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10 Easy Standing Exercises for Seniors
As we age, our body undergoes several changes, making it challenging for most to perform day-to-day activities with ease. If you are physically inactive and indulge in fewer movements throughout the day, you may experience difficulty climbing stairs, getting up from a stool or chair without using your hands, walking straight, etc. Lack of balance, flexibility, and strength makes all the basic activities difficult. But there is a way to not depend on others for these tasks and lead a healthy and independent life during your senior years.
You can practice some standing exercises for seniors regularly to improve your mobility and fitness levels, making everyday tasks easier than before. These exercises can also help improve circulation, improving your overall mental and physical well-being. To make it easier, we have listed below the top ten standing exercises for seniors that are safe, effective, and easy to perform. So let’s quickly explore the exercises shared below and begin your fitness journey:
- Single Limb Stance
Seniors should start with this simple, easy, standing exercise that targets the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quadriceps. It is considered a beginner-level exercise to improve static postural and balance control. You can perform this exercise by following the below-mentioned steps.
- Stand behind a steady, static chair, and hold on to the back.
- Gently lift your right foot and balance the entire body on your left foot.
- Hold this exact position for 5 to 10 seconds or as long as possible before returning to the original position.
You can now perform the same steps with the other foot. The goal of a single limb stance is to stand on one foot without taking the chair’s support and holding the position for up to a minute. You can do this 10-12 times for each leg.
- Wall Pushups
One of the easiest standing exercises you can start today is wall push ups. This exercise helps improve your upper body mobility, postural stability, and body balance by targeting most of the upper body muscles, like muscles present in your chest, arms, and shoulders. You can perform wall pushups by following the below-mentioned steps.
- Face the wall and stand at an arm’s length.
- Lean slightly forward and place your palms flat on the wall. The palms should be placed at the width and height of your shoulders.
- Slowly bring your upper body toward the wall and keep your feet planted on the ground.
- Now push yourself back to the original position, keeping your arms straight.
Perform this exercise at least 20 times.
- Calf Stretches
Calf stretches target the muscles at the back of your leg to your heel bone. This simple exercise can help you strengthen your calf muscles, aid with body balance, and improve ankle strength and stability. You can perform standing calf stretches following the below-mentioned steps.
- Stand facing a wall with your hands placed on it at eye level.
- Place your right leg behind your left leg, keeping the right heel flat on the ground and behind your left knee.
- Hold this stretch position for at least 15 to 30 seconds before returning to the original position.
- Now switch legs and repeat the same steps.
You can repeat calf stretches two to four times per leg.
- Toe Lifts
The toe lifts exercise is essential to strengthen and tone the muscles in your lower leg and feet since these muscles help you maintain stability and balance. This exercise targets the muscles in the lower leg, primarily the tibialis anterior. You can perform toe lifts following the below-mentioned steps.
- Get a chair and stand straight behind it. Your arms should be comfortably in front of you.
- Gently raise yourself on your toes as high as possible. Then slowly lower yourself to get to the original position.
Follow these steps to lift and lower your body, putting the weights on your toes. You can do this 20 times. While doing toe lifts, ensure you don’t lean forward on the chair.
- Marching in Place
One of the simplest standing core exercises for seniors is marching in place. This easy-to-do exercise helps increase your heart rate without putting any pressure on your joints. It works on multiple muscles, including the gluteals, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, calves, and tibialis anterior. You can perform this exercise following the below-mentioned steps.
- Stand straight on a mat and lift your right knee as high as possible.
- Now lower it, and raise the left leg.
- Return to the original starting position and repeat the steps for a few minutes.
You can do this exercise 20 times or more, depending on what your body permits.
- Side Leg Raise
Seniors should regularly perform side leg raises because it helps build strength in the hip abductor and outer thighs. This exercise targets the lower back muscles, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, and core muscles. You can perform side leg raises by following the below-mentioned steps.
- Stand behind a static chair with your feet slightly apart.
- Gently lift your right leg to the side while taking support of the chair. During this step, your back should be straight, and your toes facing forward.
- Slowly lower your right leg, get to the original position and then repeat the same steps with the left leg.
You can repeat the side leg raise 10 to 15 times per leg.
- Shoulder Rolls
Doing shoulder rolls is among the best standing exercises for seniors. This exercise requires your body to get a correct posture, helping you improve your current posture. Shoulder rolls also help loosen tight muscles in your upper back and neck by targeting the trapezius muscles. You can do shoulder rolls by following the below-mentioned steps.
- Stand comfortably on a mat and gently rotate your shoulders up to the ceiling.
- Return to the first position, then rotate your shoulders back and down.
- Once the shoulders return to the first position, rotate them forwards and then downward.
You can repeat the same steps to do shoulder rolls at least 10 times.
- Single Limb Stance with Arm
This standing exercise helps improve your stability and balance and engages muscles in your hips, legs, and core to maintain stability. Regular practice of this exercise can strengthen your lower body muscles and improve body balance and stability. You can perform a single limb stance with the arm following the below-mentioned steps.
- Get a static chair and stand, keeping your arms at your side and feet together. The chair is for support; you can use it if you feel you are losing balance to prevent any fall injury.
- Gently lift your left hand over your head and raise your left leg off the floor.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds and return to the original position.
- Repeat these steps with the right leg and right hand.
Depending on your body strength, you can repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times.
