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As we age, we must focus on our physical health and well-being, specifically if we want to keep up with the grandkids. One key area to focus on is our core strength, which can significantly impact our balance, stability, and overall mobility.
But let’s face it, getting on the floor to do traditional ab exercises can be a real pain, especially if you’re not as flexible as you used to be. That’s why seated ab workouts are the perfect solution for seniors looking to target their core muscles without putting too much strain on their joints.
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The Benefits of Seated Ab Workouts for Seniors
Seated ab workouts offer several benefits for seniors, including:
- Enhanced balance and stability: By working on core strength, seniors can reduce their fall risk and improve their overall balance and stability. No more walking around like a drunken sailor!
- Improved mobility: A strong core can also help to improve mobility and flexibility, making it more comfortable to perform everyday tasks and activities. Consider it as a workout for your waistline and your social life!
- Less risk of injury: Building core strength can also reduce the risk of injury, as it helps to protect the spine and other vital regions of the body. Plus, who enjoys being stuck in bed nursing an injury when there’s so much life to be lived?
- Low-impact exercise: Many seated ab exercises are low-impact, making them a perfect option for seniors with joint pain or other physical limitations.
Seated Ab Workout for Seniors:
1. Seated Cat/Cow Stretch
- Sit on the edge of your chair and place your hands on your knees.
- Take a deep inhale and expand your belly, sides, and back similar to the pelvic tilts.
- Upon exhaling, round your spine, sliding your hands down your knees and tucking your chin for greater depth. Go as far as comfortable (or until your exhale is complete).
- Inhale and return past the neutral position and into a slight back arch.
- Repeat these two movements 5 times moving with your breath.
2. Seated Back Bends
- Sit in a chair with your knees at a 90-degree angle and shoulder-width apart. Place a ball or large rolled-up towel between the middle portion of your back and the chair. The ideal placement is at bra strap level. Guys, you’ll have to use your imagination to get the placement correct.
- Now slowly lean your upper back over the ball one vertebrae at a time. Make sure not to arch using your lower back. You want to roll the middle back over the ball.
- Don’t expect huge movements here. Each single vertebra doesn’t have a large range of motion. And since you are isolated your thoracic, focus on precision over huge movements. Continue to perform this stretch for 20 seconds.
- Repeat 3 times.
3. Seated Marches
- Sit on the edge of a chair.
- Focus on slowly bringing your leg up towards your chest with control all while maintaining an upright posture.
- Hold for 5 seconds before lowering down. Repeat 10 times per leg.
4. Sit to Stand
- Begin sitting upright in a chair in a comfortable, tall position. Scooch yourself to the edge of the chair. Keep your feet flat on the ground and close to the chair to help create a solid base beneath you to stand.
- Lean forward and begin to stand up. The goal is to stand from the chair with no assistance at all, but you may use your hands as a guide like mentioned here.
5. Seated Rotations
- Sit in a chair so that your knees are at 90 degrees. Scooch forward in the chair so your back is not resting against the backrest. Place a rolled-up towel between your knees. Squeeze the towel with your knees. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows extended outward. If you have shoulder issues and have a hard time bringing your hands behind your head, you can place your hands on your chest or even on your waist.
- Rotate to the right until you feel a gentle stretch. Once you get to the end of your range of motion, try turning your neck a bit further. This will help get some extra range of motion in your middle back. Rotate back to the center.
- Repeat 5x total to each side.
Seated ab exercises are a great way for seniors to strengthen their core and enhance their general health and well-being. These low-impact workouts are excellent for seniors with joint pain or other physical limitations.
Older Adults can safely and effectively target their core muscles and improve their balance, stability, and mobility by following the step-by-step instructions and advice offered in this article.
Who doesn’t want to look good in their favorite pair of jeans and have a toned waistline? Remember that a solid core is a basis for a robust and healthy body, so feel free to include a seated ab workout in your exercise regimen. Happy exercise!