6 Chair Exercises for Seniors with Detailed Instructions
Work Wellness

6 Chair Exercises for Seniors with Detailed Instructions

|Mar 2, 2022

Chair exercises for seniors are just as important as they would be for persons who have not yet reached that age. Many believe that when you pass the age of 65 (for some the age may be less precise), exercise should be something that shouldn't even be on your mind anymore. 

However, you can promote continued bodily function and even ease of certain movements by maintaining a regular exercise regime even into the years of senescence. Not doing so reduces the ability to age healthily. 

This doesn't mean that chair workouts for seniors are going to be easy or desirable. You find that even young people often hate the idea of exercise, and their bodies are way more conducive to doing it. 

So, you can only imagine what it may sound like to the elderly hearing that they need to exercise regularly.

Of course, seated exercises for seniors are often quite different from those that the younger generation may be doing. A young person may be doing overhead presses with heavy barbells and dumbbells, for example. 

Even if an older person is going to be doing overhead presses, the weights would likely be much lighter. 

So, what can a senior expect to learn from the information here today? First, there is learning why chair exercises for the elderly are essential. Next, there are some exercises to start you off with instructions. Finally, you learn what kind of ergonomic chair is essential to a proper sitting posture

As a side note, it's more than an ergonomic chair for back pain. You can also use it to do the chair exercises for seniors listed in most cases. 

Why Seniors Should Consider Chair Exercises for Everyday Use

Why Seniors Should Consider Chair Exercises for Everyday Use

You got a brief look at the benefits of the workouts for seniors. However, there is more to it than that. 

First, as you age, your risk of heart-related illnesses and complications rises too. Exercising promotes better cardiovascular health, keeping an aging adult’s heart on the healthier side of life. 

Additionally, you can help to prevent strokes, high blood pressure, and chronic illnesses, such as dementia. 

You also find that exercises help with your balance, so you can also reduce your risk of falling over as you age. 

These are just the tip of the iceberg, but it all comes back to what was said earlier. The intention is to help seniors live as normal a life as possible while reducing complications. A regular exercise regimen is a perfect ingredient to achieve this. 

Best Chair Exercises for the Elderly

Best Chair Exercises for the Elderly

The workouts and chair stretches for seniors selected were carefully done. Of course, a section on one of the best office chairs for the elderly is below, so that is also taken care of. 

Consideration was given to the fact that older persons may not be able to move as freely or may not have the kind of strength that younger people do. Therefore, while the workload routines need to challenge the body to an extent, it's not so much that other complications may result.  

Another essential point is to remember to consult a doctor before starting any kind of exercise program. This is something that applies to young people too, so it most definitely goes for those on the older side. With that said, it's time to dive into some of the best seated exercises for seniors

Modified Push Ups

Modified Push Ups chair exercises for seniors

This is one of the basic chair exercises for seniors. Note that these can be done in two ways. The first modification (the default exercise) involves holding onto a chair in a version of the standard floor pushup position. Alternatively, a further modification can be made by resting on the knees if the full weight cannot be supported. 

To start, face your chair. If your chair has wheels, ensure that it is against a wall before you do this. Hold the sides of the chair’s seat and slowly shift your feet backward until you are in a diagonal position. Again, if you cannot handle your weight at this point, feel free to drop down to your knees. 

Mainly, you don't want your buttocks high in the air, nor do you want an arch in your back. You want to maintain as straight a line as possible from your shoulder to your heel. You can usually tell you're in the right position when you start feeling resistance in your core.  

Keep your elbows as close to your body as possible. This is your starting position. Slowly bend your elbows to move your body closer to the chair and push up to your starting position once your chin has also almost made contact with the chair. Try to do about three sets of 10 here. 

Knee to Chest

Knee to Chest chair exercises for seniors

For this exercise, you also want to ensure that your chair is against the wall for greater support. 

Comfortably position yourself by sitting at the very edge of the seat. If you feel like you're going to fall over, then push yourself back a bit until you feel stable enough. Your back should be straight, and your core should be tight. Stick your chest out as much as possible. 

Put both hands at the sides of your chair and grip the seat as firmly as possible to maintain your stability. 

Next, place both your feet straight out in front of you with your toes pointing to the ceiling. If you're positioned correctly, your feet should be in a diagonal position to your hips. This is your starting position. 

Now, raise your legs to your body by bending the knees, trying to get as close to your chest with both knees as you can. Return to your starting position. 

This is another exercise in which three sets of 10 should be sufficient. Just remember that you want to move slowly and under control. 

Extended Leg Raise

Extended Leg Raise chair exercises for seniors

For this chair exercise for seniors, you also want to sit comfortably near the end of your seat without the feeling of falling over. Additionally, tighten your core, keep your back straight, and stick your chest out. 

