Exercise can benefit anyone, at any age. YMCA Personal Trainer, Darren Mitchell, demonstrates six exercises ideal for building strength and increasing balance in aging adults. Complete each exercise as directed, but feel free to modify each move if you need to.
- Do ten reps of each exercise
- Complete three total sets
- Repeat twice a week
Single Limb Stance
Stand behind a steady, solid chair (not one with wheels), and hold on to the back of it. Lift up your right foot and balance on your left foot. Hold that position for as long as you can, then switch feet. The goal should be to stand on one foot without holding onto the chair and hold that pose for up to a minute.
Biceps curls are standard exercises for building the muscles of the arm. Hold weights (2-8lbs) at your side with your palms facing forward. Then bend your elbow, bringing the weight toward your chest! Perform 2 sets of 10 on each arm.
The dumbbell lateral raise is an isolation exercise that strengthens the entire shoulder. Raise your arms out to sides until they’re at shoulder level. Pause, then lower the weights back to the starting position.
Hold a ball with both of your hands close to the body with the elbows bent. Slowly rotate the torso to the left as far as comfortable, keeping the rest of the body still. Rotate back to the middle and rotate to the right. Two twists is one set, and beginners should start by doing eight sets.
Back Leg Raises
This strength training exercise for seniors makes your lower back stronger. Stand behind a chair. Slowly lift your right leg straight back–don’t bend your knees or point your toes. Hold that position for one second, then gently bring your leg back down. Repeat this ten to 15 times per leg.
Single Limb Stance with Arm
This balance exercise for seniors improves your physical coordination. Stand with your feet together and arms at your side next to a chair. Lift your left hand over your head. Then, slowly raise your left foot off the floor. Hold that position for ten seconds. Repeat the same action on the right side.