Woman trainer helping a senior woman with exercise

8 Strength Exercises for Seniors to Improve Balance

Seniors have an increased risk of falls and injuries due to a lack of balance. Strength exercises for seniors can improve balance, coordination, and strength with simple movements. By incorporating these exercises into their daily routine, seniors can boost their muscle strength, enhance their stability, and promote healthy joint function. Older adults don’t need to let age be a barrier to living a fulfilling and active life.

Here are some strength training exercises for seniors:

1. Seated Marching

Seated marching is a core strength exercise for seniors that can beperformed in a chair. By lifting one knee towards the chest, lowering it, and repeating this movement with the other knee, seniors can strengthen their core muscles without putting excessive strain on their bodies.

This exercise is valuable to any senior fitness routine, promoting balance, stability, and overall physical well-being. It can help seniors with climbing stairs and target the hip flexors.

2. Seated Tummy Twists

Seated tummy twists can be done from the comfort of a chair. This core strength exercise for seniors targets abdominal muscles and helps improve core strength. It also  improves balance by supporting seniors to anchor their center of gravity.

First, get a light weight (or a household item like a can of soup will do). Next, sit upright on a chair with feet flat on the floor. Hold the weight or household item in front, extending arms parallel to the ground. Finally, gently bring the weight to one side, rotating the torso with arms extended, and repeat on the other side. Core muscles are engaged when the torso is twisted.

3. Heel Raises

Building ankle strength is crucial for seniors to maintain stability and prevent falls. One practical leg strength exercise for seniors to achieve this is heel raises. By holding onto a chair or wall for support, seniors can rise onto the balls of their feet, lift their heels off the ground, and then lower them back down. This simple yet impactful exercise targets the ankle muscles, helping to improve balance and overall ankle strength.

4.  Side Leg Raises

Side leg raises are simple strength and balance exercises for seniors to improve hip strength. By holding onto a chair or wall for support, seniors can stand straight and lift one leg out to the side, then lower it back down. This exercise targets the muscles in the hips, helping to improve stability and mobility. Incorporating side leg raises into a regular exercise routine can greatly benefit seniors by enhancing their overall strength and reducing the risk of falls.

Group of seniors doing a strength building exercise

5. Single-Leg Stance

The single-leg stance strength exercise for seniors will improve balance and stability. Holding onto a sturdy chair or countertop can safely challenge the body’s ability to maintain equilibrium on one foot.

Start by standing on one foot while gripping onto the support. Hold this position for as long as possible, focusing on keeping your core engaged and maintaining good posture. Once you feel comfortable, switch to the other foot and repeat the exercise. This progression will not only enhance balance but also strengthen muscles, particularly those in your legs and hips.

6. Quad Set

The quad set is an exercise to strengthen knees for seniors. To start, seniors must lay on a flat surface like a yoga mat with legs straight. Next, push the back of the knee into the floor by tightening the thigh muscles. This contraction should be held for about five seconds before relaxing.

Seniors can modify this exercise by placing a small towel behind the knee and pushing against it to further engage and tighten the muscle. Repeat this exercise on the other leg to ensure balanced strength development.

7. Hip Extensions

With a chair or wall support for hip extensions, this strengthening exercise for seniors can be performed with ease. Lift one leg straight back without arching the back, then lower and repeat on the other side. Incorporating hip extensions into a regular routine helps seniors maintain stability and improve overall mobility.

8. Toe Taps

Toe taps are a simple strength exercise for seniors with many variations. Incorporating toe taps into a daily routine can provide numerous benefits such as improving circulation, enhancing ankle mobility, and strengthening lower leg muscles. Participants can stand in front of a sturdy low platform. Make sure to firmly plant one foot on top of the platform, while keeping the other foot on the ground for stability.

Push down on the planted foot to bring it onto the platform. Simultaneously bring the lead foot back to the floor. Make sure to land firmly on the ground with the lead foot and ensure that the edge of the planted foot is securely placed on the platform. Continue this movement while alternating feet.

A Health Conscious Environment for Seniors

Give your loved ones a place to be independent, enjoy life and live fulfilling lives. The Moments believes in giving older adults the support and freedom they need to lead a happy life. We offer numerous activities and programs tailored to seniors, so your loved one is sure to find something that interests and engages them.

Learn more about enhanced assisted living at The Moments

Published On: October 2, 2023