5 Leg Strengthening Exercises for Seniors
Owings Mills health coach Yvonne Bull shares a series of leg strengthening exercises that are perfect for seniors. You can do these with just a chair and wall in your own home, while you're watching TV, or while you're sitting at your desk. Watch the video below for a demonstration of each exercise.
Importance of Leg Strengthening
Everyone should be doing some kind of strength training to keep up with your general, functional fitness - making sure that you're able to do all of your activities of daily living. But it is especially important for seniors so you can decrease any chance of fall.
You definitely want to eliminate any physical barriers that might be in your living space for your safety, and make sure that you are doing whatever you can to you maintain your own strength. It is going to help you in the long run.
Exercise 1: Seated Marching
Sit in your chair. Lift and lower each leg individually like you are marching. You want to feel your quadriceps engaging. Make sure to use your muscles, not momentum. Do about 10 reps.
Exercise 2: Seated Leg Extension
Sit toward the edge of the chair and keep your feet a comfortable distance apart. Lift one leg at a time, holding it up for about two to three seconds, and then bring your foot back down. Do 10 repetitions. You want to make sure you always repeat on the other side.
Exercise 3: Tippy Toes
This is what it sounds like. Stand behind your chair, using it as balance. Then gently lift your heels off the ground so you're up on your toes. Don't rock back-and-forth. Make sure you are engaging your calves.
Exercise 4: Side Leg Kick
Side leg kicks are meant to target your leg abductors. You’ll want to stand near or behind your chair to help keep your balance. Lift your leg out to the side, just about six inches off the floor, and then bring it back down to meet the other foot. You'll do the same thing eight to ten times on one side, then switch and repeat with the opposite leg.
Exercise 5: Wall Sit
This is an important strengthening and balance exercise. Find a wall and sit up against it. Make sure your needs are bent so they are over your toes. Hold to engage your core. You will feel this in your quads fairly quickly. After you come out of this, slide up the wall instead of trying to lift yourself straight up.
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