This guide is perfect for anyone looking for back strengthening exercises for seniors. The back is one of the most important areas of the body that needs to be protected and kept fit for seniors to maintain mobility. Exercises for Elderly are important to stay active in our older years.

woman resting and stretching her back outside

Every movement the body makes begins with the spine, so an injury to this area of the body can have devastating consequences. The spine and lower back are held stable by muscles that work together to create subtle movements that are required for balance. Back strengthening exercises is important for seniors to be able to continue functioning independently in their lives.

Not all back strengthening exercises are appropriate for seniors. They should always incorporate a stabilizing aspect to keep the lower back tight while the other muscles around it stretch. For example, a good lower back exercise might stretch the muscles at the back of the leg, but the lower back itself should remain stable and engaged. This creates more stability without injury.

Strengthening exercises for seniors

Strengthening exercises for seniors are great for strengthening bones and joints. They help with mental wellness and mood. They improve balance and mobility which promotes independence. Back strengthening exercises should be performed at least 3 times a week in order to make a difference in balance and mobility, but the more the better. Rest between exercise sessions if your back feels tired or sore after the workout. In the case of elderly people, no pain, no gain doesn’t apply. Listen to your body!

Training that involves heavy weights is discouraged for seniors as well as stretching exercises that hyperextend muscles and joints. Seniors need to perform gentle exercises regularly that activate the core and keep the muscles in the back engaged.

Individuals over the age of 65 years should avoid:

  • Weight training with heavy weights
  • Long-distance running
  • High intensity interval training

Resistance band exercises for seniors

There are many resistance band exercises that are great for seniors and strengthening their backs. Check them out by clicking on the link above.

Remember, before starting ANY kind of exercise, consult with your doctor to make sure they recommend it.

elderly people on hands and knees on exercise mats exercising their backs

Back pain exercises for seniors

Back stretches are the best back pain exercises. Stretching the glutes and hamstrings helps tremendously with the pressure those muscles put on the back when they pull on them. Try some of these stretches:

The cat and camel exercise is a beginner’s stretch that strengthens the abdominal muscles and keeps the hips limber.

  • Start on all fours on a soft surface, even your bed with your knees a few inches apart. Your hands should be shoulder width apart fingers facing forward and your back straight. Engage your abdominal muscles and arch your back and lift your head so you are looking as far up as you can. Be gentle and stop if you feel discomfort.
  • Now curve your back upwards and lower your head to look at the ground (or your belly button!)
  • Repeat 10 times breathing in when your back is arched and out when your back is curved.

Bridges are simple but help strengthen the core including abs and lower back. Also, they give a good stretch through the hips for more range of motion. It’s another exercise that can be done in bed.

  • Lay on a soft surface with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep your arms at your sides.
  • Slowly raise your butt up and tighten it until your body is straight.
  • Slowly lower it back down.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Back exercises for elderly

Side beds are great for building back strength as well as other core strength.

  • Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart and hands at your sides.
  • Carefully lean over to the right moving your hand down your outer thigh to your knee.
  • Carefully come back to standing postition.
  • Lean to the left with the same motion as the right and back up again, slowly.
  • Repeat 10 times on each side.

The bent knee raise is a simple and effective exercise that increases abdominal and lower back strength. It can improve stability and reduce pain associated with a lack of lumbar support.

  • Lay on your back with your knees bent and your hands on either side of your body, palms down. Place a small pillow under the arch of your back so the abdominal muslces are engaged.
  • Slowly lift one knee and bring it toward your chest as far as is comfortable.
  • Lift your other knee up and bring it to meet the first knee.
  • Hold for 5 seconds and slowly lower back to starting position.
  • Repeat 10 times on each side.
  • Breathe in when you lift your knees and out when lowering them.

Chair ab crunches build abs to help support your back.

  • Sit in a chair and scoot forward to the edge of the seat.
  • Lean your upper body back in the chair and slowly pull yourself back up to the upright position.
  • Breathe out when you lean back and in when you lean up.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Arm raises are a simple and effective way to improve posture and increase mobility. They increase the range of motion in the arms and shoulders as well. This strengthens the upper back and shoulders. They can be done on the bed or on a mat.

  • Lay on your back with your legs bent and your palms facing downward next to your body.
  • Place a small pllow under the arch of your bakc.
  • Raise one arm up until your hand is straight in the air and slowly lower it back again.
  • Breathe in when you raise your arm up and out when you lower it back down.
  • Repeat 10 times on each side.

Kickbacks work the glutes, lower back, and lower abdominal muscles.

  • Stand up straight with your feed hip width apart and your hands resting lightly on a chair or countertop in front of you. Keep your shoulders back and your chin up.
  • Lift one leg and extend it straight out behind you. Do it as far as is comfortable.
  • Hold your leg up for the count of 5 and gently lower it back down to the ground.
  • Repeat 5 times on each leg.

These back strengthening exercises for seniors are going to change the way you move and get around. I can’t wait to hear all about the improvements you make!

elderly man and woman bending down on exercise mats in the gym stretching their backs

For more exercises for seniors, check these out:

Do you guys remember the joke I posted about my spine? It was about a weak back. HA!