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How To Perform Chair Exercises for Seniors

5 min read |


Chair exercises are an excellent option for seniors looking to maintain or improve their physical fitness without putting undue stress on their joints. These low-impact exercises are gentle and adaptable, making them perfect for individuals of all fitness levels. Let’s dive into Chair Exercises for Seniors!

In this guide, we’ll discuss the benefits of chair exercises for seniors, provide a list of top exercises to try, and offer tips for safe and effective workouts.

Benefits of Chair Exercises for Seniors

Improved Mobility

Engaging in regular chair exercises can help seniors maintain or increase their range of motion. By focusing on gentle movements that target various muscle groups, seniors can prevent stiffness and enhance their overall mobility.

Better Balance

Chair exercises can help improve balance by targeting key muscles that support posture and stability. As a result, seniors can reduce their risk of falls and maintain their independence.

Enhanced Strength

Performing chair exercises can build muscle strength, which is essential for daily activities like climbing stairs or carrying groceries. Stronger muscles also help protect the joints and prevent injury.

Improved Mental Health

Regular physical activity, including chair exercises, has been shown to boost mood, reduce stress, and improve overall mental well-being. Staying active can help seniors maintain a positive outlook on life and combat feelings of isolation or depression.

Top Chair Exercises for Seniors

Seated March

  1. Sit up straight in a sturdy chair with feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift your right knee toward your chest, then lower it back to the floor.
  3. Repeat with your left knee.
  4. Continue alternating legs for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Chair Squats

  1. Stand behind a chair, holding onto the back for support.
  2. Lower your body into a squat position, bending your knees and pushing your hips back.
  3. Stand up straight again, using the chair for balance.
  4. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Seated Leg Lifts

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with feet flat on the floor.
  2. Straighten your right leg and lift it off the floor, keeping your toes pointed.
  3. Lower your leg back to the floor.
  4. Repeat with your left leg.
  5. Continue alternating legs for 10-15 repetitions per leg.

Ankle Flexions

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift your right foot off the floor and point your toes toward your shin.
  3. Return your foot to the starting position.
  4. Repeat with your left foot.
  5. Continue alternating feet for 10-15 repetitions per foot.

Seated Tummy Twists

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with feet flat on the floor.
  2. Hold a small object, like a water bottle or ball, with both hands close to your chest.
  3. Twist your upper body to the right, keeping your lower body still.
  4. Return to the center and twist to the left.
  5. Continue alternating sides for 10-15 repetitions per side.

Tips for Safe Chair Exercise

Choosing the Right Chair

Select a sturdy, stable chair without wheels or armrests for your exercises. This will ensure you have the proper support and prevent any potential accidents during your workout.

Maintaining Proper Form

Good posture and technique are crucial for safe and effective chair exercises. Keep your back straight, engage your core muscles, and focus on smooth, controlled movements. If you’re unsure about your form, consult a fitness professional or physical therapist for guidance.

Listening to Your Body

Always pay attention to how your body feels during your workout. If you experience pain, dizziness, or excessive fatigue, stop exercising and consult your doctor. It’s essential to prioritize safety and listen to your body’s signals.

How Often Should Seniors Perform Chair Exercises?

Aim for at least two to three chair exercise sessions per week, with each session lasting around 20-30 minutes. You can gradually increase the duration or frequency of your workouts as you become stronger and more comfortable with the exercises.

My personal take

As a coach and fitness enthusiast, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about and try various exercise methods. In my opinion, chair exercises are a fantastic way for seniors to stay active and maintain their health. I believe that they offer a unique combination of accessibility, low-impact movements, convenience, social connection, and a holistic approach to well-being, making them an ideal option for seniors looking to stay active and maintain their health.


Chair exercises offer numerous benefits for seniors, including improved mobility, better balance, enhanced strength, and improved mental health. By incorporating exercises like seated marches, chair squats, seated leg lifts, ankle flexions, and seated tummy twists into your routine, you can maintain or improve your fitness level in a safe and accessible way. Remember to choose the right chair, maintain proper form, and listen to your body to ensure your workouts are both safe and effective.

For more exercises for seniors take a look at the article Great easy workouts for seniors.


1. Can chair exercises help seniors improve their balance?

Yes, chair exercises can target key muscles that support posture and stability, which can improve balance and reduce the risk of falls.

2. How long should a chair exercise session last?

A typical chair exercise session should last around 20-30 minutes. You can adjust the duration based on your fitness level and comfort.

3. Are chair exercises safe for seniors with arthritis?

Yes, chair exercises are low-impact and gentle, making them suitable for seniors with arthritis. However, it’s essential to consult your doctor or physical therapist before beginning any exercise program.

4. Can I do chair exercises if I have limited mobility?

Absolutely. Chair exercises can be modified to accommodate various mobility levels. Consult a fitness professional or physical therapist for guidance on adapting exercises to your specific needs.

5. How do I know if I’m using proper form during chair exercises?

Maintaining good posture and engaging your core muscles are key aspects of proper form. If you’re unsure about your technique, consult a fitness professional or physical therapist for guidance.