Leg Strengthening Exercises For Seniors
If you are worried about slips and falls, it is crucial to do leg strengthening exercises to improve your legs strength and balance.

In your 60s and beyond, an active lifestyle with regular exercise can help you stay fit and healthy.

Fitness Buffhq, head at Just Fitness Hub, says: “Maintaining your muscles strong has day-to-day benefits like improving balance – thereby reducing falls, boosting your mood —as well as improving your aesthetic.” He continues: “Other benefits include healthy bones, stronger muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. In addition, during the exercise, your blood circulation increases, which helps improve the health of your heart and lungs.”

However, certain movements must be adapted to your fitness level for the best results and safety.

According to industry experts and physios, here are the best leg strengthening exercises for seniors to try.

6 Best Leg Strengthening Exercises for Seniors

Types of Exercise for Seniors

Regular and mindful exercise would shore up leg strength.

Fitness Buffhq says: “Oldies can certainly regain leg strength if they do leg strengthening exercises regularly and increase the intensity of their exercises safely and slowly. However, exercises need to be adapted to their condition to be effective.

Fitness Buffhq added: “The  Day-to-day, simple physical activities can help maintain leg muscles active and exercised, which is a good starting point. Regular walks, climbing stairs, and regular exercise can help, but they must start gradually to avoid injuries. Muscles, bones, and joints are fragile at that age; if they overdo it too quickly, their body might not get enough time to adapt.”

If you are looking for more mindful workout exercises to maintain your legs in shape, plenty of achievable exercises are also available.

The key to strengthening your legs is to offer them enough of a challenge. Then, your body will respond and grow in response to the stimulus or stress. So, it is about finding the balance of a big enough stimulus to challenge the body without overdoing it.

Leg Strengthening Exercises For Seniors

Air Squats

Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes facing forward or slightly outwards. Keep your arms straight out in front. Or, for balance, you can hold onto the back of a chair with both hands. Then, while bending your knees, sit back as you would do sitting on a chair.

Keep your core tight and chest up as you sit back, ensuring not to go lower than 90 degrees.

Now stand back up, putting equal weight through both legs and keeping your heels on the floor throughout.

Make sure your knees don’t go beyond your toes and aren’t moving inward during the exercise.

Watch this video to learn the correct way to do air squats

Standing Side Leg Raise

Stand straight with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Place a chair in front of you and hold onto its back for support.

While inhaling, raise one of your legs outwards towards the side. Keep your foot at a right angle and your toes pointing forward. Lift your leg as high as is comfortable and then return to the starting position, exhaling on your way down. Repeat this step 15 to 20 times.

Switch over the legs and repeat the movement the same number of times.

Watch this video to learn the correct way to do standing side leg raises

Straight Leg Raises

Place a mat on the floor and lie on your back. While maintaining its natural curve, make sure your lower back is resting properly on the floor. Keep one leg outstretched and the other bent with its foot flat on the floor. Also, keep your palms flat on the floor throughout the exercise.

While inhaling, slowly raise your outstretched leg to the height of the opposite knee and hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat this step 10 to 15 times.

While exhaling, return to the starting position.

Switch over the legs and repeat the movement the same number of times.

Calf Raises

It is also essential to work on your calves as they help with walking and balance. In addition, calf raises are a great way to strengthen the leg muscles.

Stand behind a chair and hold its back for support. While keeping your back straight, inhale and stand on the tiptoes as high as is comfortable. Maintain the rest of your body as still as possible.

While exhaling, return to the starting position and repeat the movement 15 to 20 times.

Lunges

Lunges are a great exercise to strengthen your quadriceps and hips. Stand up straight, keep your feet about shoulder-width apart, and place your hands on the sides of your hips.

While exhaling, take a large step forward with one foot while keeping your body straight and your other foot planted flat on the floor.

While inhaling, return to the starting position. Alternate legs and repeat the exercise. Do 10 to 15 movements on each side.

Watch this video to learn the correct way to do lunges

Step-Ups

This exercise will improve your balance, increase your ability to climb stairs, and help strengthen your quads and glutes muscles.

Stand at the bottom of the stairs or in front of a sturdy step, box, or bench. Hold onto the handrail for support and balance.

Start with stepping on something low, then work your way to something higher. This exercise requires balance, focusing on keeping your core strength for stability.

Plant your entire left foot onto the step, box, stool, bench, or chair in front of you. While pressing through the left heel, step onto the box. Then bring your other foot up and stand on the bench with both feet together.

Return to the starting position by stepping down with the left foot, then the right, so both feet are on the floor.

Do 15 steps leading with the left foot, then repeat another 15 steps leading with your right foot. Perform three sets.

Note: Before you start, find a box, bench, step, or chair so that when you place your foot on it, your knee bends at a 90-degree angle. The weight boxes or benches are often the right height, but a chair may be too high. If this is too high, begin with a lower step or box.

Why These Exercises Work

These leg strengthening exercises for seniors are generally manageable for most people because they are risk-free.

In general, there is no risk for older people exercising their legs if they are not suffering from any underlying conditions and begin exercising with a physio until they feel independent in their exercises.

The seniors don’t need to fear doing leg exercises as long as the exercise intensity is reasonable and adapted to their condition, so they don’t hurt themselves.

However, if you have any underlying condition or prior operation,  get a physio assessment done before carrying out any of the exercises because the underlying condition or previous operation could limit your abilities to do a certain type of activities.

Fitness Buffhq advises: “For instance, it is forbidden for someone with a hip replacement to perform a leg raise because that could dislocate their hip. That’s one of the reasons why a physio assessment becomes important.”

Nevertheless, Fitness Buffhq stresses the clear benefits of regular, manageable exercise for the elderly.

“All the above is important. It keeps the elderly autonomous and independent for the longest time possible, which helps them remain social with others and not deteriorate their mental health, which is the key factor for long life,” Fitness Buffhq said.

Click on this link to see how these exercises are performed correctly

About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Fitness Buffhq - Renu bakshiPersonal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, the USA, obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”

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