leg-exercises-featured

12 Best Leg Exercises For Seniors And The Elderly

Leg Exercises

As a Physical therapist I tell my patients that leg exercises are one of the most important things you can do to maintain your independence as you age.

Strengthening our legs not only helps us stand from a chair, climb steps, lift our feet when going over a threshold, or side stepping around a table, but also improves our balance.

I love working on leg exercises with seniors because strengthening our legs quickly adds to our ability to perform all of our activities of daily living like cooking, cleaning, and bathing.

When we strengthen our legs. we find our balance improves, our posture straightens up, and our ability to handle more during the day is increased,

I have put together some of my favorite leg exercises below to help you strengthen your lower body quickly and safely.

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If you are serious about leg exercises and improving the power, coordination, and range of motion of your legs, try performing these exercises 3 times a week. Start with 10 repetitions each. 

Remember that it takes your body 4 weeks to get used to exercising so take it slow and gradually build up your strength and endurance. 

Your leg strength will improve and you will definitely come across the finish line is great shape!

Lower Body Strengthening

FIRST: Make sure to sign up for my Eldergym® Senior Fitness Newsletter to make the most of these exercises and receive my free 4 week exercise program!

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

  • 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.

Resources Stay Independent
https://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/STEADI-Brochure-StayIndependent-508.pdf