Did you know the most common disability among older Americans is lack of mobility? If you’re a senior who wants to increase the pep in your step, you’re in luck! These exercises will get you on the right track in no time.
Semi-sits are also commonly known as chair squats, and they’re a great way to safely build muscle strength in your legs and core. Here’s how to do this simple exercise:
- With your feet hip-width apart, stand in front of a chair that’s easy to lower yourself into.
- Tighten your core abdominal muscles.
- With slow, deliberate motion, bend your knees and lower your body to the chair as if you’re going to sit down.
- When your bottom just barely touches the seat, return to a standing position.
Repeat this motion several times each day. Make sure you keep your chest and head tall throughout the exercise and push upward through your heels when coming to a standing position.
Side bends can strengthen your core and increase mobility. Here’s how to do them:
- Sit comfortably on a chair, with your feet flat against the floor.
- Stretch one arm out to one side and place the other hand behind your head.
- Engage your core muscles, then lean toward the floor on the side with your outstretched hand.
- To return to a seated position, tighten your abdominal muscles and slowly straighten your torso.
Try to keep both feet flat on the floor, and only bend as far as you can do so without discomfort.
Upper Body Clam Shell
When you do this exercise regularly, it can increase shoulder flexibility and give your body a gentle workout. Follow these steps:
- Sit upright in a chair with your feet flat against the floor.
- Bend your arms in front of you at a 90-degree angle (so they look a lot like goalposts).
- Squeeze your forearms together in front of your face.
- While squeezing your shoulder blades, return your arms to their starting position.
You may also choose to hold light weights while doing this exercise to experience even greater results.
Stretching your muscles is just as important as working them out if your goal is to improve mobility. One great stretch is the quadriceps stretch, which targets the important muscles on the front of your thighs. Here’s how to do it:
- Place a chair in front of you for balance.
- While holding onto the back of the chair with one hand, bend one leg and grab your foot with your other hand.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
- Repeat the process with the other leg.
Try to keep the thigh of the leg you’re stretching in line with the thigh of your other leg.
Think you’re too tired to do push-ups? Think again! Wall push-ups can be done by anyone, regardless of fitness level. Since upper body strength and mobility are important for everyday tasks, this exercise should become part of your daily routine. Here’s what you need to do:
- Stand with your feet approximately two feet away from the wall.
- Place your hands against the wall, slightly wider than your shoulders.
- Slowly bend at the elbows to lower your body toward the wall while keeping your back straight.
- Push back to your starting position just before your nose touches the wall.
You can repeat this exercise 5-10 times to experience good results.
Improving mobility doesn’t have to be a difficult process. In fact, it can be fun! When you perform these simple moves every day or a few times each week and you take healthy supplements, you can get some of your youthful flexibility and vigor back.