Leg Strength Exercises For Seniors

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Can You Improve Leg Strength As A Senior

Easy Leg Strengthening Exercises for Seniors and Beginners

So you might be thinking that losing leg strength and becoming frail is a natural consequence of aging. Its true, but only partly.

As we established earlier, aging does lead to loss of muscle mass and strength, reduced coordination, and loss of bone mass. But you can do a lot to counter it with strength training as we talked about.

Many people seem to live by the notion that there is not much you can do to counter the effects of aging.

Furthermore many people think that they cant do anything in their sixties, seventies, or eighties to improve their strength and mobility if they werent fit when young and middle-aged.

This is not true either. Gaining strength and muscle mass is a lot slower as a senior than in your twenties, but its actually easy as long as you dont try to become the next Mr. or Mrs. Olympia.

If you simply want to improve the active strength and mobility of your muscles, the training principles are not any different as a senior than they are for younger people. Anyone can improve strength, adults of all ages, children, seniors. Anyone.

In strength training, there is whats known as the beginner effect aka newbie gains. When untrained people start training intelligently for the first time they will generally see around 50% to 80% of all their strength gains within the first 6 to 12 months of their training career.

Sitting Leg Exercises For The Elderly

If youve not done much physical exercise for a while, or struggle with your balance, why not try these brilliantly simple leg strengthening exercises that can be performed from your chair:

Before you start, choose a chair without arms if you can, and make sure it is stable and solid. Your feet should be able to sit flat and securely on the floor, with your knees bent at 90 degrees.

  • Stand Up, Sit Down
  • This simple exercise can be a great way to relieve stiffness and strengthen the surrounding tissue of your knee joints.

    Step 1: Sit on the edge of your chair, with your hands resting on the seat, feet hip-width apart, and begin to learn forwards very slightly.

    Step 2: Before you slowly stand up, keep your eyes forward and plant your feet firmly into the floor.

    Step 3: Use your legs to stand upright, before slowly sitting back down.

    You can aim for about 5 repetitions here, and the slower you go the better as it will make your legs work harder.

    For those who want to improve their hip mobility and cardiovascular strength.

    Step 1: Sit tall with your shoulders resting against the back of a chair and your feet hip-width apart.

    Step 2: Hold the edges of the chair and tighten your stomach muscles.

    Step 3: Lift your left leg as high as you comfortably can whilst keeping your knee bent and your foot flexed. Return your foot back to the floor while lifting your right leg.

  • Seated Leg Extensions
  • Step 1: Sit up tall with your back straight and eyes facing forwards.

    What Exercises Should Seniors Avoid For Their Back Health

    Training that involves heavy weights is generally contraindicated for seniors as well as stretching exercises that involve hyperextension of the back . To make the back stronger, seniors must perform gentle exercises regularly that activate the core and keep the small muscles in the back fully engaged. Stretching exercises that involve bouncing should also be avoided.

    Below are exercises that individuals over the age of 65 years should generally avoid:

    Weight training

    Long-distance running

    Abdominal crunches and sit ups

    Upright rowing

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    Benefits Of Performing Chair Exercises

    Exercising on a regular basis will not only keep an aging adults heart healthy, but can also prevent strokes, heart attacks, falling, high blood pressure, and chronic diseases such as dementia.

    Not everyone over the age of 65 is able to move agilely or even out of their seat, but this shouldnt mean that they cant 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 a senior uses even a regular chair. They dont have to go out and get something brand new just so they can start moving around, a completely ordinary chair will do. This chair should be stable with four legs, no wheels or rollers, and for most exercises, without arms.

    Weve got a great list of exercises that seniors can do in the comfort of their own home with equipment that they can use by themselves. Well explain exactly how to do each exercise and provide examples for a step-by-step process.

    Importance Of Leg Strengthening

    The 10 Best Leg Strengthening Exercises For Seniors in 2021

    Everyone should be doing some kind of strength training to keep up with your general, functional fitness – making sure that you’re able to do all of your activities of daily living. But it is especially important for seniors so you can decrease any chance of fall.

    You definitely want to eliminate any physical barriers that might be in your living space for your safety, and make sure that you are doing whatever you can to you maintain your own strength. It is going to help you in the long run.

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    The Final Note On The Best Exercises For Fall Prevention

    Aside from the specific exercises outlined above, there are plenty of activities you can also do that will help with your overall strength, balance, power and physical fitness. Walking 30 minutes a day, at a nice pace is one of the best exercises to keep your legs strong and gait healthy. You can also try your hand at Tai Chi, Yoga, stair climbing and bicycling.

    Of course, no matter which exercises you choose, remember to always discuss your program and conditioning with your doctor.

    Happy trails!