Grip both sides of your seat to maintain your stability and place your feet out from your body, ensuring they’re diagonal to your hips, and that your toes are pointing to the ceiling. This is your starting position.

Start by lifting your left leg as high as it can go without bending your knees or moving the center of your body. Of course, this means your right leg should remain in the starting position.  

Lower your left leg back to its initial position then do the same with the right leg. Doing both legs counts as a single rep and you want to do three sets of 10 reps. 

Leg Kicks

Leg Kicks chair exercises for seniors

The leg kick chair exercise for seniors is incredibly similar to the previous one. The difference is that the movement is not as slow and it's more continuous. 

Previously, you were keeping one leg in a low position with the other in a high position. Only when a leg is lowered to the starting position do you begin to raise the other one. 

This time, you are going to be doing the same motion with a bit of a twist. First, lean back by reclining your chair slightly to maintain your stability. Instead of waiting until one leg completely gets back to the starting position, you want to switch the leg positions simultaneously as if you are swimming.  

So, when you begin by raising your left leg, your right leg should then be raised as soon as you start lowering your left leg. Therefore, by the time your left leg gets back to the starting position, the right leg should be at the highest point, and the two become ready to swap again. 

While you don't want to go too fast, you do want to move a little quicker than you would with the seated leg raise exercise. 

Modified Planks

Modified Planks chair exercises for seniors

Even those who are not the biggest exercise enthusiasts are familiar with planking. It's a highly effective and highly common core exercise that can work wonders for those of just about any age. 

It also engages other muscles, such as those in your legs, but the focus is certainly on blasting your entire core. One of the biggest benefits of this is keeping your body stable. 

Start by standing facing your chair. You most certainly want your chair against the wall for this one for stability. Place both arms on the sides of your seat, with a slight bend in your elbows. 

Shift your feet backward slowly until you are in a diagonal position in front of the chair. You should feel resistance in your core if you are in the right position. If not, then it may mean there's an arch in your back or your buttocks are high in the air. 

Once you feel the resistance, the idea is to maintain the position for 30 seconds, after which you can either stand straight up or sit to take a break.  

You want to repeat this two or three times. If you find that 30 seconds is insufficient for you, feel free to increase it to 45 seconds or even a minute, provided you don't feel any pain from doing so. 

Tummy Twists

Tummy Twists

Tommy twists yield the final exercise on the agenda, but there are certainly others that you can do as a senior. 

Like the plank, this one is an excellent core chair exercise for seniors, and it provides a bit of spine stretching too, which is great for your posture.

Ideally, you want to get your hands on a medicine ball for this one, but any object with a bit of weight is good since it allows you to maximize the tension you get on your core. You can perform the motion without such an object, but that is not the recommended way of doing the exercise. 

Grab your weighted object and sit comfortably at the edge of your seat. You must maintain a tight core as you go through this movement and stick your chest out. With a bend in your elbows, place your hands in front of your body, gripping both sides of your weight. 

With the item a couple of inches off your lap, rotate your upper body to the left as much as possible, maintaining the position of your weight in front of the body. The weight and your upper body should never be out of alignment. 

Come back to the middle then go to the other side. Once you are back to the middle a second time, then you have completed a single rep. For this one, you want three sets of eight reps. 

What Kind of Chair Should You Use?

What Kind of Chair Should You Use

Most of these chair exercises for seniors require a high level of stability. Now, one would say that using a chair on wheels is typically a bad idea because it is going to slide around as you try to do your workouts. 

That case could be made if your only choice was to do these workouts in the middle of the room. Instead, simply place your chair against the wall, and you have no stability problems to worry about. 

Going for a proper seating option such as the Autonomous Chair Ergo from Autonomous is a great idea because it can be your workout chair and your sitting chair too with features such as recline, seat height adjustment, adjustable lumbar support, armrest adjustment, and more, it's the perfect chair for long hour sitting

Remember that you need something that supports you outside of your workout, or you're going to be undoing all the good work you do when you exercise. So, the lesson is to get yourself a reclining ergonomic chair that you can sit on comfortably and that you can use to work out. 

Final Remarks

Chair exercises for the elderly are essential to keep the body functioning with age. Of course, the inclusion of a chair is as much for supporting the movement as it is for providing a level of modification that makes the movements possible for an aging body. 

There is a lot to unpack here, and you got a deep insight into much of it above. Not only did you learn why seniors should consider chair exercises in their everyday lives, but you also got to see some of the exercises and in-depth instructions on how to do them. 

Provided that you follow the advice given on selecting office chairs for the elderly, then you should have no problem in getting a chair to support your exercising needs and also having one that you can sit on comfortably throughout the day.

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