Exercise offers benefits to everyone, even elderly adults with limited mobility. In fact, if age or disabilities have limited mobility, it’s even more essential to enjoy the mind and health-boosting effects of staying active. Regular exercise can improve self-esteem, relieve stress, and reduce depression in the elderly. Although mobility issues bring with them many challenges, it’s possible to overcome those limitations by using seated chair exercises that work different muscle groups in the body. Here’s a look at some excellent chair exercises that will benefit elderly adults with limited mobility.
1. Seated Row
Seated rows help to work the upper back and chest muscles. Have the elderly adult sit on the edge of the chair, which offers an improved range of motion. Hold the arms out to the front with elbows bent and thumbs pointing towards the ceiling. Draw the elbows back, squeezing shoulder blades together. Return to start and repeat 8-10 times.
2. Seated Tummy Twist
Designed to work the core muscles, the tummy twist should be done with the senior seated with good posture. Have the individual hold a ball with both of their hands, close to their 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.
3. Overhead Arm Raises
Overhead arm raises help to strengthen the shoulders and arms. The move should be started with the elderly individual in an armless, sturdy chair, holding 1-pound hand weights in both hands. With feet flat on the floor and the back straight, arms should be bent with the palms facing forward and weights to the sides of shoulders. Raise arms slowly above the head, pausing, and then lowering them to the starting position. Repeat 8-10 times.
4. Hand Squeezes
Hand squeezes also help to contract and strengthen the muscles in the arms and chest. Seniors should begin by holding a ball in front of them. Squeeze the ball together as if trying to push the air out of the ball, releases and repeating 10-12 times. The intensity can be increased by having elderly individuals push the ball straight out in front while squeezing the ball, then pulling the ball back to the chest.
5. Inner Thigh Squeeze
To activate the thigh muscles, have the senior start by sitting on the edge of the chair, keeping the posture straight. With knees bent, a ball should be placed between the knees. Squeeze the ball by pressing knees together, squeezing for 1-2 seconds. Release while keeping some tension on the ball to keep it from falling. Do two sets of 8-10 reps.
6. Knee Lifts
Knee lifts will work stomach muscles, the muscles that flex the hips, and the quads, which are important muscles for sitting and standing. To perform knee lifts, seniors must lift the right knee slowly towards the chest, slowly lowering the knee back to the beginning position. Repeat the motion using the left leg. Alternate the legs, performing the exercise 8-10 times on both sides.
7. Knee Extensions
Doing knee extensions will help to strengthen multiple muscles in the legs. Seniors should start by sitting near the edge of the chair with knees bent and straight posture. Have them hold onto the sides of the chair. The right knee should be extended out, pointing toes toward the ceiling. The knee should be slightly bent, not locked. Lower the leg to the starting position, repeating 8-10 times. Switch to the left leg and do 8-10 repetitions.