Easy-to-follow chair exercises for older adults


Nothing beats exercise to increase strength, improve balance, boost energy, prevent or delay disease and fight off depression.

Exercise for older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic is particularly important since older adults are at a higher risk of serious complications from the virus.

Due to social distancing measures, seniors can no longer go to the gym or attend group exercise classes is not possible at this time. However, there are ways older adults can exercise safely at home to increase stamina, strength, and a sense of well-being.

Adaptive chair exercises are an exercise routine that works well for everyone. There are designed to build and tone muscle, lubricate the joints, and increase blood circulation.

Below are five popular, easy-to-follow chair exercises designed for seniors.  *Remember to start out slowly and stop if you experience any pain or discomfort. 

  1. Toe taps: sit forward on the edge of your chair with your heels touching the floor and your legs straight in front of you. Point your toes toward the ground then up towards the ceiling and repeat this movement 8-10 times. This exercise strengths your leg muscles.

  2. Tummy twists: hold a ball or weight at your waist with your arms at a 90-degree angle and pulled into your sides. Using only the upper body and keeping your belly pulled in, twist to the left as far as you can go, come back to the middle, and twist to the right. Complete 8-10 repetitions of this movement. This exercise improves your posture and core strength.

  3. Biceps curl: use a one-three pound weight in each hand (like a soup can or water bottle), and turn your palms forward and lift the weight toward your shoulders. Complete 8-12 repetitions - making sure to stop when your arms get tired.  This exercise strengthens the front of your arms.

  4. Seated row: with your thumbs towards the ceiling and your elbows bent pull both your elbows back as far as possible while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Do this 8-12 times. This exercise builds your chest and back muscles.

  5. Leg extension: slowly lift your right knee toward your chest and return to the starting position. Repeat with each leg 8-10 times.  This exercise focuses on your leg muscles.

To find exercise events you can participate in remotely visit: https://www.wethrivetogether.org/upcoming-events/

To find out more about the importance of exercise for seniors visit: