The Benefits of Strength Exercises

Strength exercises make your body and bones stronger, decrease your risk of falls, lower your risk of injury, help you burn calories efficiently, reduce abdominal fat, improve heart health and blood sugar, improve mobility and flexibility, and improve brain health. While strength exercises can be challenging, consistent effort will make these exercises easier. You may ask someone to supervise or assist you, especially when you’re first getting started.


You can modify the exercises to increase or decrease the difficulty or adjust for your needs, and there are dozens of exercises to build strength without leaving home!


Strength Exercises

Check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

The Basics

Wall Pushups

Abdominal Contractions

Shoulder Blade Squeeze

  • Walking

  • Cycling

  • Water aerobics

  • Zumba

  • Tai chi

15-30 minutes three or more times each week

  • Stand about 3 feet away from a wall, facing the wall, with your feet shoulder-width apart

  • Lean forward and place your hands flat on the wall, in line with your shoulders

  • Your body should be in plank position, with your spine straight, not sagging or arched

  • Lower your body toward the wall and then push back

  • Repeat 10 times

  • Lie on the floor with your knees raised and feet together

  • Take a deep breath and tighten your abdominal muscles

  • Hold for 3 breaths and then release the contraction

  • Repeat 10 times

  • Sit up straight in your seat, rest your hands in your lap, and squeeze your shoulder blades toward one another

  • Focus on keeping your shoulders down, not hunched up toward your ears, and hold for 3 seconds

  • Release and repeat 8 to 12 times


Toe Taps

Heal Raises

Knee Lifts

Ankle Rotations

  • Sitting in a chair and keeping your heels on the floor, lift your toes high enough that you can feel the muscles along your shin working

  • Repeat 20 times

  • This exercise improves blood circulation in the leg and strengthens the lower leg

  • ​Sitting in a chair, keep your toes and the balls of your feet on the floor and lift your heels

  • Repeat 20 times

  • This exercise strengthens the upper calves

  • Seated in a chair, with your arms resting but not pressing on the armrests, contract your right quadriceps muscles and lift your leg

  • Your knee and back of your thigh should be 2 or 3 inches off the seat

  • Pause for 3 seconds and slowly lower your leg

  • Complete 8 -12 times and repeat with the opposite leg

  • This exercise strengthens the thighs

  • Seated in a chair, lift your right foot off the floor and slowly rotate your foot 5 times to the right and then 5 times to the left

  • Repeat with the left foot

  • This exercise strengthens the calves

References:

14 Benefits of Strength Training

Exercise Plan for Seniors