Bodyweight Exercises For Seniors: Legs
The leg muscles are the most important muscle group for seniors so lets start with them. Strong legs help you stay functional and independent as you age. When you lose too much leg strength, moving around becomes strenuous or
There are two excellent bodyweight leg exercises that are all you need to maintain strong legs as you age. The squat and the lunge.
Core Exercises For Seniors: Full Workout Videos
If you’re looking to strengthen your core, YouTube offers a number of great workouts to follow along with. Here are several core workouts that include great exercises for seniors:
10 Minute Core Strengthening Workout for Seniors:This 10-minute video is done entirely from a seated position, making it a safe workout for older adults.
15-Minute Easy Exercises for Abdominals:This 15-minute workout video allows modifications for each exercise and places a heavy emphasis on proper form. All exercises are done from the floor.
20-Minute Core Workout for Seniors: This 20-minute workout is a bit more advanced, including more challenging exercises like a front and side plank. The instructor offers modifications for each exercise and great tips.
Simple Core Exercises For Seniors
Strengthening your core muscles doesnt just happen. You have to make a plan and find workouts that shape the various muscle groups.
Some exercises are better suited for older adults than others. Thats why we list 8 of the best core exercises for seniors to incorporate into their new exercise program.
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Benefits Of Core Exercises For Seniors
Countless studies have suggested that exercise of any kind slows down the aging process, specifically core strength, which can improve everything from stamina and stability to coordination and posture.
The list below explains some of the benefits of core exercises for seniors:
- Prevents injury Physical fitness experts will tell you that recovering from an injury is a lot harder than avoiding one in the first place. If you follow an exercise routine that includes core muscle exercises, you will have a much better chance of preventing injury.
- Improves strength Studies show that core strengthening exercises can improve body strength in older adults by about 30 percent. When you have stronger muscles, it will allow for better mobility.
- Manages pain A lot of seniors complain about back pain, but core muscle exercises stretch and strengthen muscles, which reduce pain from chronic conditions.
- Balance and stability Your core helps support your spine, which helps with balance and stability. Research shows that people with a strong core have a better sense of their center of gravity.
- Makes tasks easier Core muscle exercises for seniors make simple tasks like getting up out of a chair or walking down the sidewalk on a snowy day much easier. Many seniors report a stronger core helps them when they are navigating stairs as well.
Ankle And Wrist Rolls
Many senior citizens struggle with poor circulation through the extremities, which can contribute to challenges with balance and mobility. KJ Landis, a personal trainer, and wellness workshop facilitator suggests “waking up” the hands and feet through a series of lower-intensity moves before diving into more rigorous exercises.
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Strengthen Your Core To Maintain Your Independence
Core exercises for seniors are great because they allow older adults to maintain their strength without causing pain or muscle damage. You can practice them at home for 20 minutes a day a few times a week and youre sure to see results.
Strengthening the core for seniors is all about providing them with a stronger, more stable body. This gives seniors a better sense of independence when they can walk, lift, and move freely.
Another great way to maintain independence is to work with in-home physical therapists. At Commonwise Home Care, we can provide seniors with expert physical therapists who come to your home and walk you through appropriate exercises to main your strength and mobility.
Core Exercise Routine For Seniors
Here are 10-minutes of easy to follow, seated, core exercises. Follow this workout, and perform consistently to get that core stronger!
It’s good for those of you who have trouble getting up/down off the floor, and just prefer to do exercises seated in a chair.
Getting a strong core is not just about strengthening the superficial muscles of the core . It’s about focusing on strengthening the deeper muscles of the core so movement is easier!
Do your best and any questions ask below!
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Hollow Hold To Jackknife
I love to combine these two exercises into one killer core workout. This is an advanced move, and I recommend cutting the reps if you start feeling pain in your back or hip flexors. I love this because it works, is challenging, can be done anywhere, and can be modified if needed. For more advanced options, you can add a weight! Astrid Swan, celebrity trainer in Los Angeles
How to do it:
- Lie faceup with your legs extended and arms straight over your head, keeping them close to your ears.
- Contract your abs to press your low back into ground.
- Point your toes, squeeze your thighs together, squeeze your glutes, and lift your legs off the ground.
