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A senior couple reads the newspaper together.
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Exercise You Can Do Anywhere: Bodyweight Exercises for Seniors

Senior man doing squats and exercising in living room at home

Exercise You Can Do Anywhere: Bodyweight Exercises for Seniors

September 9th, 2021

Many of us know how important it is to stay physically active as we age. While you might have regularly gone to the gym in your youth, it may not be as appealing now. Not only can a gym membership be expensive, but the gym can be an intimidating environment that can get in the way of your wellness goals. This fact might have been what piqued your interest in bodyweight exercises in the first place. After all, bodyweight exercises work multiple muscle groups and are great for helping you build functional strength. 
While you want to get your at-home strength training started, you might not be sure about what kind of bodyweight workout to start with. There’s no need to worry, because we’re going to share some of the best bodyweight exercises for seniors you can do today.

 
Squats 


Any bodyweight exercises that have you hinge at the hips are very beneficial for older adults. By building these muscles, you’ll reduce your risk for falls and make a variety of daily activities easier. To start, you’ll want to be in a standing position and have your feet shoulder width apart. This is the starting position you’ll return to at the end of every repetition. 
From there, push your hips back while bending your knees to slowly move your body into the squat position. Make sure your legs stay firm so you don’t put excess pressure on your knees. Once your legs are at a 90-degree angle, push through your heels to return to the starting position. If you’re looking to incorporate this exercise into a bodyweight workout, aim for doing three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

Modified Pushup 


While the pushup is often a bodyweight exercise for seniors that’s considered to work the upper body but pushups can also help strengthen your glutes, quads and core. Whenever you do a pushup, you’re working a wide variety of muscles in your body, similar to what happens when you’re swimming. Part of what makes pushups such a great bodyweight workout is the benefits it can give you every day. By building your muscles with pushups, you’ll have an easier time lifting your grandchildren, cleaning your home and enjoying your favorite hobbies. 
To do a modified pushup, you’ll want to stand in front of a wall or table with your hand a little wider than shoulder width apart. Then you’ll want to bend your elbows to lower your chest toward whatever object you’re leaning against. Once your chest lightly touches the object, use your arms to push yourself back up to the starting position. Aim for doing three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions when incorporating this into a bodyweight workout. 

 

Step-Ups


Single leg step-ups are great bodyweight exercise for seniors looking to build strength in each leg to help with balance. Step-ups will mostly target the muscles in your lower body, but you can grab some light free weights to hold in each hand if you’re looking for an extra challenge. 
The nice thing about this bodyweight exercise is that all you need to start is a step. Move your left foot up onto the step and push through your heel until your leg is straight. Take your time coming down from the step and repeat the same motion with your other leg. Once you do the movement with each leg, that counts as one repetition. Try to do eight reps in three total sets to get the most out of this bodyweight exercise. 


Tricep Extensions 


If you’re looking to gain some muscle in your arms, tricep extensions are a great bodyweight exercise that can help. By strengthening your arms, daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, and any home maintenance that you have to take care of can become easier. 
Start by grabbing a chair, and place the palms of your hands on the edge of the seat. Then, you’ll want to extend your legs with your heels being the main point of contact with the ground. Once your body has formed a diagonal line, you’ll want to slowly lower your arms, bending at the elbows until they form a 90-degree angle. Try to do three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions when incorporating this exercise into your bodyweight workout. 


Discover Premier Senior Living near You 


Becoming a master at bodyweight exercises for seniors isn’t the only way to reach a higher level of wellness in retirement. Garden Plaza of Florissant is a senior living community that has an engaging and fulfilling lifestyle with a wide variety of activities to enjoy. Our independent living services take away the hassles of home maintenance so you have more time to pursue your passions. Learn more about what the next vibrant chapter of your retirement can be by contacting us today. 
 

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