Strength Training For Seniors At Home

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Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

Whole Body Strength Exercises For Seniors (No Equipment Workout) | More Life Health

If you or the senior in your life is looking for something a little different, Bowflex might have exactly what youre looking for. Im sure youve seen these machines on tv, they have a pretty extensive infomercial campaign going on.

Anyway, the Bowflexs are pretty unique in that they use their patented power rod resistance system instead of a weight stack.

The power rods provide a resistance similar to resistance bands.

It feels a little more fluid, a little smoother than a cable stack. They can also provide a ton of resistance- the Blaze comes with 210 lb of resistance standard, but you an upgrade to 310 or even 410 lb if you want to.

The power rod system feels comfortable to use, but there is a little more work involved to select your resistance and adjust the machine for each exercise.

Its not that hard, but seniors with dementia or arthritis in their hands may need help with changing the settings.

Bowflex, like Total Gym, offers several varieties of their home gym. The Blaze is one of the mid-range models and it has a good features to price ratio.

The Blaze is safe to use- there are no free weights that can be dropped and the power rods are stationary, so theres no risk of them flying out of control during use.

The biggest benefit the Blaze has to offer is workout variety.

You can perform over 60 different exercises on this one machine. This would be a good choice for an active senior looking for a more dynamic workout.

What Is Aerobic Activity For Seniors

Aerobic activity or cardio gets you breathing harder and your heart beating faster. From pushing a lawn mower, to taking a dance class, to biking to the store all types of activities count. As long as youre doing them at a moderate or vigorous intensity for at least 10 minutes at a time. Even something as simple as walking is a great way to get the aerobic activity you need, as long as its at a moderately intense pace.

Intensity is how hard your body is working during aerobic activity.

How do you know if youre doing moderate or vigorous aerobic activity ?

On a 10-point scale, where sitting is 0 and working as hard as you can is 10, moderate-intensity aerobic activity is a 5 or 6. It will make you breathe harder and your heart beat faster. Youll also notice that youll be able to talk, but not sing the words to your favorite song.

Vigorous-intensity activity is a 7 or 8 on this scale. Your heart rate will increase quite a bit and youll be breathing hard enough so that you wont be able to say more than a few words without stopping to catch your breath.

You can do moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or a mix of the two each week. Intensity is how hard your body is working during aerobic activity. A rule of thumb is that 1 minute of vigorous-intensity activity is about the same as 2 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.


The Best Exercises For Seniors

Exercise is crucial for older adults, but it can be hard to know where to begin. If you havent worked out for a while, re-entry into the active world can be daunting. Theres also a good chance the exercises you were once accustomed to arent ideal for older adults.

Before you launch into an exercise regimen, its important to check with a physician to ensure youre healthy enough for exercise, and to see which exercises are ideal for your current fitness level.

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Leg Extension Targeting Thighs

Image: Active Health

  • Sit with your back supported and place your legs below the footpad with feet pointing forward. Ensure that the pad is rested on your shins just above your feet
  • Your knees should form a 90-degree angle
  • Grab the hand bars firmly to support yourself during the movement
  • Using your thigh muscles, extend your legs fully and return to the starting position slowly
  • Repeat the movement

How Heavy Should My Weights Or Resistance Bands Be

Total Body Strength Workout for Seniors Builds Stability: Step Ups ...

There is no magic number I can give you for how heavy your weight or how thick your resistance band should be.

Everyone is different with different capabilities.

When beginning strength training, the most important step is learning the exercises first, with bodyweight or light weights.

As your strength begins to build, you can gradually increase the weight, ensuring you avoid any injury and are getting the most out of your strength training program.

I do not recommend lifting too heavy and training to full failure. Ever! Training to failure means, lifting a weight where your muscles are completely exhausted. This is unnecessary! So make sure the weight you choose doesn’t completely tire your muscles.

Instead, choose a weight/resistance that is not too light that the exercise is a breeze, but heavy enough that your muscles are very close to being completely fatigued by the last repetition of the last set.

When exercising different areas of your body, you are going to have different levels of strength. Leg exercises usually require heavier weight compared to arm exercises a reason why it’s a good idea to have a selection of weights and bands.

It’s up to you to determine how heavy your weights or resistance bands should be, and it gets easier as you become familiar with the exercises .

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The 5 Best Home Gyms For Seniors

The best home gyms for seniors should be safe and comfortable to use. They should also provide a full body strengthening workout and fit comfortably within your home.

Whether you are just beginning your search or have been looking for some time now, youve probably realized there are a ton of home gyms on the market. This guide will teach you what to look for and help you find the right senior friendly home gym system.

