Arm Workouts With Weights for Seniors

Beginning an upper body arm workouts with weights program should be part of every seniors routine. Building upper body strength will help in all your daily activities including reaching, pushing, and pulling.

We need to maintain sufficient strength in our arms and upper back to overcome the effects of poor posture, especially in the shoulders and neck. By strengthening these muscles we can gradually improve our standing and sitting posture when working or during our daily tasks.

  1. Bicep Curls
  2. Overhead Press
  3. Lateral or side raise
  4. Triceps kick backs
Watch my instructional video

Bicep curls are a great exercise for the arms because we use the pulling motion of the biceps in many ways during the day. Lifting our grand children, grocery bags, or even pulling up our pants. The overhead press is a wonderful pushing exercise engaging the shoulders and back. Think of this exercise when you lift that heavy plate back up on the shelf, or that bag of flour out of the grocery bag. The side raise helps the arms in many ways including holding your arms out to the side for stability when balancing down stairs, or around the coffee table. Kick backs are one of the best exercises to isolate your triceps. This will help when getting out of a chair or lowering yourself down to the toilet.

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

Side Raise. Stand or sit with arms at sides. Use small hand weights for a more challenging workout. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Begin by lifting your elbows out to the side to shoulder level, or as high as comfortable without pain. Keep your shoulder down, chest lifted. Pause and return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.

Exercise 4

Kick Backs. Sit or stand with your arms at sides. Extend your arms back behind as far as comfortable. Bend and straighten your elbow while maintaining your arm behind. Keep your elbows tucked at your sides. Repeat 10 times.

Make sure to do a little limbering and warm up movement before starting this arm workout with weights. Our body needs to have a little “heads up” before getting right to the strengthening exercises. A good warm up and limbering with improve our blood flow in the large muscles of the arms and upper back. Generally standing and marching in place while circling the arms is a great place to start. Continue for 3 to 4 minutes to really get the blood flowing and the temperature of our muscles a little higher.

Working these muscles at least twice a week will go a long way in strengthening your upper body and get you ready to tackle all your daily activities like sweeping the kitchen floor, washing the car, doing the laundry and more.

These exercises use general pushing and pulling motions which are essential in any exercise program whether for the upper body or the lower body. Pushing and pulling are basic movements we do everyday while at work or while performing our daily chores.

We have seen how arm workouts with weights for seniors can improve our upper body strength and range of motion. Having good strength in our arms and upper back will go a long way to helping us in our daily life including chores and social activities. So get started today to improve your arm and upper back strength and you will feel the amazing effect of simple strength exercises.

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.