Strength Exercises for Older Adults

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 who want to keep fit, healthy, and live well-balanced lives even into their old age.

You do not necessarily need a gym to perform strength exercises, 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 strength exercises for older adults is bodyweight strength exercises.

It is the safest and best form of exercise to start with that will help you keep a proper form alignment safe for older adults.
Strength is said to be the fountain of youth. Strength allows seniors to control better 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 always early enough to start.

Exercise Equipment for Strength Exercises

Anyone can perform strength exercises if you take their 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.

Besides 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 possible. Lower slowly and repeat.

Chair Squats
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, directly in front of a chair. Keep your chest upright, push your hips back to bend your knees, and lower your body towards the chair. It would be best to touch your bum to the chair or sit on it. Pause, then push through your feet and squeeze your bum to return to the normal position.

Wall Push Ups
These are 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, leaning forward. 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.

Dead Bugs
Lie flat on your back and hold your arms and legs straight up in the air. Keep your knees bent. Maintain 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.

Side Planks
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.

Wall Angles
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 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.

Wall Slides
Stand with your back one or two feet away from the wall with your feet under your hips. Lean your bum, back, 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 arms on the doorway’s sides and step forward slightly to stretch your pectoral muscles.

Standing Balance
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 daily, keeping your neck straight but not stiff.

Mix cardio, such as brisk walking or cycling, into your workout for fitness.

Precautions When performing Strength Exercises

When you perform any 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.
Please follow the instructions for the exercises correctly and keep your posture properly to prevent strain and injuries.

Never overdo it, and take a break if you need to.

About the Author

Eliza Ward

Eliza Ward is a health enthusiast, nature lover, and full-time mother for 3 lovely kids in South Africa. She has always had a thing for improving the lives of the elderly and has the best product recommendations for all her friends and family. So she turned what she loved into her full-time job - by testing and recommending the best products for senior citizens. Read her reviews to know how detailed her observations are.