- Clock Reach
One of the easiest balance exercises for adults is the clock reach. Clock reach exercise strengthens your glute and hip muscles like the hip rotators. It helps build balance and coordination as you extend your arms in front and back positions. To practice this exercise, you first have to imagine you’re standing in the center of a clock, wherein the number 6 is behind you and the number 12 is in front of you. Now you can follow the below-mentioned steps to do this exercise.
- Hold the chair firmly with your left hand, extend your right arm to the front, and lift your right leg.
- Assume you have to point your right arm to the number 12.
- Now point your arm towards the number 3, eventually taking it behind and pointing it toward 6.
- Bring your arm back to number 3 and then to number 12.
- Return to the original starting position and repeat the steps with the opposite arm and leg.
You should be looking straight all this time. Try to do this exercise at least two times for each side.
- Ankle Circles
Ankle circles are the easiest home workout seniors can do to loosen the joints and improve flexibility within the muscles. This stretching exercise primarily targets the muscles in the calves. You can do ankle circles following the below-mentioned steps.
- Stand straight on a mat and gently lift your right leg.
- Now start rotating your right leg ankle 5-7 times. You can rotate it from right to left and then repeat from left to right.
- Bring the right leg to the floor, and follow the same with your left leg.
You can perform ankle circles 10 times for each leg.
All these ten standing exercises have been curated, keeping beginners in mind. If you have been physically inactive for a long period, start your fitness journey with these easy and effective standing exercises for seniors.
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Health Benefits of Standing Exercises
Sitting in the same position and place for long hours can harm your physical health. It can also make your body vulnerable to many diseases. But if you start practicing standing core exercises for seniors regularly, you can notice visible improvements in your health and fitness levels.
Some top health benefits of standing exercises are listed below:
- Reduce the Risk of Weight Gain
Most people with little movement throughout the day are at greater risk of developing obesity than those with higher physical activity levels. When you sit in one place for an extended period with little to no movement, your body’s metabolism goes for a toss. It even makes you prone to high levels of weight gain since all your body muscles become inactive when you’re not walking or doing any activity that requires you to stand on your feet or gets you moving around.
- Burns Fat Faster
Sitting in the same posture and place for long hours slows your metabolism, eventually influencing your fat-burning rate. Long hours of sitting decreases your metabolism and fat-burning rate. When you stand or move often at work, your body burns fat. So if you aren’t engaging in standing activities or exercises frequently, you may experience a slower fat-burning rate.
- Decreases the Risk of Cardiovascular and Other Diseases
Performing standing exercises for seniors has numerous benefits, but the top benefit is preventing heart and other diseases. People who do standing exercises regularly and take frequent walks in between their work tend to have better blood sugar levels. Their fat levels are also under control, and they have improved good cholesterol levels. All this collectively helps reduce symptoms of diseases that could otherwise grow to dangerous levels.
- Reduces Back Pain
Doing standing exercises or standing up every two hours during your work hours can help reduce back pain significantly. Sitting for long hours without making any movements makes your back muscles tight. It can develop as intense back pain over a period.
Although standing exercises have numerous other benefits, we have listed the top ones above. If your work requires you to sit in the same place for long hours, we suggest taking small walking breaks for improved health.
Staying Fit & Healthy with Easy Standing Exercises
Standing and balance exercises for adults are crucial to maintaining good physical health for the elderly. These exercises help improve overall strength, balance, and flexibility, making daily activities easier. They even reduce your chances of encountering fall-related injuries.
Although numerous standing exercises exist for seniors, like marching in a place, knee lifts, heel-to-toe walking, etc., it is best to consult a certified fitness trainer to design a workout routine based on your present fitness and health levels. If you want to start with an easy, safe, and practical standing exercise that you can start today, you can pick any standing exercise featured in this article and start practicing them for good results.
Can Poor Balance be Improved?
Yes, poor balance can be improved. Practicing any activity that keeps you on your feet or helps you move can help you improve your body balance. Activities as simple as walking can improve your balance, but it is best to add specific exercises designed to improve body balance in your exercise. Weight shifts and rock the boat are some exercises designed to improve your body balance.
How Can Adults Improve Their Balance?
Plenty of exercises and activities can help adults improve their balance. Brisk walking, climbing stairs, yoga, and basic home exercises are excellent ways to improve balance. You can walk in a line for a short distance, stand up from a seated position from a chair without using your hands, and perform tai chi to enhance your body balance.
What is the Main Cause of Balance Problems?
Plenty of factors can give rise to balance problems. For some, the cause can be certain medications, while for others, it can be an ear infection or head injury. If you have lower blood pressure, you can feel dizziness when trying to stand up quickly, creating a body imbalance. Nerve damage in your legs is also a cause of balance problems.
How Can the Elderly Strengthen Their Core?
Performing core strengthening exercises regularly can help the elderly strengthen their core. Exercises like the bridge, leg lifts, seated side bends, abdominal crunches, planks, Russian twists, and bird-dog crunches are some exercises that can help the elderly strengthen their core. These exercises should be practiced daily for an extended period to witness visible results.
What are the Signs of a Weak Core?
Frequent lower back pain, poor posture, difficulty standing for long periods, impaired balance, and lack of power or strength in the upper body are some common signs you may notice if you have a weak core. But you can always strengthen your core by performing particular core strengthening exercises like the abdominal crunch, flutter kicks, bridge, double-leg abdominal press, leg raises, and seated knee tuck.
This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.