11 Chair Exercises for Senior Fitness

No matter what age we are, exercise is important and is very beneficial for our health. Physical activity and exercise in older adults can reduce the risk of chronic disease, preserve functional capacities, improve quality of life and the ability to perform daily activities of living such as, cooking and cleaning, and improve measures of physical health that change with aging. Senior fitness shouldn’t be overlooked as it will have lasting impacts seen beyond the scale! 

 

Luckily, it’s never too late to start an exercise program and reap the benefits of physical activity. There are many accessible exercise options that can improve strength, cardiovascular health, mobility, and balance, all from the comfort of a sturdy chair.

Benefits of Performing Chair Exercises

Not everyone over the age of 65 is able to move agilely or even out of their seat, but this shouldn’t mean that they can’t exercise. So many regular exercises can be done while using a chair as a mobility device. All of the above benefits can still be reached when exercising with a regular chair. The chair should be stable with four legs, and no wheels or rollers. 

 

Here is a great list of exercises that can be done using a chair in the comfort of your own home:

Shoulders

Shoulder Press

The seated shoulder press will help with extending the arms overhead with an increase in strength, mobility and endurance. To make this exercise more challenging, dumbbells or a resistance band under the chair can be added.

Senior Fitness -Seated Overhead Press Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton Seated overhead press body weight Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Front Raises

 

Seated front raises are particularly useful for holding objects in front of the body or even just extending an arm forward.

Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Back

Seated Rows

Seated rows can be done to strengthen the muscles in the back. This exercise can also be done with low weight dumbbells or a resistance band around a pole in front of the chair. 

Seated Rows - Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton Seated Rows - Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Seated Reverse Flies

Seated reverse flies are a great exercise that targets the upper back as well as the back of the shoulder. Low weight dumbbells can be added to make this exercise more challenging.

Seated Bent over fly for senior fitness in Akron canton Columbus personal trainer Sarah WearleySeated Bent Over Fly Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Chest

Seated Chest Press

The seated chest press is an exercise that not only uses the chest muscles but also the shoulders and triceps. This is known as a compound movement because multiple muscles are used at once. Weights or a resistance band can be added behind the back of the chair to make this exercise more challenging. 

Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton forward press chestSeated Front Deltoid Raise - Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Push Ups

Modified push ups are a challenging but great exercise to strengthen the chest and tricep muscles. To make this exercise easier, lowering the knees to the ground for added support can be done.

Push Up for Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron CantonChair Push Up Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Core Exercises

The core is an essential part of the body for everything we do during the day. We are using our core a lot of the time, whether we are standing, walking, bending over, and even sitting. A strengthened core is important for good posture to avoid slouching which could lead to muscle tension and back pain.  

 

Knee-To-Chest

The seated knee-to-chest is a great exercise that can be done without any added weight. You can also isolate this movement by using one leg at a time, while the other leg is firmly planted on the ground. 

Senior Fitness Core Balance Training with Personal Trainer Sarah Wearley Akron Canton Columbus OhioSenior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Plank 

The plank exercise is known as one of the most popular core exercises for any age. This modified version can make a traditional plank easier.

Push Up for Senior Fitness - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Legs

Chair Squat 

This exercise should be started off using only bodyweight. If tolerated well, you may add weights for more of a challenge.

Exercises for seniors = Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton squat silver sneakersChair Squat - Exercises for Seniors - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Knee Extensions

Knee extensions are a great exercise to help strengthen the quad muscles. To make this exercise more challenging, a resistance band can be used.

Leg extensions for seniors - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

Heel Slides 

Heel slides can strengthen both the quad muscles and the hamstring muscles. If knee pain is present, this exercise should be avoided due to pressure sustained on the joints. 

Exercises for seniors - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton Seated Leg Extension Exercises for Seniors - Sarah Wearley Full Scale Fitness Personal Training Columbus Akron Canton

If you have any questions on senior fitness and nutrition, please reach out to us directly! We would love to help. We currently work with senior citizens on their balance training, strength and conditioning fitness and more!

Learn more on our in-home personal training page: https://fullscalefit.com/our-activities/in-home-personal-training/

Check out our YouTube channel where we will post more videos on senior fitness and wellness! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrU6ecm7D9E