Strengthening Exercises for Seniors

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Two great strength exercises for seniors are a squat and a lunge where you balance yourself with a sturdy chair, stand with feet a little wider than your hips, and bend toward the floor flexing at the hip keeping your body straight as demonstrated by a fitness instructor in this free video on exercise.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Eve White. I'm from Pilates Studio City, and I'm here to talk to you today about strength exercises for seniors. We're going to start with two exercises. The first one is a squat and the second one is a lunge. So, these are great exercises that will help you get up and out of a chair which is what we do every day all day or get out of a car. These are really important exercises to strengthen your quads, your gluts, the two muscle groups that really help us bend and straighten. We're going to start with the first one which is a squat. Now, it helps if you have a chair for balance or anything nearby that will help prevent you from falling. I'm going to use this chair. It's just a nice sturdy wooden chair and you can put both hands on it and face the chair. For this I'm just going to put one hand on it to keep myself steady. We're going to start by separating the feet a little bit wider than your hips. Typically as we get a little bit older that's how we kind of push off to get out of a chair. So, that's a great place to start. It will also keep you steady on your feet so you won't fall. It's very simple. We're going to bend at the hip, let the body go naturally toward the floor and push the floor away with the feet. So, we'll bend, flexing at the hip and push the floor away. You want to try to stay really tall in this and lift up through your plumb line or the inside part of your body where you lift straight up through the crown of your head. Again, inhale as you lower, exhale and pull your tummy in nice and tight as you push the floor away, inhale, exhale. You can change the breath. It doesn't have to be specific or perfect, one way or the other, as long as you're breathing steadily and comfortably. The second move is a lunge. So, just start comfortably on your feet. You can step forward or back as long as you're careful not to take such a big step that you completely lose your balance. That would be the opposite of our goal today. So, let's take a step forward, bend at the knee and step back. It's that simple, press forward, roll into the heel, push off toe, ball, heel, roll into the heel, bend the knee, push off, keeping your body really tall. It helps if you keep your gaze forward, inhale, exhale. I'll do an example of a backward stepping lunge. So, you can start forward and then reach back and push off. You can do that on just the toe, or you can roll back onto the heel if you have that kind of flexibility in your ankle. Not everybody has that amount of dorsiflexion, but it's a good exercise to challenge that. Thanks so much. I'm Eve White from Pilates Studio City, here talking to you about strength exercises for seniors.

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