Leg Toning Exercises For Seniors And The Elderly


Leg toning exercises for seniors and the elderly, like the lunge are important in preserving quad strength in older adults. This exercise is used for standing and balancing activities which maintain your independence and functional mobility.

Strengthening your standing muscles, which are called the quadriceps, is vital for basic movements like standing and walking. Make sure you try this exercise first holding on to a chair with one hand before trying it alone.

At first take a small step forward with on leg and slightly bend your knee. See how the strength in your leg feels before taking a larger step. Too large a step may make it difficult to regain a standing position due to weakness.

Purpose of this exercise

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

Step 1

Stand with arms at sides or on the hips. Keep feet shoulder width apart.


Step 2

Step forward keeping your trunk vertical. Push back up to the starting position. Repeat with each leg 10 times.



Exhale during the forward movement phase. Inhale during the backward movement phase.


Start  by stepping only a small distance from your other foot. Gradually increase as your comfort improves. Don’t bend your forward knee too deeply. Maintain good form throughout, lifting ribs when returning to the starting position.

Take it up a notch

Bend forward knee a little deeper. Look ahead at eye level when stepping forward. Turn head to the right, then turn head to the left. Use 2 to 5 pound weights in each hand.

How to do Lunges

How to do Lunges

More Lower Body Strengthening

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 Family Caregivers https://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/STEADI-CaregiverBrochure.pdf