably at 90 degrees. Once you’re in position, place a ball between the knees and try squeezing the ball by pressing your knees together.

Try and hold each squeeze for about 2 seconds before you release. When releasing, make sure you retain some tension by being gradual and don’t let the ball fall down. This counts as one rep, you should aim to do 8-10 reps.

4. Knee Lifts

Knee lifts have multiple effects and if done correctly, they can target a variety of muscles like the quads and stomach muscles. These are important for sitting, standing and balance.

Again, you start by sitting on the edge of the chair and in an upright position with your knees bent. Start by lifting the right knee slowly towards your chest and as high as comfortable. Hold the position for about two seconds before slowly lowering the knee back to the initial position and repeating the same motion with the left knee. Consider that as one rep and repeat 8-10 times for each knee.

5. Single Leg Calf Raises

Finally, to work on muscles on the lower leg, there are calf raises. For this, you will need a tall chair. Plant your feet flat on the floor with your hips apart. Engage your core and bring your chin up.

Start with the right foot and slowly bring your heel from the ground as high as you can. Try to raise it as high as possible on your toes. Keep the calf muscle engaged during the exercise.

Slowly lower the heel back to the floor and repeat the same motion with your left leg. You should complete 10 repetitions for each leg and perform at least three sets. To have the most impact, do ten reps for one leg first before switching to the other leg.

With these five sitting workouts for the elderly, you have a full body work out without leaving your chair. It's the perfect way to guarantee excellent exercise without straining your body which will help avoid aches later on.

Feel free to explore our range of stairlifts here.