Chair Exercises for Elderly People

Chair Exercises for Elderly People

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The sitting position relieves pressure normally put on the knees while standing.

Barry Austin/Photodisc/Getty Images

Chair exercises can help those of advanced age by allowing for easy, convenient exercise. The ability to perform exercises in the home leads to more motivation to actually exercise, which in turn leads to better flexibility, stronger muscles, smoother joint movements and enhanced blood flow. What's more, chair exercises for elderly people can target nearly every area of the body.

Hit the Hips

The legs and hips contain muscles important in standing up from a sitting position. Strengthening these muscles can help the elderly more easily get up from a chair. Unsurprisingly, the best way to strengthen the leg and hip muscles is to get up from a chair. Perform the intentional stand-up exercise by starting from a sitting position with proper posture: feet flat on the floor, knees bent at 90 degrees and back straight. Press with your legs as if you were pushing through the ground. You will naturally stand up. Maintain a straight back during this motion. Once your knees are fully extended, squeeze your buttocks muscles to finish the exercise. Return to the chair and repeat. Perform 10 to 20 reps or until you feel a burn in your buttocks.

Rowing Your Invisible Boat

As you age, your back becomes weak. Strengthen the muscles of the back with rows. Sit at the edge of your chair and extend your arms straight in front of you. Imagine you are holding an oar in each hand. Pull the oars back so that your fists reach the sides of your chest. Return to the starting position and repeat until you feel a burn in your back.

The Fall Preventer

Falling is both more common and riskier in advanced age. Prevent against falling by strengthening your lower leg muscles and your sense of balance. Sit at the edge of your chair, feet flat on the ground. Lift your heels while you keep your toes on the ground. Return to a flat-footed position. Now, lift your toes while you keep your heels on the ground. Perform these two motions, one after the other, for 10 to 20 reps.

Have a Ball

Your abdominal muscles also play an important role in keeping you balanced. Hit your “abs” with a chair-exercise ball combination exercise. If you don't have an exercise ball, you can perform this exercise without one or with a substitute object, such as a basketball or bicycle helmet. Sitting in your chair, hold the exercise ball in front of you, arms extended. Rotate your entire upper body to the right, until the exercise ball is as far right as you can take it. Repeat for the left side. Perform for at least 10 reps or until you feel a burn in your abs.

Pretending You Don't Know

Your shoulder muscles are important for picking up and moving objects, a task that becomes more difficult with age. Strengthen your shoulder muscles with a shrugging exercise. Sitting in your chair, back straight, shrug your shoulders and hold the position. From a shrugged position, in which your shoulders are as close to your ears as possible, rotate them in a clockwise motion 10 times. Repeat in a counter-clockwise motion 10 times.

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