12 Best Leg Exercises For Seniors And The Elderly

If you are looking for one of the best FREE online resources for senior and elderly leg strengthening exercises, you found it!

12 Best  Leg Strengthening Exercise Videos: Skip down to follow along with our FREE videos and improve your strength


Leg exercises are a vital part of senior and elderly fitness.

Strengthening the lower body is one of the most effective and efficient methods of preserving your independence and improving your health as you age.

Strengthening exercise has many health related benefits which reduce disease and improve your functional quality of life including:

  • Improving your lean muscle mass.
  • Reducing your blood pressure which reduces your risk of stroke and coronary heart disease.
  • Improving your bone health to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Improve your glucose tolerance and insulin resistance.
  • Increase the strength of your low back reducing lower back pain.
  • Providing beneficial effects on lowering your total cholesterol.

Below you will find 12 great lower body strengthening exercises to try. Have a chair handy for some of the standing exercises to help with balance.

Pick two or three to perform when you exercise during the week. Strengthening exercises for seniors should be done at least twice a week.

Three times per week is even better. So give some a try. Remember it takes 4 to 6 weeks for your body to become used to any new demands placed upon it.

Watch These Exercise Videos - Lower Body Strengthening Exercises

1. Ankle Circles

1. Ankle Circles

  • This exercise improves your ankle flexibility and ability to move your ankle upward and downward.
  • This is a great warm up exercise for the lower leg and feet.

2. Hip Marching

2. Hip Marching

  • This exercise will strengthen your hip flexor and thighs.
  • With correct seated posture it will also help your abdominal muscles.

3. Knee Extension

  • Strengthening your knees width knee strengthening exercises will improve your ability to stand and balance.
  • This exercise will improve your available knee range of motion.

4. Calf Raises

  • Strengthening your calf muscles with calf exercises will give your more power to step forward on level surfaces or carry you up hills on uneven terrain.
  • Helps pump blood up from your legs to your upper-body and brain.

5. Standing Knee Flexion

  • These knee exercises strengthens your hamstring muscles.
  • Also helps with your standing balance.

6. Side Hip Raise

  • Safely strengthens your side hip muscles to help with hip arthritis.
  • Helps maintain your lower body endurance to better walk and side step around objects.

7.Sit to Stand

  • Excellent hip exercises to maintain your leg and hip strength.
  • One of the most important exercises used daily to keep your independence and confidence.

8. Heel Stand

  • Strengthens the front part of the lower leg with ankle stretches.
  • You will become better able to raise your toes to avoid tripping.

9. Lunges

  • To strengthen your quadriceps and hips with leg toning exercises.
  • Improve your ability to get out of a chair and balance.
  • Help you with lifting chores around the house.

10. Straight Leg Raise

  • To increase your quadriceps and hip flexor strength with this leg workout.
  • To strengthen your abdominal muscles.
  • Allow you to advance your leg during walking with greater ease.

11. Partial Squats

  • Increase your hip flexibility, quadriceps strength and hip flexor strength.
  • Improve your ability to get up from a chair and walk.
  • Steady your body for better balance and safety.

12. Hip Extension

  • This exercise will help with strengthening the hip joint and muscles.
  • This will improve the ability to walk and propel yourself forward or up stairs.


  1. Had knee surgery and lower back is in a lot of pain, after 15ins of standing. what exercises do I need to use to get the back in order to stand more that 15mins.

  2. I have had 7 spinal surgeries and a collapsed lung surgery. COPD general anxiety disorder high blood pressure only one kidney a day too weak to walk or stand depressed obviously I just want to get better and going to be 60 years old on May 4th. Any suggestions on where to begin. I bought a Proform hybrid trainer. Thank you.

    1. Yes, you need to begin VERY slowly and gradually increase your activity level. Definitely start on your new purchase, but take it slowly. Try a few minutes to start, then work to a longer time. Just add a little bit more time as you can tolerate. Keep at it every day, not too much in the beginning.

  3. I had serious spinal surgery just over a year ago leaving me quite helpless to do much of anything. Although I have received a lot of physiotherapy during this period, it was mostly on my back but very little on my legs. I am 74 years old and was always known for my extreme fitness. I work diligently at the few exercises I have been given but my improvement seems very slow especially walking and climbing the stairs. My legs are painfully thin with the muscles in my calf virtually non existent making walking an ordeal. Could you suggest please some strength exercises that I can perform. I appreciate it. Thankyou

  4. I am so pleased to have found this………lately I have had a lot of touble going upstairs, I have replaced knees, but they have been checked and everything is fine. My right leg has always been weaker than my right.

    1. You are welcome. Remember to start slowly at first and gradually build up your leg strength. 2 -3 times a week is a good goal to begin with.

  5. I had right hip replacement last year. I went from a walker to a cane. now almost a year later I can get rid of the cane but now my left leg doesnt seem to want to work. any ideas?

    1. Certainly check in with your surgeon first. It it is fine, then work on leg strengthening exercises like the ones on this page, at least twice a week. You should be able to tell after about 6 weeks if they are helping.

  6. I am trying to recovery from brain surgery and regain my strength. These exercises are great for achieving this goal while maintaining the security of sitting or holding on to a chair.

  7. Thanks for these videos, I have moderate to severe RA and it affects my whole lower body more that the upper body. These exercises have helped with my hip and knee weakness so that I don’t stumble and fall any more!

    1. Please consider putting half a teaspoon of turmeric in a cup of water to help reduce the inflammation that the RA causes…helps with pain and helps get rid of RA.

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