Abdominal Exercises for Seniors

What are some of the abdominal exercises that seniors can take up and follow through without leading to exertion and stress? In this following article we will give you some of these exercises that will benefit the seniors in maintaining their health.
FitnessVigil Staff
As one ages, the things and activities that were once possible to be followed through with ease, become difficult to take up with the same enthusiasm and energy. Is that the bane of old age? Maybe so, but that does not mean one slumps down and considers that all is over. Remaining young at heart is the key they say and that is what one should aim at achieving. But let's not get philosophical here, okay? Let's instead talk about something that is as plain as paper - exercising. People who have been exercising throughout their lives and have maintained great health cannot be pulled down with the feeling of aging and becoming old.
And then there are those senior citizens who realize the importance of including abdominal exercises along with normal cardio workouts like walking and swimming in their routine. It is a curse that most senior citizens have to face - a paunch or a tummy that has a lot of belly fat stored in it. This makes a person more prone to diseases, especially when they are old. It can also drastically effect their energy levels. In this following article we will be looking through some of the upper and lower abdominal exercises for seniors and how to go about the same.
Abdominal Exercises for Senior Citizens
Why is it important to carry through abdominal exercises, especially for senior citizens? A strong set of abdominal muscles help to develop a strong core and this in turn helps to support the lower back.
As is pretty common, problems with the lower back go on to give rise to several problems and ailments in the overall body and that is why it is recommended that the ab muscles be strengthened. In that way it's all connected and helps in maintaining great health. Let's get to these easy abdominal exercises in the following section. The specialty of these exercises is that they can be carried through with the simplest of equipment and without any extra preparations having to be made.
Oblique Crunch
  1. Sit comfortably on a chair so that the soles of your feet are flat on the floor.
  2. Your back should be straight, but make sure that it does not rest against the back rest.
  3. Place both your hands behind your ears. This is your starting point.
  4. Start off by contracting your abdominal muscles and twisting to the left side with your right hand.
  5. As you approach the left side, pull your left leg up so that the right elbow and the left knee touch each other.
  6. Then return to the starting position and do the same on the opposite side.
  7. Repeat 10 times on both sides.
Reclining Curl
  1. Sit on a bench or a chair that has no back rest. Even if there is a back rest, one's buttocks and back should be far away from it.
  2. Your feet should be flat on the ground.
  3. Tighten your core muscles and suck in your abdominal muscles.
  4. Concentrate on maintaining a straight spine that does not bend at the hips or the shoulders.
  5. Maintaining this position, inhale deeply and lower yourself by taking your head and back, back. Stop just before you are about to touch the back rest.
  6. Count till 5 and slowly pull yourself up.
  7. Exhale as you come up.
  8. Do about 10 repetitions of the same.
  9. As your core muscles become stronger, aim at increasing the difficulty level of the exercise.
  10. This can be done by crossing one's hands over the chest or holding them straight out.
  11. Then ditch the 10 repetitions and opt for maintaining a minute of the same exercise.
Opposite Twist
  1. Lie on your back and bend your knees so that the soles of your feet are flat on the ground.
  2. Maintain about 2 inches of space between the feet.
  3. Your head will be comfortably placed on the ground and your hands will rest on the thighs.
  4. Pull the belly button in. Imagine that it is touching the floor.
  5. From this position, extend both your legs so that they are about 5 inches off the ground.
  6. Inhale deeply and raise your right hand above your head and at the same time bring your left leg to the starting position.
  7. Then switch sides and bring the left hand and right leg in eh center.
  8. Continue to switch sides so that you have done 16 raises on both sides.
  9. Increase the sets as you gain strength.
Bicycle Crunch
  1. Lie on your back on an exercise mat.
  2. Place your hands at the back of the head and raise your shoulders about 3 inches off the ground.
  3. Maintain a gap of about 4 inches between the chin and the chest.
  4. Bend your knees and raise them so that the shin is parallel to the ground.
  5. Now inhale and twist your shoulders to the left side. At the same time straighten your right leg.
  6. Hold for a second and switch to the opposite side.
  7. Continue to alternate the legs and twist the shoulders on both sides.
  8. When you twist on both sides, it is considered as one set.
  9. Do 3 sets with 10 repetitions each.
The best part about these abdominal exercises is that they can be easily carried through at home and that too with ease and comfort. Simple and effective, is it not?