    Exercise : Calf Raises

    The final exercise to all the leg muscle groups is calf raises. The calf raise is an isolated movement of the ankle where you extend your ankle against a weight. You can learn how its performed in the article Calf Raises For Seniors.

    Calf raises are very effective for building calf strength and ankle mobility. They are easy to

    Calf raises can be performed by standing up with bodyweight or in a seated position with a special calf raise machine.

    When performing standing calf raises its possible to make the exercise more demanding by standing on a platform that allows your heel to drop lower than the ball of your foot, increasing the range of motion.

    You can also make the exercise harder by performing the with one foot, but this is typically after several months of strength training.

    The biggest problem with calf raises is that its very easy to overdo them at first and most seniors have reduced range of motion in their calves.

    Its also a good idea to stretch your calves to increase mobility and reduce the risk of cramps and pain.

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    Exercise : The Deadlift

    The deadlift is an excellent exercise for building functional leg strength, especially in the hamstrings and the glutes.

    Just like the squat, however, the deadlift is a very technical lift that shouldnt be learned alone.

    For beginners, the safest and most effective variation is the Romanian deadlift which can be done with a gym stick or a light kettlebell.

    You can learn how to do the deadlift and the Romanian deadlift in the article Deadlift For Seniors.

    A good option for the deadlift in a gym is the leg curl machine. It allows you to start with a very low weight without putting any strain on your lower back as it isolates the hamstrings very effectively.

    The problem with the leg curl is that it doesnt really engage the glutes and you need a gym with the machine.

    For training the hamstring and the glutes at home, bodyweight squats, good mornings and Romanian deadlifts with a light kettlebell are a good option.

    Easy Leg Exercises For Seniors To Improve Mobility And Balance

    Leg Strengthening Workout for Beginners and Seniors

    Did you know that falls are one of the leading causes of injury in seniors? The injuries sustained can be severe and even life-threatening if you are not cautious. This is why living in an assisted living facility can help you. The Holiday Retirement is a top retirement community in Rhode Island, offering excellent amenities for seniors. We have qualified staff to cater to your needs and ensure you are safe and healthy in your senior years. Our patient-friendly building provides easy access and allows for full mobility, even with assistive devices.

    If you are worried about slips and falls, it is beneficial to understand how you can improve your balance and strength by following a regular exercise regime. Doing so will help you feel more confident when walking and moving around. The experts in our assisted living facility in Rhode Island believe that working out your legs can enhance mobility, improve flexibility, strengthen your legs, and reduce the pain in your lower back. They have put together a list of a few safe, simple, and useful exercises to improve your physical strength.

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    Why These Exercise Work

    These leg strengthening exercises for seniors are manageable for most as they are risk free, according to Turgis.

    “There is virtually no risk for seniors exercising their legs if they don’t have any underlying conditions and start exercising with a physio until they are independent in their exercises.

    “There are no leg exercises that seniors should avoid doing as long as the intensity is reasonable and adapted to their condition so they don’t injure themselves.”

    However, he stressed the importance of first having a physio assessment before carrying out any of the movements, as underlying conditions or prior operations could limit the type of activities available.

    For example, “It is forbidden for someone with a hip replacement to do a leg raise, as that could dislocate their hip. That’s one of the reasons why a physio assessment is necessary,” he advised.

    Nonetheless, both experts emphasize the clear benefits of regular, manageable exercise for seniors.

    “All the above is really important as it keeps seniors autonomous and independent for the longest time possible, which helps them stay social with others and not damage their mental health which is the key factor for a long life,” Turgis said.

    Exercises For Seniors To Avoid

    Before we get into some of the best leg exercises for seniors, we briefly want to touch on what exercises seniors should avoid. Please remember that a good portion of popular exercises we see in the gym are not meant for the elderly. Most hardcore exercises are meant for younger adults who want to lose weight and gain muscle. Since older adults have issues with joint pain, poor balance, poor posture, and deteriorating muscles, these exercises are not ideal. An elderly person could easily become injured. A few leg exercises for seniors to avoid are:

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    Exercise : Side Leg Kick

    Side leg kicks are meant to target your leg abductors. Youll want to stand near or behind your chair to help keep your balance. Lift your leg out to the side, just about six inches off the floor, and then bring it back down to meet the other foot. You’ll do the same thing eight to ten times on one side, then switch and repeat with the opposite leg.

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    10 Best Balance Exercises For Seniors

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    Strength Exercise : Squat

    Buttocks , thighs , hips, calves, core and back.

    DIFFICULTY: Moderate

    • Standing up tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.

    • Holding onto your chair with both hands.

    • Hinging at the hips and sitting back as if you were sitting on a chair.

    • As you sit back, go no deeper than 90 degrees and as you stand back up.

    • Put equal weight through both legs.

    • Make sure your knees dont go over the line of your toes and they arent moving inward throughout the exercise.

    • Repeat for the set repetitions.

    For Video Demonstration of the Squat:

    PROGRESSING THE EXERCISE: This exercise can be made more challenging by using no hands, resistance bands, dumbbells, barbell.


    Perform this variation if you have difficulty or get pain with the standard squat.


    • Standing up tall with your feet shoulder width apart.

    • Holding onto your chair with both hands.

    • Hinging at the hips and sitting back as if you were sitting on a chair.

    • Only go to a depth of about 45 degrees before you come back up.

    • Put equal weight through both legs.

    • Make sure your knees dont go over the line of your toes and the arent moving inward throughout the exercise.

    • Repeat for the set repetitions.

    For Video Demonstration of the Partial Squat:

    Strength Exercise : Seated Knee Extensions


    HOW TO

    • Sitting up tall, in your chair, shuffle forward to the middle of the chair.

    • In this position, using a cushion or a rolled up towel, place the item between your knees.

    • Bring your feet in, ensuring they are in line with your knees.

    • Whilst holding the cushion lightly with your knees, you’re now going to squeeze the cushion using your knees.

    • Hold this for 5 seconds and relax.

    • Repeat for the set repetitions.

    For Video Demonstration of Seated Hip Abductions:

    And there you have 10 of the best leg strengthening exercises for seniors.

    Do these exercises consistently for strong, steady legs.

    If youd prefer just to do exercises with me through video, here are more leg strengthening videos

    Hi, Im Mike!A Seniors’ Specialist Physiotherapist and Exercise Scientist.

    I have spent many years working with people over 60, in Australia and now all over the world, to help them improve their health and fitness.

    If you’re over 60, I have designed this website to give YOU everything you need for you to move better, get stronger, become fitter, get healthier and look and feel better!

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    Strength Exercise : Hip Extensions


    Buttocks , and back of the thighs .

    HOW TO:

    • Placing both hands on your chair and standing up tall.

    • Keeping your legs straight slowly bring it back behind you and then bring your feet back together.

    • Repeat for the set number of repetitions and do the same on the opposite leg.

    For Video Demonstration of Hip Extensions:

    PROGRESSING THE EXERCISE: Using resistance bands, ankle weights.

    Simple Leg Strengthening Exercises For Seniors

    How Seniors & Beginners Can Get Stronger Legs (Top 3 Exercises) GIVEAWAY!

    Leg strengthening exercises are important for maintaining health and preventing injury. These 8 effective leg strengthening exercises will help senior citizens maintain their fitness levels.

    An often overlooked area of fitness for seniors is the importance of leg strengthening exercises. The fact is, the majority of falls for senior citizens are due to a trip or unsteady step while reaching for something at the top of the stairs or down the stairs. Therefore, it is imperative to make sure that seniors are maintaining their overall fitness levels by including at least one leg strengthening exercise into their routine. This will help protect against potential injury while maintaining adequate mobility.

    Keep in mind that these are just effective leg strengthening exercises for seniors. And, while these are challenging for many people, keep in mind that the body adapts to exercise very quickly so start slow and increase your intensity level gradually. Remember, you can always pick up your pace if needed because you want to avoid the risk of injury while maintaining proper form.

    This post will focus on 8 effective leg strengthening exercises that can be done at home for seniors. The exercises should be done in the order listed to maximize results.

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    Lunges Target Calf Muscles

    One of the best leg strength exercises for seniors is calf raises. Seniors can perform this exercise while sitting at a desk or watching television. It helps to strengthen calf muscles and improve walking on uneven terrain. Other exercises targeting the calf muscles include lunges. These exercises are great for strengthening calf muscles, improving balance and coordination, and easing back pain. They can be performed on the floor or on a chair.

    A good leg workout should last 20 to 30 minutes and can be extended as the person gains strength. It should begin with a warm-up that involves simple movements that raise body temperature, mobilize joints, and activate muscles.

    Leg Strengthening Exercises For Seniors

    Welcome friend! In this post, you will learn about the best leg strengthening exercises for seniors.

    As Ive talked about in several articles, leg strength and mobility are some of the most important factors for your overall health and independence as a senior.

    Simply put, you depend on your legs to get around and move freely. Of course, there are solutions for people with disabilities, but people with good leg function should make it a priority to keep that function.

    Having strong legs will make everyday living, exercising, and activities much easier and more enjoyable. It can also prevent and reduce joint and back pain.

    If you have weak legs it can feel hard and strenuous to do many forms of exercise, so it can also affect your cardiovascular health.

    But heres the good news. Your leg muscles are very large and they react well to strength training. People often think that strengthening a muscle group would be much harder than it is in reality.

    In reality, consistency is much more important than hard grueling exercises. You dont even have to break a sweat to build leg strength if you do it daily.

    Lets start by looking at how you actually strengthen your legs and then look at some of the best exercises for doing it.

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