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4 Strength Training Exercises For Seniors

by Ameka Mobley | October 27, 2016

seniors-lifting-weights-exercise-ball.jpgWhile strength training is essential for people who wish to get in shape, it can become even more important as you age.

If you're an older adult, important to understand the many benefits of strength training, including:

  • It helps slow down muscle loss
  • Improves walking ability
  • Decreases the risk of falls
  • Improves blood sugar control
  • Provides relief from joint pain
  • Helps reverse the damage of brittle bone formation

Those are just some of the benefits of strength training for seniors and, in particular, anyone who's over 65.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, muscle strength declines by approximately 15 percent per decade for people in their 60s and 70s, and by almost 30 percent thereafter. Strength training, even low-impact exercises, can not only help you maintain muscle mass, but also maintain your ability to function independently.

4 Exercises For Older Adults

Here are some (of many) exercises for men and women 65 and over that will not only build strength, but also help anyone with pre-existing conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and more:

1. Knee Extensions

Strengthening your knees improves your balance, but also makes it easier to walk and climb stairs.

How To Do It

Sitting on a chair with your back straight and knees bent, slowly extend one leg out in front of you. Hold it for a few seconds before lowering it to the starting position. Repeat with your other leg, and do 10 repetitions per leg.

2. Partial And Half Squats

Squatting exercises will help increase your hip flexibility while strengthening your hip flexors and quadriceps.

How To Do It

For beginners, stand up while using a chair for support, and perform a partial squat (do not bend your knees past your toes). Once you're comfortable with that, try a half-squat against a wall in which you stand with your back leaning lightly against a wall, legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Bend your knees, hold the position for a few seconds, then raise back up. Repeat 10-20 times.

3. Bicep Curls

For this exercise, use a weight that's appropriate for your strength. It should be heavy enough that you can complete 10-12 reps with effort.

How To Do It

Sit in a chair, dumbbell in each hand, palms facing forward. Bend your arms at the elbows about 3/4 of the way to your shoulders. Breathe out as you lift, breathe in as you lower the weight.

4. Sit-backs

Sit-backs strengthen your core muscles, which will allow you greater mobility for everyday tasks.

How To Do It

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and arms crossed in front of your chest. Slowly sit back as far as you can (only to a point where you're still comfortable) and then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.

Seniors will find a wide variety of activities that they can get involved in at the Amarillo Town Club, whether it's water aerobics, personal training, yoga, group fitness classes and more. The ATC has something for everyone to reach their goals! 

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NOTICE: Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This information is for general use and is not intended to be a prescription. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise program. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.

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