- Lift your shoulders off the ground and keep your head in a neutral position so that you’re not straining your neck. Your legs and midback should both be off the ground, and you should be in the shape of a banana with just your low back and hips on the ground. This is starting position, a hollow hold.
- Stay in the hollow hold position for as long as you can, up to 10 seconds.
- Then lift your arms and legs to meet so that your body forms a V hold for a breath, and slowly lower back down to hollow hold position.
What Is The Core
While you might think of the core as only comprising the abdominals which is what the above picture depicts, it is much more than that. The core comprises the trunk, glutes , chest, and back muscles. Basically everything besides the arms, legs, and head is the core. That being said some of the more important core muscles are comprised of the abdominal muscles- Recuts Abdominus which is the six pack muscle group, the external and internal obliques which are on the sides of our abdomens, our gluteal muscles, and our lower back muscles.
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Why Core Strength Training Is Important For Older Adults
In the wellness industry, a strong core is often glorified for reasons of vanity. However, this narrow view completely overlooks all the health benefits of core training. In reality, core strength is essential for posture, balance, and overall health.
To correct these misconceptions, let’s start by reviewing what your core does for you.
Why Do I Need To Strengthen The Core
Without a strong core, it would get difficult to perform day-to-day tasks like lifting objects, walking, standing up, etc. It could also lead to falls and cause one to depend on assistance to do regular tasks. In addition, osteoporosis, muscle loss, knee and back pain may make it worse. That is why it is best to do a few exercises every day to keep your core strong.
Below, you will find 10 low-impact core exercises designed for mature adults. Take a look at them and do them at home with or without assistance.
Note: Talk to your doctor before starting them and do a 10-minute warm-up.
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Create A Custom Core Workout In 10 Seconds Using Workout Creator
Keep reading to check out some of the most popular core exercises Premium Members love doing! Learn which muscles the exercises work and how hard each exercise is. Plus. each exercise has a video showing you exactly how to perfectly perform the movement!
Forearm Plank With Alternating 3
How to do it: Lie faceup, legs extended, elbows under shoulders, and forearms flat on the ground. Lift into a forearm plank, keeping spine neutral and creating tension by pulling elbows to feet and feet to elbows. Body should form a straight line from head to heels. Maintaining a strong plank, reach one arm under stomach and hold for 2 to 4 seconds. Lower arm back to forearm plank. Repeat with the opposite arm. Continue alternating for 30 to 60 seconds.
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Strengthening Your Core Will Rev Up Your Balance And Stability
After a long winter with lots of isolating and maybe too little physical activity, it might be time to give your core muscles more attention.
These muscles, located throughout much of your trunk, are the key to supporting your lower back and helping you stand, get out of a chair, bend, lift, and maintain your balance. So regular maintenance and tune-ups of the core muscles are important.
“Your core muscles provide stability for the moving parts above and below them the mid-back, or thoracic, spine that helps you twist and turn, and the hips that move you up, down, back, or forward,” explains Marty Boehm, a physical therapist with Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Easy Core Exercises For Seniors
Here you will find different core muscles exercises for seniors. Seated core exercises for seniors are highlighted for those who prefer to exercise while seated and standing core exercises for seniors are also discussed so that there is something for everyone. It is important to remember that you are getting older, and your body is not how it used to be. Before you try any of these exercises, please consult an expert as they will advise you on how best to prevent injuries and other complications from these exercises. How ironic would it be for you to get injured while doing exercises that should help prevent you from fall injuries?
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More Core Strengthening Exercises For Seniors
In addition to these exercises, you can also try incorporating yoga and tai chi into your weekly exercise routine.
These ancient forms of exercise have been shown to improve mobility, strength, and stability in older adults, while also improving mood and outlook on life.
One 2010 study even showed that seniors participating in a yoga program for 12 weeks reduced their fear of falling by 6 percent, while also increasing their balance by 4 percent and improving their hip flexibility by 34 percent !
May Improve Running/training Performance And Balance
Core exercises dont just help tone and sculpt six-pack abs! Core exercises are great for improving overall balance. Running and training require a solid foundation. A strong core helps build and maintain that foundation. The core is used in virtually every movement so it makes sense to strengthen it!
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Remaining Independent In Daily Activities
Physical activity can be a real challenge with age as the body declines. Too many older people know, the wrong sneeze can throw out your back!
