Seated Exercises Tips For Seniors With Mobility Or Standing Issues


Just because your parent or grandparent can't go jogging with you, doesn't mean that they can't or shouldn't exercise under home care. There are many exercises for seniors that are done in a sitting position, making them safe and an ideal way to strengthen muscles without the risk of falling. 

Resistance Band

A lightweight resistance band is a wonderful tool for seated exercising. It can be used for arm and leg exercises, by being wrapped around the back of the chair or underneath the seat. Be sure to use a band that isn't too difficult to pull. You want a little bit of resistance, but it shouldn't hurt or be too difficult to pull. Some of the exercises you can do are:

  • Arm curls
  • Arm and leg lifts
  • Arm and leg stretches

Just be creative with your resistance band. You'll find all kinds of different ways you can position your arms to target different muscles. Many exercises will also work out your back and strengthen your core. When you do leg lifts, stay in a seated position and simply extend your leg in front of you.

If you are able, lift as much of your upper leg off of the chair as possible and hold it for a count of 5. 

An Exercise Ball

An exercise ball is also a wonderful tool for seated arm exercises. Sometimes, a larger object is easier for people with arthritis to grip. Choose a ball that is very lightweight to being with and work your way up to a heavier ball if you feel you can. It's better to start off small than to injure yourself.


You don't have to use weights or bands to get a good workout. If you find that using equipment is too difficult, exercise without it. The main thing to remember is to go slowly, controlling your body movements. This gives you the most benefit from your movements. 

  • If possible, extend your leg out in front of you. Then lift it off of the ground, holding to the count of 5. If you need to you can place your leg on the floor with each count. Just do your best and it will get easier over time.
  • Try pretending you're walking up stairs, while you're seated. If you can move your feet and legs in a march, do it as slowly as you can. Count one-one, two-two, three-three, as you lift each leg. Do as many slow and controlled movements as you can. Do not hurt yourself. It should be a little difficult, not painful.
  • Try raising your arms in front of you to the side like a bird, and over your head. If you can do all of these things, do repetitions of each. You don't need weights to benefit from these movements. If you can handle small weights, try to use them. Whether you use weights or not, be sure to move your arms slowly. Control your muscles and they will improve in strength.
  • Try to workout for 15 to 30 minutes a day. If you can do 30 minutes, you're doing a fabulous job! If you can only do 5 or 10 minutes, that's okay too. After surgery, or a major illness, it can be difficult to sit up in a chair, let alone exercise. Just do your best.

Homemade Workout Equipment 

If you don't have 1 or 2 pound weights, you can use small soup cans instead. They work just as well. The important thing is that you are exercising, not what you use to do it. Stay seated and use the soup cans as weights to exercise your arms.

If you have trouble gripping objects, you can fill a long sock with beans, or even soup cans and tie the end, as well as the middle. This creates a balanced weight. You want beans or whatever you put in the sock on both ends and nothing in the middle. Place the middle knot in the palm of your hand. Keeping your hand open, raise your arms slowly. You'll get the benefit of weights without having to grip anything.

The main thing to keep in mind with seated exercises is repetition and controlling your movements. Don't get impatient. Illness and surgery really take a toll on the body. It will take time and patience to regain your strength.


16 December 2014

Take Your Health Into Your Own Hands

My name is Katie Langer. For a long time, I was bed ridden and I felt like I had no control over my life. I simply went along with what was instructed by my doctor and I didn't ask questions. It wasn't that my doctor wasn't willing to work with me, but I preferred to simply not think about the illness I was suffering from. I didn't realize that some of the symptoms I was suffering from were side effects of my medication and were not normal. After communicating more with my doctor, I was able to alleviate my symptoms. Since then, I've taken an interest in patient-doctor relationships and how to improve them.