I work with a lot of elderly clients at my job. I love seeing how exercises for elderly people can change their life dramatically. Exercise is important for all of us.

group of elderly people doing exercises together.

Fitness for life

It’s never too late to make huge gains in your fitness journey. No matter how old you are, every wedge of the wellness wheel matters. You’re never too old to get more fit. There’s no excuse not to work out.

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

It’s so cool to see a new client who has difficulty with balance, strength, endurance, and/or range of motion. After a short while, they make such improvements in one of these areas. It starts to click, and they feel so much stronger. It puts an extra pep in their step.

Follow the instructions for each exercise below, doing twelve repetitions of each one, and you’ll have a great beginning all-over body workout to start your wellness journey on the right track. Once you master them, go back and repeat the whole routine a second time until you build up to doing it three times. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.

Leg strengthening exercises for the elderly

elderly woman doing squat

Squats are the best overall leg exercise you can do at any age. They are really beneficial for elderly people. Remember, each exercise, do twelve repetitions before you move on to the next one.

  • Keep your back straight and slightly arched.
  • Do not allow your knees to move too far forward.
  • Control movement, don’t bounce or jerk.
  • Use a chair or bench to sit on to begin with and then slowly stand up.
  • Stand upright with your arms crossed in front of you or by your sides.
  • Squat slowly until your buttocks just touch the chair, but do not sit.
  • Slowly lift and return to the standing position.

Arm exercises for elderly

elderly man doing arm circles

Arm circles are a great way to build muscle in the arms using your own body weight. They build up your shoulder strength as well.

  • Stand with your arms extended out on each side.
  • Circle your arms in the full range of motion clockwise one full rotation.
  • Cirlce your arms in the full range of motion counter clockwise one full rotation.
  • Repeat this 11 more sets.

Balance exercises for elderly

balance on one foot

Balance is a precious commodity at any age and as we age we begin to lose it unless we continue to build it. This single-leg balance exercise will make great improvements in your balance and give you a better quality of life. Remember to do 12 repetitions of it.

  • Stand by a solid chair and use it to steady yourself.
  • Lift up your right foot and balance your weight on your left foot, trying not to hold onto the chair but use it if you need to.
  • Hold that position as long as you can, with a goal of one minute.
  • Switch and place your right foot on the ground and lift up your left foot, attempting to do one minute.

Strength exercises for elderly

wall up for the elderly

These wall-ups will help you build core and arm strength, two of the most underdeveloped areas for elderly people. I am excited to think about all of the improvements you’re going to make in your health by doing this routine. I’m super excited to hear all about it.

  • Stand an arm’s length from a sturdy wall with your feet shoulder width apart under your hips.
  • Place your palms on the wall, shoulder width apart at shoulder height.
  • Bend your elbows and bring your chest to the wall.
  • Press back slowly to starting position.
  • Repeat for 12 sets.

Check out resistance band exercises for even more strength building.

Chair exercises for elderly

leg lifts sitting in a chair

Seated leg lifts will give you a great leg and core workout from a chair. Do not use your hands to pull yourself up. Only use your hands for balance. It’s important that you use your abdominal muscles to pull yourself up and lower yourself. If you can’t lift both feet, try starting out with one at a time. Remember to do 12 repetitions.

  • Sit on the edge of your chair, hands holding on to the chair.
  • Bend your legs with your feet together on the floor.
  • Lean back, keeping your back straight, and bring your knees up to your chest.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

Bed exercises for elderly

elderly woman doing a pelvic lift on the floor on a mat

Even if you have to work out from your bed, you can still improve your fitness with these pelvic lifts. Do not arch your back. Raise only until your back is straight. Use slow and controlled motions.

  • Lie on your back on your bed (or on the floor)
  • Bend your knees and put your feet slightly apart.
  • Extend your arms over your head.
  • Slowly lift your pelvis up towards the ceiling and squeeze your buttocks together.
  • Lift your pelvis as high as you are able.
  • Slowly lower yourself to the starting position.

I can’t wait to hear all about how your strength and endurance improve from doing this workout and even your cognitive function. I know you can do it!