If you want to stay in shape as you age, this article will show you the best chair exercises for seniors.
You can stay fit and strong in your 60s, 70s, and 80s. However, you can’t use the same bone-crashing exercises most youngsters are doing.
It’s important to take extra caution if you’ve been out of shape for years. Doing challenging exercises off the bat can cause painful injuries.
Chair exercises for seniors are your best bet. Most of them don’t strain sensitive parts such as your knees and lower back. Yet they build muscle and strength fast.
If you’ve searched for chair exercises for seniors on youtube you know that most videos don’t offer variety.
That’s why I’ve compiled a huge list of chair exercises for the elderly. You may not be able to do all the chair exercises on this list. But I’ll bet you’ll find at least 10 exercises you can do. Use these exercises to build your strength.
Then advance to more challenging exercises as you get fitter. If you’re consistent, you’ll be able to do these fat blasting workouts in no time.
Try to do these exercises as often as possible. You can do them while watching TV, in the morning, or before going to bed.
Below, you’ll find the best chair exercises for legs, core, and arms. And the best part is each exercise has a video demonstration.
Chair Exercises for Seniors
1. Single-Leg Extensions
You’re probably familiar with this exercise. It mainly targets your quadriceps.
Control your motion while performing it. Slowly extend your leg until it’s straight and then slowly return it to starting position. Doing this exercise fast makes it less effective.
If you find this exercise too easy, wear ankle weights to make it more challenging.
2. Standing Leg Curls
Standing leg curls are excellent to toning your hamstrings and improving your balance.
Performing this exercise without holding on to a chair for support will definitely improve your balance. Ankle weights will make this exercise more rewarding.
3. Supported Side Leg Raises
This exercise will improve your hip mobility and build your outer thigh muscles. Lift your leg as high as possible on each rep.
Support yourself with one hand to gain balance faster. Ankle weights are also ideal for this one.
4. Sit and Stand
You already do this exercise every day. Simply sit down and stand as many times as you can.
Make sure your knees are bent at 90 degrees and then slowly stand up and sit. Keep your back straight throughout.
5. Supported Lunges
Have you been skipping lunges because they’re hard on your knees? Well, this supported variation is more doable.
The trick is to keep your feet wide apart and drop as low as you feel comfortable. Keep your torso upright and make sure the front knee doesn’t extend past the toes.
Keep in mind that doing chair exercises for legs can help ease knee pain by strengthening the muscles attached your knees.
6. Side to Side Leg Raises
This exercise will help loosen your hips and strengthen your legs. Increase your intensity while doing the leg raises.
7. Single Leg Calf Raises
Single leg calf raises will build the stubborn calf muscles and improve your balance.
Raise your heels as high as possible on each rep and then slowly lower them to the floor.
8. Seated Front Raises
Do you have dumbbells or water bottles at home? Use them to perform this upper body exercise. It strengthens your arms and shoulders.
Keep your hands straight while performing this exercise and control your motion.
9. Seated Side Bends
Did you know that you can build your oblique muscles while sitting? Simply place your hands behind your head and then bend your torso from side to side.
Remember to squeeze your oblique muscles every time you bend your torso.
10. Seated Triceps Extensions
Again, you’ll use a dumbbell or a water bottle to perform this exercise. Make sure the upper part of your arm is perpendicular to the floor as you perform it.
If you have bad knees, seated chair exercises for seniors are your best bet because they don’t strain your knees at all.
11. Seated Torso Twist
This is one of the best chair exercises for seniors for building your oblique muscles.
Simply twist your torso from side to side while keeping your ab muscles tight throughout.
12. Seated Sit Ups
Did you know you could perform sit ups while sitting on a chair? Simply sit on the edge of the chair and then lean back until your back slightly touches the rail. Keep your back slightly curved while performing this exercise.
13. Seated Overhead Reaches
When was the last time you stretched your oblique muscles? This exercise will help loosen these ignored muscles and even tone your shoulder muscles.
Reach over your head to the opposite side as far as you can without moving your torso sideways.
14. Seated Shoulder Presses
This exercise requires light dumbbells. But if your arms are weak, do it without weights.
Extend your arms until your elbows are straight and then bend them until your wrists are in line with your shoulders.
15. Seated Scissor Chops
This is one of the best chair exercises for seniors to do while watching TV.
Start slowly and then increase your pace once your shoulders and arms have been fully warmed up.
16. Seated Punches
You can also do this one while watching TV. Simply throw punches as fast as possible while sitting.
Remember to keep your ab muscles tight as you perform it. Feel free to hold light dumbbells as you throw the punches.
17. Seated Lateral Arm Raises
This exercise targets your shoulder and trapezius muscles. Slowly raise your hands until they’re parallel to the floor and then return them to starting position.
18. Seated Overhead Claps
Does clapping over your head seem too easy of an exercise? Well, you won’t think so after 50 reps!
This exercise is exceptional for toning your shoulders and triceps. Perform it as fast as possible.
19. Seated Marches
You can perform marching exercises while sitting. To make this exercise more rewarding, maximize on your arm movement.
