Strength Exercise and training are not only for athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness junkies that are still young and vibrant.
Strength training is also ideal for seniors that want to keep fit, healthy, and live a well-balanced life even into their old age.
You do not necessarily need a gym to perform strength exercise routines, and these routines should not be hard and uncomfortable for you to perform.
In this article, I want to introduce you to some comfortable and effective strength exercise training routines to help you keep fit and strong as an older adult.
Bodyweight Strength Exercises for Seniors
One of the best forms of strength exercises for older adults is bodyweight strength exercises.
It is the safest and best form of exercise to start off with that will help you to keep a proper form alignment and that is safe for older adults.
Strength is said to be the fountain of youth. Strength allows seniors to better control symptoms of chronic disease, pain, and depression. It also helps prevent falls by improving balance and helps you maintain your existing muscle mass.
Strength training improves your posture improves bone density and stability.
As you age, you naturally lose some muscle mass because the muscle becomes less sensitive to dietary protein, which builds muscle and changes hormones.
However, a loss of strength, balance, muscle mass, and weakness is mainly caused by a lack of exercise in seniors.
You can reduce the loss of muscle mass and bone density just by performing regular strength exercises as an older adult.
It is always best to start early, but likewise, never too late to start.
Exercise Equipment for Strength Exercises
Anyone can perform strength exercises, as long as you take your personal health and capabilities into account, rather than your initial age.
Some 70-year-olds could easily out-train many 25 years olds, so age is just a number when it comes to strength training. However, as a beginner, you may need some modifications to start with.
Besides just bodyweight training, you can easily ramp up your exercise routine by adding exercise, resistance bands, or light weights.
Some equipment can be affordable and easy to use at home for strength training.
Strength Exercise Routines for Seniors
Lying Hip Bridges
Lie Flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Flatten your lower back against the floor. Now squeeze your bum and push your hips and pelvis up as high as you can. Lower slowly, and repeat.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, directly in front of a chair. Keep your chest upright and push your hips back to bend your knees and lower your body towards the chair. You should touch your bum to the chair or sit down on it. Pause, then push through your feet and squeeze your bum to return to the normal position.
Wall Push Ups
These are basically push-ups done standing against a wall. You will stand with your arms stretched out and palms flat against the wall, your legs slightly back, in a leaning forward position. No push against the wall until your arms are fully bent and tucked to your sides. Push back again until your arms are straight.
Side Lying Circles
Lie down on the floor with your body in a straight line. Extend your bottom arm straight past your head. Squeeze and pull in your belly. Rest your head on your bottom arm. Lift your top leg, keeping your hips directly over each other. Ni moves your lifted leg ins small circles clockwise and anti-clockwise. Lower your leg, return to normal position, and do the same on the other side.
Quadruped Opposite Arm and Leg Balance
If you can get on all four hands and knees, with your hand directly underneath your shoulders and knee under your hips. Keep your back flat, and tighten your abdominals. Lift one arm reaching straight in front of you and one leg opposite leg straight behind you. Lower them again, and do the same on the opposite sides.
Lie flat on your back and hold your arms and legs straight up in the air. Keep your knees bent. Maintain the contact between your lower back and the floor while you lower your opposite arm towards the floor above your head. Lift back up and start again, repeating on the opposite side.
Lie down on your side, prop your head up with your hand and elbow below your shoulder. Squeeze your core and lift your hips off the floor so that your body forms a straight line, leaning on your feet. Hold as long as you can and lower slowly.
Stand with your back flat against a wall. Your feet need to be a few inches from the wall., and your head touching the wall. Tuck your chin down to your chest and place your arms down the sides. Turn your palms out and raise your arms slowly, maintaining contact with the wall. Raise your arms without bending your elbows. Pause, then lower your arms again.
Stand with your back one or two feet away from the wall with your feet under your hips. Lean your bum, back, and shoulders, arms, and head against the wall. Bend your knees and lower your body to around 90 degrees. Hold, and raise back up.
Pec Stretches Stand in the middle of a doorway or entry space. Place both your arms on the sides of the doorway and step forward slightly to stretch your pectoral muscles.
Hold on to a steady chair and stand on one leg. Try to keep your balance on the other. Now do the same with the other leg. In the video, you will see a few variations of standing balance exercise routines.
Chin Ups – Keep your head up straight on a daily basis, keeping your neck straight but not stiff.
Mix some cardio such as brisk walking or cycling into your workout for fitness.
Precautions When performing Strength Exercises
When you perform any type of exercise routine, it is always important to be cautious.
The most important thing to remember is to follow cues from your body, do not overexert yourself or place yourself in painful positions.
Follow instructions to the exercises correctly and keep your posture properly to prevent strain and injuries.
Never overdo it and take a break if you need to.
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