First things first

How To Get Stronger Over 60

There IS a basic formula to get stronger, but it’s the same for people of any age. Here it is:

The Basic Strength Training Formula

1. Do exercise involving resistance in some form, whether bodyweight exercises or using equipment .

Make sure your muscles are being worked well enough during each exercise , within a specific set and repetition range .

2. Do this consistently each week, making sure to progress the exercises when it becomes too easy. Continue to challenge yourself.

You can do this by increasing the repetition range , doing a more challenging variation of the exercise, decreasing rest time, or by increasing the weight/resistance.

3. Support your strength training with proper nutrition. Do not underestimate the importance of adequate nutrition for increasing strength and muscle mass. To lose fat, getting your eating right is up to 80-90% of the equation. If you’re under-eating or have a poor diet, your strength gains will be greatly reduced. .

Do these three steps, and you WILL get stronger.

It really I.S. this simple! You don’t need to make it any more complicated than this!

There are a few other details we’ll go through to ensure you do each step right, but this is the basics of it.

Stick to this formula, and you cannot go wrong!

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of strength training, starting with some rules to ensure you get the most out of it and most importantly, do it safely.

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Strength Training For Seniors Summary

Here is a summary of the strength guidelines to follow get stronger:

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!

Step 3 Learn First & Use Good Exercise Technique

Weight Training Workout for Seniors & Beginners // Compound Exercises for Strength

With any new exercise, learning the correct exercise technique first, before increasing the weight, is a must!

If new to exercise, I recommend starting with bodyweight exercises and save resistance bands and lifting weights for later, when you have learnt the technique and gotten a little stronger.

This will ensure no injury and help you get the most out of the exercises, making them more effective.

To make sure that you’re correctly performing the exercises, get a professional opinion, work with a training buddy or do the exercises in front of a mirror so you can see how it looks.

This way, you can always check your exercise technique and improve it if it starts to slide.

Once you feel comfortable with your technique and feel like bodyweight isn’t challenging you enough anymore, it is time to add in some resistance bands or weights.

Only until you have proper exercise technique should you think about adding in more weight/resistance to the exercises.

Good exercise technique is going to do far more in getting you the results you are seeking than the amount of weight you are exercising with. So remain patient!

Once you start making progress, the aim is to increase your strength gradually, and this can only be done safely, by gradually increasing the weight.

Your body will thank you, you’ll stay injury-free, and you’ll make good progress over time!

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Senior Exercises Improve Functional Movement

Regular strength training exercises can help the older adults walk farther, gain more mobility, and even minimize the need for assertive devices like walkers and canes. Such training exercises for seniors also assist with other functional movements like getting in the bathtub or sitting. This opens up access to more physical activities and makes life easier for seniors.

Strength Flexibility & Balance Exercises For Seniors

Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for Americans 65 and older, according to data from the CDC.1 One of the main risk factors for falling is poor strength and balance.2 So, how do you improve your balance as you age? Luckily, there are home workouts you can do to help reduce the risk of taking a tumble and to increase your ability to recover. Keep reading to discover some exercises for seniors at home.

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How Many Repetitions & Sets Should Seniors Do To Get Stronger

Once you’ve decided how frequently you are going to do the workouts each week, the next step is knowing how many times to do each exercise during the workout.

More specifically, how many repetitions, and sets are required of each exercise to get stronger.

For those not familiar with these terms, repetition means how many times you complete the exercise.

Performing a bicep curl, for example, for one repetition means taking your arm from a fully straightened position to a fully bent position and returning back to the start position.

’10 reps’ would mean performing ten complete movements of the exercise. So using the bicep curl example again, we take our arm from a fully straightened position to a fully bent position and then back to the start position and repeat this ten times.

A set means how many times we do those particular number of repetitions.

Let’s use “2 sets of 10 repetitions” of the bicep curl as another example. This means we do ten biceps curls at a time, have a short rest and then do another ten biceps curls. Equaling two sets and 20 repetitions in total.

To get stronger, there I.S. a specific repetition AND set range you should stick to for best results with strength.

Changing the repetitions and the sets are going to target different components of fitness.

Kneeling Shoulder Tap Push Up

4 Balance Exercises for Seniors That Help Prevent Falls

Targets: Arms, shoulders, core

  • Start in a kneeling plank position with hands on the ground below shoulders and back extended long to the knees.
  • Lower chest to the floor, keeping abs tight. As you push back up to the kneeling plank, tap your right hand on your left shoulder, then set it down.
  • Repeat the push-up, but as you rise, tap the left hand on the right shoulder. Keep abs tight throughout and don’t allow the torso to tip to the side as you tap.
  • Reps: 8 to 12 push-ups total

    Safety Tip

    If your knees are uncomfortable, place a folded blanket under them for this move.