Raise your knee as high as possible and land on the balls of your feet on each rep.
20. Seated Knee Tucks
You will love this exercise if you want to build your ab muscles. Simply lean back and then bend your knees and bring them close to your chest. Return them to the starting position and repeat.
Keep your back slightly curved throughout. You can make the exercise easier by resting your feet on the floor after each rep.
21. Seated Knee Raises
This is another great one to do while watching TV. Simply raise one knee as high as possible and then lower the foot and repeat the motion.
Complete reps for one leg before switching.
22. Seated Jumping Jacks
Who said chair exercises for seniors can’t give you a full body workout? This exercise will work your arms, shoulder, abs and leg muscles.
Start slowly and then increase the pace after each rep.
23. Seated Dumbbell Curls
You’re probably familiar with dumbbell curls. This exercise builds your biceps and strengthens your arms.
Perform a full range of motion. Curl until your forearm touches your bicep and then extend the arm until it’s straight.
24. Incline Thigh Tap Planks
Make sure you perform this exercise on a sturdy chair.
Keep your shoulder, hips, and knees aligned in a straight line. Tap your thighs as fast as possible. You can make this exercise easier by using a wall as support.
25. Seated Hip Openers
This unique exercise works your leg muscles. And if you lean back, it can build your ab muscles.
Feel free to wear ankle weights while performing it.
26. Seated Elbow to Knee Crunch
This is one of the best chair exercises for core strength. It works your ab and oblique muscles. Tighten your ab and oblique muscles while performing it.
27. Seated Flutter Kicks
If you’ve been looking for chair exercises for seniors that work your ab muscles, try this one.
Remember to keep your back slightly curved and feet straight. Perform the flutter kicks fast.
28. Seated Chest Presses
Seated chest presses will work your chest, arm, and shoulder muscles.
Use dumbbells you’re comfortable with while performing this exercise. Heavy dumbbells can cause an injury.
29. Seated Bicycles
You’ll love this exercise because it works your ab and oblique muscles at the same time.
Make sure your twist your torso on each rep and keep your abs tight throughout.
30. Seated Bent Over Rows
This dumbbell exercise will work your arm and back muscles.
Lean forward and keep your back straight. Maintain a full range of motion as you do the rows.
31. Seated Chest Openers
Seated chest openers are a great exercise for activating your shoulder muscles. Feel free to hold dumbbells to make the exercise more challenging.
32. Seated Arm Circles
Most people don’t realize how challenging arm circles are. Doing 50 reps of this exercise can feel like hell if you’re a beginner.
Perform clockwise and counterclockwise arm circles.
33. Quick Toe Taps
This exercise will get your heart rate up and tone your leg muscles. You can add arm movement to make it more rewarding.
34. Incline Plank Arm Raises
Doing this exercise on the floor can feel like torture. But when you place your hands on an elevated surface, it becomes much easier.
Keep your body aligned in a straight line and raise the hand until it’s parallel to the floor. This exercise builds your arm and core muscles.
35. Incline Push Ups
Push ups are also easier when you perform them on an elevated surface.
Tighten your butt muscles to keep your hips from sinking and do a full range of motion on each rep.
36. Double Leg Extensions
Maybe you’re looking for chair exercises for seniors because of bad knees. Well, this exercise tones your quads without straining your knees.
You can wear ankle weights to make it more challenging.
Dips are one of the most popular triceps exercises. Perform them on a sturdy chair. Dip as low as you feel comfortable.
38. Chair Thrusts
This is a high impact chair exercise that offers a full body workout. If you find it too challenging, maintain a narrow range of motion.
39. Chair Squats
Chair squats are a harder variation of sit and stand. Lower your butt until it slightly touches the chair and then rise.
This exercise targets your glutes, hamstrings, lower back, and quadriceps.
40. Chair Plank Jacks
Chair plank jacks are amazing for boosting your cardiovascular endurance and strengthening your core.
Perform this exercise as fast as possible and avoid sinking your hips as you do the jacks.
41. Chair Mountain Climbers
You probably know mountain climbers – they’re a famous exercise. But have you ever done them while placing your palms on a chair?
This variation is much easier than regular mountain climbers. It boosts your endurance and overall strength.
42. Ankle Rolls
Ankle rolls are excellent for loosening tight ankle joints. They can help lower the risk of injuries.
The Bottom Line
You can get in the best shape of your life while doing chair exercises for seniors. So don’t skip workouts because the workouts out there are too challenge. Take advantage of these simple exercises.
Make a habit of doing these exercises every day. Before you know, you’ll be fit and strong and your energy levels will skyrocket.
If you want to get fit in the shortest time humanly possible, combine these chair exercises for seniors with the 28 fat-blasting workouts.
Mary K Smythe
April 26, 2020 at 12:43 pm
Fantastic Thank You!
April 26, 2020 at 2:21 pm
Thanks, finally exercises to do for sore arthritic knees.
May 17, 2020 at 9:32 am
Thank you for those exercises Especially for lazy old fat non sports fan, I am looking forward to seeing other exercises from you Especially with demonstrated.