Stretches for seniors
Age is not an excuse for not working out. Whether you're past 40 or 60, one must make time to work out and stay fit. Make exercise a part of your daily routine and experience a greater level of fitness everyday. Try out these simple exercises to strengthen the spine, joints, and muscles:
Major muscles involved - Quadriceps, Hamstrings and core.
Benefits - A safe exercise for seniors to strengthen the lower body without the fear of knee ache.
How to do it
Stand just in front of a chair, facing away from it. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with toes pointing straight ahead.
Keep your spine neutral and head and chest raised. Engage your core as you bend knees and lower your hips down and back. You can lift your arms out in front for extra balance while you lower yourself down.
Gently tap the chair with your butt, but don’t sit down.
Squeeze glutes and hamstring to drive your hips forward and up, returning to the starting position.
Try doing 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps
Inclined push ups
Major muscles involved - Chest, shoulders, triceps and core.
Benefits - This exercise helps strengthen the 'push muscles' of the upper body. Being at an inclined position helps reduce stress and reduce the overall weight falling on the arms.
How to do it
Stand in front of a box or bench or even a wall.
Step back and place both hands on the bench/box with your fingers pointing forward. Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart.
Once your hands are in the right position, step your body back into a plank position, one leg at a time. Make sure your body is in a straight line, your head is aligned with your spine, and that your lower back isn’t sagging before continuing.
Next, bend your arms to help you slowly lower your chest towards the box/bench. Straighten your arms to bring yourself back up into a straight line.
Try doing 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps if possible.
Quadruped alternate arm leg lift (Bird/dog)
Major muscles involved - Core, hip and back muscles.
Benefits - This is a simple core exercise that improves stability, encourages a neutral spine and relieves low back pain. An excellent postural exercise as well.
How to do it
- Kneel down and place your hands in front of you. Keep a neutral spine and engage the core.
- Draw the shoulder blades together and raise your right arm and left leg keeping the shoulder and hips parallel to floor.
- Hold this position for few seconds and return back to starting position. Repeat on the other side.
Try doing 2 sets of 8-12 reps.
Superman exercise (prone arm/leg lift)
Major muscles involved - Core, glutes and back muscles
Benefits - Strengthens the lower back muscles and glutes.
Lie face down on a mat, with your legs straight and your arms outstretched in front of you.
Raise both your arms and legs at the same time, so that they are 10-15 cm off the floor, forming a bowl shape with your body.
Hold this position for a few seconds [imagine you are flying at this stage, that’s how it got its name]. You should feel your lower back, glutes and hamstrings working in the hold position. Return back to starting position and repeat.
Try doing 2 sets of 12-15 reps