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    Minutes For Strength Training

    The following nine moves are strength training exercises that you may have seen before. Alone, they work a set group of muscles, but strung together in one-minute intervals, these nine exercises become a complete, whole-body workout.

    Weve broken down the nine exercises into three sets of three. Before you begin each set, set a timer . If you are just starting to work out, do each exercise as hard as you can for one minute, followed by the next, until you complete the first set. Then, take a one-minute break before moving onto set 2, in which the exercises should also be performed for one minute each.

    Ultimately, youll complete the whole workout, having completed nine minutes of training with two minutes of breaks in between.

    Do this workout two to three times a week for maximum benefits.

    Ready to give it a try? Lace up your sneakers and lets do it.

    Upper Body Strength Exercises

    Upper body strength is also incredibly important to maintaining an active, independent life. Even simple tasks like carrying a grocery bag, lifting items from a cabinet, or pushing ourselves out of a chair require upper body strength. When we allow upper body muscles to weaken, just moving through normal daily tasks can cause injury.

    Two machines that are particularly effective for building strength in upper body muscles that help us with normal daily tasks are the Chest Press and Optimal Rhomb.

    One of the best non-equipment exercise to build upper body strength is the incline push-up.

    Push-ups work the muscles of the chest, triceps, shoulder, and back. However, when you perform a push-up off an incline, there is more emphasis on the lower chest and back muscles.

    The intensity of incline push-ups depends on the height of the incline. If you are just starting to build upper body strength, begin by using a high incline, such as a countertop, allowing you to perform the move with low intensity. As you build strength, lower the incline all the way down to something akin to a porch step, which will increase the difficulty of the move.

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    More Exercise Means More Independence For Seniors:

    Seniors that exercise regularly are less likely to depend on others. According to Harvard Medical School, regular exercise promotes an older adults ability to walk, bathe, cook, eat, dress, and use the restroom. If self-reliance is a priority, exercise is one of the best ways to maintain independence for older adults.

    Arm Curl With Resistance Band

    15 Minute Senior Strength Workout

    This variation of the Arm Curl uses a resistance band instead of weights.

  • Sit in a sturdy, armless chair with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  • Place the center of the resistance band under both feet. Hold each end of the band with palms facing inward. Keep elbows at your sides. Breathe in slowly.
  • Keep wrists straight and slowly breathe out as you bend your elbows and bring your hands toward your shoulders.
  • Hold the position for 1 second.
  • Breathe in as you slowly lower your arms.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.
  • Rest then repeat 10-15 more times.
  • Figure 7. Arm Curl with Resistance Band Strength Exercise for Seniors

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    Standing Calf Raises Targeting Calf Muscles

    Image: Active Health

    • Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart
    • Hold on to a wall or fixed object for support
    • While focusing on the contraction of your calf muscles, bring yourself up to the ball of your feet
    • Pause at the top of the movement before returning to the starting position
    • Repeat the movement
    • Lie on your back under the bar
    • The bar should be at about mid-chest level
    • Reach up and grip the bar with both hands slightly wider than your shoulders
    • Bend your knees and place your feet on the ground
    • Pull yourself up towards the bar while keeping your body straight
    • Pause at the top when your chest is almost touching the bar
    • Lower yourself in a controlled manner to the starting position and repeat

    How To Encourage Seniors To Get Started With Strength Training

    Seniors who arent engaged in regular strength training are missing out on one of the most effective things they can do to stay active and independent. Strength training can keep sarcopenia at bay, keep bones and joints strong and supple, prevent falls, combat depression and anxiety, and prevent cognitive decline.

    While most care professionals understand the importance of strength training, it can be difficult to encourage seniors to add regular workouts into their week. For seniors who have never trained, or not trained since they were much younger, the very idea of strength training can be intimidating.

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    How To Start A Weight Training Routine For Seniors

    Although we know strength training over 65 has proven benefits, it can be hard to know how to start a best weight training for seniors workout plan.

    Consider beginning with low-resistance body-weight exercises like walking or dancing if you havent worked out in a long time. This can prepare your muscles for the change in routine. Then, when its actually time to pick up a weight, start light and level up as you become more comfortable.

    Too many times, Ive seen older clients come in thinking that theyre going to start off where they were in their 20s and 30s, Hickey said. Thats a recipe for injury. Dont be ashamed to just use the barbell or curl bar with no weights on it. Ive even had people start off with PVC pipes just to get the movement down before we start using any kind of weight.

    You dont necessarily need advanced equipment for a weight training routine for seniors. Lighter dumbbells and resistance bands sometimes called resistance tubing are relatively inexpensive options. Even soup cans or similar, evenly weighted items around your house are enough to start a simple and easy regimen.

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