This is the sixth in a series of 12 articles provided by “California Mobility – a family-owned and operated company specializing in installing stairlifts for the elderly. The company was founded in 2018 in Sacramento, CA.” Each week we will provide two to four of the exercises for your use.
This exercise is very similar to that of the extended leg raises in terms of motion.
- Sit comfortably at the edge of the chair without feeling like falling over.
- Keep the back straight and the core (abs and lumbar) tight.
- Place both hands at the sides of the chair and grip the seat to keep stable.
- Place both feet far out in front of the body and point the toes forward. Both feet should be diagonal to the hips. When shifting both feet in front, slowly lean the upper body backward to stabilize.
- Lift one leg up to the highest point possible (hopefully ending parallel to the hips) without moving the center of the body.
- Slowly lower the leg back to starting position then switch with the other leg. A great way to think of this movement is to pretend that the loved one is swimming, kicking their legs in the water.
- Each one kick per leg counts as one “rep”.
Note: To make this exercise more challenging, try not to touch the feet to the ground until the exercise is finished. This movement can also be isolated with one leg at a time. Just make sure the opposite leg is firmly planted on the ground before beginning lifting.
The plank exercise is known for being one of the most popular core exercises for any age. The exercise increases tension on the core, causing the body to keep stable. Training with this movement will help in a variety of ways, one being the ability to keep good posture while seated.
- Stand to face the chair straight with the body.
- Place both hands on the sides of the chair’s seat. Keeping both arms slightly bent at the elbows, shift both feet backward a couple of feet until the body is in a diagonal position in front of the chair. Make sure that the buttocks isn’t high in the air, nor that the back is arched. The body should be in a straight line from shoulder to heel. If a senior is feeling resistance (tension) in their core, then they’re in the correct position.
- Keep in this position for 30 seconds (or however long is comfortable without pain) then stand up or sit down to take a slight break.
- Repeat 2-3 times.
Note: Place the chair against a wall for more support.
This is a well-rounded exercise for the entire core and can aid in stretching the spine. This should be performed using a medicine ball or a similar object for full tension in the abdomen.
- Grab a medicine ball (or similar object).
- Sit comfortably in the chair toward the edge of the seat for extra room. Keep the core (abs and lumbar) tight. Stick the chest out. Both hands should be in front of the body gripping the sides of the medicine ball, with elbows bent.
- Lift the ball a couple inches off the lap then rotate the upper body to the right, keeping the ball in front of the body.
- Rotate to the middle of the body then rotate to the left, finish by rotating back to the middle.
- Each “rep” is one full rotation.
21 Chair Exercises for Seniors: A Comprehensive Visual Guide