Sitting Exercises for Seniors

No matter your age or abilities, incorporating some form of daily exercise into your life is important. Even if a senior is chairbound, she can still perform exercises to build strength, which can alleviate joint stiffness and pain. Before beginning any exercise routine, you should consult your physician to ensure you can safely exercise. Drink plenty of water before exercising and try to engage in chair exercises three to four times per day.


Ab Twists

This exercise from the University of Georgia can be performed with a kickball-sized ball held in your hands. Sit up straight and hold your elbows in toward your ribcage. Contract your stomach muscles and slowly turn to your right side as far as you can comfortably go. Slowly return to your starting position, then rotate to your left side. This completes your first rep. Repeat for a total of eight reps. Rest for a minute and then perform another eight reps of this exercise.

Arm Raise

Holding a light dumbbell--3 lbs. or less--or a ball in your hands, straighten your arms and hold the dumbbell or ball on your knees. Sitting up straight, slowly lift the ball or weight from your knees to shoulder height or as high as you can comfortably lift. Taking two to three seconds, slowly lower the ball or weight back to your knees. Repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times. Rest, then repeat for an additional set.

Seated Knee Raise

This exercise from Body Results can be performed by lifting the knees and/or by crunching the abdominal muscles. Begin by sitting straight up with your feet flat on the floor. Slowly raise one foot in the air in a motion that brings the knee toward your chest. You can return this foot to the floor or you can cross your arms over your chest and slowly bring your chest toward your knee. Return back to your starting position, then switch to lifting the opposite knee.

Side Bends

While sitting straight up, lift your hands above your head with your palms facing outward. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then slowly reach toward your right side with one hand, leaving the other in the air. Hold this position for eight to 10 seconds, then return to your starting position. Now lean toward the opposite side, holding your position as you lean to the side. Repeat eight times.


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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or