Elderly Breathing Exercises for Seniors

Build strength. ​improve stability.

Hi, I'm Doug Schrift - otherwise known as "Your Senior Fitness Coach" - and I’ve spent years guiding the fitness of thousands of seniors as a Physical Therapist, even if they have never exercised before. Sign up below to my email list to receive my FREE 4 Week Senior Fitness Program

Breathing exercise

I created Eldergym® to help YOU! If you are looking for one of the best resources on elderly breathing training exercises for seniors on the internet, you found it!
elderly breathing

It is important to think about a few things when breathing, especially with exercise, in order to prevent injury and bring oxygen to all our cells.

First, do not hold your breath. It is not uncommon for seniors hold their breath when exerting force when exercising.

Secondly, correct breathing improves our intake of oxygen.

Shallow breathing can limit our ability to take in oxygen, and discharge carbon dioxide.

When performing deep breathing exercises, it is important to use correct posture when sitting or standing.

Sitting with your spine aligned in neutral, your ribs lifted, your shoulders back and down, allows your lungs to work at peak performance when exercising.

As air comes in, the lungs need room to expand. Correct posture helps the ribs to accommodate the lungs and increase our pulmonary capacity.

Below you will find sitting and standing deep breathing exercises to perform.

These exercises are designed to increase  your awareness of breathing and train your body to correctly breath when exercising.

Correct breathing involves relaxing your upper body while bringing the air in all the way down to your belly.

This will fill your lungs from the bottom. Watch the video below and follow along! Happy breathing.

Purpose of these exercises

  • Improve your respiratory health.
  • Helps clear the lungs of toxins and pollutants.
  • Increases your energy by improving the oxygen levels in your lungs.

How to do it

Step 1 Sitting Breathing Exercise

Breathing sitting

  • Sit comfortably in a chair.
  • Place your right hand on your chest and your left hand on your belly.
  • Inhale so that your right hand rises. This is chest breathing which uses the upper lobes of the lungs.
  • Then inhale so that your left hand rises.This is abdominal breathing which uses the lower lobes of the lung.This is the preferred method of breathing in order to maximize the benefits of exercise.

Step 2 Standing Breathing Exercise

Breathing Standing

  • Stand placing both hands on belly.
  • Take a deep breath in and expand your belly.
  • This is lower lobe deep breathing.

Step 3 Rib lifting Exercise

Rib Lifter

  • Stand with your arms crossed at the wrists in front of your waist.
  • Breathe in as you raise your arms overhead.
  • Relax and breathe out, lowering your arms. Repeat 10 times.


  • Remember to maintain correct posture when sitting and standing.
  • Keep your spine in a comfortable neutral position.
  • Lift your ribs up and bring your shoulders back as you exercise.

Take it up a notch

  • Try exercising outside in the fresh air whenever you can.

Make sure to download my FREE ebook below to begin your 4 week senior exercise program!