Arm Exercises With Weights for Seniors

Arm Exercises With Weights for Seniors

Arm exercises with weights for seniors are resistance exercises designed to improve your strength by working against each other. The weight is pulling down and your muscles are pulling up.

Resistance training will help strengthen your bones and muscles and will help reduce the risk of fractures. These can be in the form of resistance bands, hand weights, or cable weight machines.

  1. Biceps Curls
  2. Overhead Press
  3. Pull over
  4. Seated Flies
Watch my instructional video

The biceps curl is really one of the best strengthening exercises for the upper body because it uses the large muscles of the upper arm designed for pulling. Make sure to fully extend your elbows during this exercise. The overhead press then, is the other best upperbody strength exercises because it works the opposite muscles of pushing. These are great for any senior wanting more upper body strength. Then continuing with the pull over we really work some back muscles and upper arm muscles to pull the weights overhead and back. The fly is the perfect last exercise because it will target the chest muscles and really strengthen the front of your torso wonderfully.

Exercise 1

Bicep Curls. Sit or stand with your arms at sides.  Hold weights for a more challenging workout. With your palms facing up and a braced core, keeping your upper arms vertical, curl the weights up. Pause for a second and slowly allow the weights to return to the starting position with arms fully extended. Remember to keep your elbows tucked at your sides, to squeeze the biceps at the top of the lift, and to lower the weight until your arms are fully extended. Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 2

Overhead press. Sit or stand with your hands at shoulder height, palms forward. Use small dumbbells for a more challenging workout. Press the weights overhead, as high as comfortable. Stop if you have pain. Keep the weights forward of your shoulders. Extend your elbows as far as comfortable, then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times. Remember to breathe out as the weights go up and in as the weights come down. Keep the chest lifted, and core tight.

Exercise 3

Pull Over Begin in your chair and lean back like you are going to take a nap. Holding the weights in each hand, bring them together in front of your belly button. Slowly raise the weights overhead as far as possible, the return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 4

Seated Fly Sit with your back on the chair, your knees bent and your feet flat, or extended in front of your chair. Holding a pair of dumbbells directly over your chest with your palms facing each other. Allow a slight bend in your elbows. Slowly lower the dumbbells out to your sides, creating a wide arc with your arms until your upper arms are near the limit of motion. Pause, then slowly reverse the movement to return to the top, and repeat 10 times

These exercises are wonderful to improve your upper body strength and ability to complete your activities of daily living with less effort. Many seniors would like to have a stronger upper body, with improved range of motion and this is a wonderful program to get started. Using weight is something most seniors can get started with right away. If you find that holding a heavy weight in your hand and lifting overhead with be too hard or you may get injured, then simply don’t use any weight to start, relying on the natural weight of the arms.

It is important to make sure to do all these exercises slowly at first. You may not even need to use hand weights initially until a later point. Slow and controlled are good terms to remember when performing any exercise really. That way you will be assured of moving through all the available range of motion in your joints.

Pain should not be felt when performing any of these exercises for the upper body. You may experience a little pain in your muscle belly during an exercise which is likely not harmful. If you feel any pain in your joints, stop and modify the exercise with less weight, smaller motion, or fewer repetitions.

Arm exercises with weights for seniors and the elderly will go a long way in strengthening your upper arms, back and shoulders. You will feel an increase in the ability to lift heavier bags from the shelf, or plates into the cupboard. Start slowly and in a controlled manner to reduce the chance of injury and to work in your complete full motion.

Let me know if you have any questions or would like to see other exercises or senior fitness content. You can leave your comments and suggestions on my About Page. Need personal help? Check out my new Academy. Exercise is really your magic pill to feel better and live longer. Remember to stay active, stay strong, and stay connected!

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Doug Schrift

Doug Schrift is a Physical Therapist, Certified Geriatric Specialist, and senior fitness coach. Doug helps seniors become strong and stable even if they have never exercised before.