The aging process also tends to affect the less pleasant daily tasks of bodily function, like coughing efficiently and the ability to control bowel and bladder, which the transverse abdominis plays an important role in.
Building a strong core can help hold off these inevitable aspects for seniors and keep you free to manage your own daily activities without a home caregiver .
Core Strengthening Exercises For Seniors
It’s an unfortunate fact that, as you age, your muscle mass declines, your flexibility lessens, and your balance suffers. A combination of these factors can lead to a dangerous fall â in fact, 2.5 million older people are treated in the emergency room for injuries from a fall each year. One antidote to this risk: regular core training.
Video of the Day
According to a review of studies published in Sports Medicine in 2013, core strength-training exercises can be used instead of or in addition to traditional balance or resistance training programs for older adults. With a stronger mid-section, everyday activities will be easier and the risk of a fall or other injury will decrease. Read on for four must-try exercises to strengthen your middle.
Talk to your doctor about having a physical exam before undertaking an exercise program, as it could identify cardiac risk factors or other physical limitations, such as joint or muscle problems.
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Core Strength Related To Aging
Core muscle tissue naturally begins to deteriorate as early as our mid-30s! So, the older we get, the more important it is to work on our core strength. Over time, without regular core strength training, core muscle fibers shrink and become less flexible. And, since the core muscles are a main support for our spine, when they are weak, it increases our susceptibility to injuries.
In general, a weak core contributes to poor balance and limited mobility both of which increase the risk of being injured from falls.
Gain Control Live Happier
Even if youve never fallen before or arent too worried about it at present, the CDC states that as adults age, their fear of falling tends to increase .
Now, this can be a huge psychological stressor, because who wants to be worried about their body failing them all the time? And it obviously can impact your quality of life.
When seniors start to fear falling, they usually start to avoid social activities, which can result in depression and feelings of isolation.
My goal in providing these exercises is to make sure you become the opposite of these statistics and go on to live a happy, strong, mobile life free from the fear of falling.
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Which Muscles Make Up The Core
Generally speaking, the core starts at the lower rib cage and extends to the buttocks.
Core muscles in the abdomen include the long rectus abdominis muscles in the front the external and internal obliques on the sides and a wide, flat girdle in front called the transversus abdominis.
In your back, a group of muscles called the erector spinae help you stand up tall. The gluteal muscles in the buttocks help you extend your leg, push off from a starting point, walk, and climb stairs.
And in the pelvis area, the iliacus and the psoas muscles enable you to lift your legs and remain stable while standing and the quadratus lumborum, a long muscle on each side, helps you bend to the side and back.
The Takeaway On Core Exercises For Seniors
As a beginner, you may feel overwhelmed just thinking about a core exercise routine thats normal!
Most people get caught up in the complexity of a new exercise program, but starting out small with physical activity and listening to the rest of your body is a great way to go.
Make a time and place to start out with one new exercise, preferably, once a day. Watch a video tutorial online if needed.
The best thing is that pretty soon youll realize getting in good shape isnt too bad, it gets easier as you build stamina.
Maybe youll notice better balance or reduced bathroom urgency or just general body strength.
When youre seeing results its easy to add a couple more muscle groups to your routine. It becomes enjoyable!
Well, keep it up! Now you know terms like rectus abdominis and have key tips for a strong core.
Feel free to pass your midsection mastery on to other seniors and older adults. The new beginner will appreciate it as much as you do.
Also, check out:
- The Right Way to Squats
- How to Do a Reverse Crunch
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Staggered Stance Resistance Band Row
Many core exercises are performed on the floor, but its also important to condition your core when standing, since thats how we use the core the most throughout the day. This move teaches you to maintain stability while engaging the core. Rocky Snyder, CSCS, Rockys Fitness Center in Santa Cruz, California
How to do it:
- Stand with your left foot ahead of your right so you are in a staggered stance. Widen your stance to make this position feel easier.
- Loop your resistance band under your left foot, and hold one end of the resistance band in each hand.
- Bend your left knee slightly and hinge forward at the hip so your core is engaged and your back is straight. With your arms fully extended down toward your left foot, the band should have light tension. That’s your starting position.
- Do a row, pulling your hands toward your torso and keeping your elbows, forearms, and hands in line with your rib cage.
- Extend your arms to return to your starting position to complete the rep.
- Do all of your reps on one side, then switch so the other foot is staggered forward.