Exercising regularly is a great way to stay fit at any age, and as you get older it becomes even more crucial to stay active. If exercise is already part of your daily life, that’s great, but what can you do if you have mobility issues that prevent you from doing certain types of activity? While exercising can be difficult for people with reduced mobility, you can still make great strides towards your fitness goals by starting with simple chair exercises for seniors.

The benefits of exercise

Exercise can improve your physical health and well-being. It can also help you control your weight, which can help prevent serious conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. Physical exercise produces endorphins, which are the feel-good hormones. Exercising regularly can therefore also improve your mental health, the quality of your sleep, relieve stress and anxiety, and improve your mood.

Regular exercise can also improve your balance and flexibility, increase your strength and endurance, and help prevent bone loss. Exercise can help keep you healthy, fit, and strong, which can reduce your risk of falling.

10 chair exercises for the elderly

If you’ve been considering doing chair exercises but aren’t sure where to start, the 10 exercises below are all great options. These exercises focus on different parts of the body, including the arms, core, and legs, as well as gentle stretching exercises. These are simple exercises you can do while sitting in your chair.


1. Seated bicep curls

Sit in a chair with your hips back, trunk straight, and back against the back of the chair. Using dumbbells or a resistance band, start with your arms down and your elbows tucked in, then raise your arms up to your shoulders and back down to the starting position.

2. Isolated seated triceps push-up

Sit in your chair so that your back is pressed against the back of the chair. Start by raising one elbow in the air with a dumbbell in your hand. Let the dumbbell drop down before slowly raising it above your head while supporting your elbow with your other hand. Return to the starting position.

3. Seated shoulder presses

Sit in your chair with your back leaning against the backrest. Tightening your core muscles and keeping your back straight, begin by holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms raised and bent at a 90 degree angle, elbows pointing out to sides of body. Palms facing up, extend arms straight up, keeping them parallel until fully extended. Then slowly lower your arms back to the starting position.


4. Leg extension

Sit near the front edge of the chair and grasp the sides of the seat with your hands. Extend both legs out in front of you, toes pointing up. Keeping your back straight and tightening your core, slowly lift, alternating one leg at a time, as high as you can before returning to the starting position.

5. Belly twists

Sit toward the front edge of the chair. Tightening your core muscles and keeping your back straight, hold a ball or other weighted object in front of you. Bend your elbows and rotate your upper body to the left, return to center, then rotate to the right and return to center.

6. Seated Chest Knees

Sit on the edge of the chair and grab the seat with both hands. Keeping your back straight, lean back so your back is against the back of the chair and stretch your legs out in front of you. Slowly raise your legs and bring them towards your chest while bending your knees. Then slowly lower your legs back to the starting position.


7. Knee extension

Sit in your chair with your back leaning against the backrest. Grasp the seat of the chair with both hands to ensure your stability. Tightening your core muscles and keeping your back straight, lift one leg in front of you until it’s fully extended, then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise with the other leg.

8. Seated calf raise

Sit in your chair with your back leaning against the backrest. Grasp the seat for added stability. With your legs forming a 90 degree angle with the chair and your feet resting on the floor, tighten your core and push the soles of your feet towards the floor while lifting your heels. Return to the starting position.


9. Seated Side Stretch

Sit toward the edge of the chair with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor. With one hand, grasp the seat to stabilize it, then raise the other hand toward the ceiling in a bent position. Slowly lean in the direction of the outstretched arm, hold the position for 10 to 20 seconds, then return to an upright position before repeating the exercise with the other arm.

10. Seated Hip Stretch

Sit in your chair, feet flat on the floor, and tighten your abdominal belt. Cross one leg over the other so that the ankle of the crossed leg overtakes that of the lower leg. Keeping your back straight, slowly lean forward as far as you can. Hold the position for 10 to 20 seconds and repeat the exercise before switching to the opposite leg.

Risks and precautions

Any exercise program carries the risk of injury. It is important that you speak with your doctor before beginning an exercise program to ensure that you are doing the exercises that are right for you. This is especially important if you have reduced mobility or have recently had surgery or other medical procedures. By discussing your plans with your doctor, you can avoid injury and keep yourself safe while improving your health and fitness. Now is a great time to start taking steps to improve your health and stay in shape, and these simple chair exercises may be just what you need to get started.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.