Chair Exercises For Seniors

In recent posts we’ve discussed how to combat back pain, sit comfortably and also maintain your mobility. On quite a few occasions the answer is to keep mobile and exercise, but what if that simply isn’t possible? Like many of our customers, what if you simply can’t clad yourself in lycra and head down the gym - here are some simple chair exercises to get you moving.

Before you start it is vitally import that you use a suitable chair, not only for your comfort, but also one that is nice and sturdy. If you’re in any doubt over your old chair get in contact and we can talk you through your best options.

The sit-and-stand

The most simple of all the exercises, because you may already do it numerous times a day. However these are even more beneficial if you use a rise and recline chair because you can move the chair to a position that is comfortable to stand up from. You won’t be doing a squats just yet, but the rise mechanism will provide an adjustable starting point.

  • When seated plant your feet firmly on the floor at a distance that is comfortable and about hip width apart.
  • Try to use your hands as little as possible and concentrate on using your leg and the core muscles in your stomach.
  • Push down into your feet evenly and whilst using those core muscles, push yourself to standing. If standing all the way up is an issue go to the highest point you can without too much discomfort.
  • As slowly as possible, bend your knees and lower yourself back down to a sitting position.

You aren’t aiming to set any records here, but do as many as you can in sets of 3-5. If you feel light headed at all, or out of breath stop and sit down in your nice comfy chair and relax.

Torso Twists

This is a great exercise to engage your tummy muscles and maintain some spinal mobility. You won’t be able to do this if your chair is too small or if you have high sides, so bare that in mind.

  • With a straight back, sit with your feet flat on the ground hip width apart.
  • If your mobility allows, interlock your fingers behind your head with elbows pointing outwards.
  • At all times keep your hips and pelvis steady, exhale and slowly twist your torso to the right as far as you can without straining.
  • Inhale as you turn back to the centre. After a small pause repeat this to your left.
  • Be mindful of any pain or discomfort and complete 6-8 on each side.

Ankle Rolls

This is by far the easiest exercises to do, but a vital one for not only maintaining mobility but also circulation. Doing this simple action may also help with balance issues and make walking easier.

  • Whilst sitting in your chair plant your feet on the floor at a comfortable distance apart.
  • Whilst sitting still, concentrate on maintaining your posture and keeping your tummy muscles tight. Try not to sit back against your chair.
  • One leg at a time, point and flex your ankle whist curling and straightening your toes. Do this 10 times on each foot
  • Then very carefully roll your ankle to the outside and then the inside, don’t place any unnecessary pressure on the joint. Complete this 10 times for each leg.

Seated Row

This very simple movement will help to strengthen many of your upper body muscles including your arms, shoulders and back.

  • Whilst siting comfortably engage your core tummy muscles with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Hold both arms out in front of you at shoulder height with your thumbs pointed towards the ceiling and elbows slightly bent.
  • Bring your upper arm in line with your body by bending your elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • Straighten your arms back out again and complete this 8-10 times

Whilst doing all of these exercises concentrate on sitting correctly and keeping your core muscles tight and steady. This will give you almost a whole body workout and help to maintain your joint mobility. All whilst seated in your own riser chair, in your own home.