Our back has one of the major muscles of the body, and our spine is one of the main bones supporting our body. Hence, it is important to maintain a strong back. However, with age performing any exercise can get difficult as the chances of injuring any muscle or bone increases, and thus back pain starts.
But, if you follow some strengthening exercises, you can greatly increase your back strength. Also, some stretching exercises are necessary to improve your flexibility and keep your muscles relaxed. Given are some gentle back exercises for the elderly, which can be used to form a routine for strengthening the back.
Core Strengthening Exercises for Seniors
- This is a fairly simple back exercise. To perform this exercise stand straight, with your legs apart at hip-width distance.
- Then, hold your hand near your chest with elbows bent.
- Now, rotate your torso towards the left side and go back to the starting position.
- Slowly rotate your torso to the right side and return to the starting position.
- Do 8 - 10 repetitions.
- These are similar to the workout of side twists exercises, except you have to do it while sitting on a chair.
- So, sit on a sturdy chair and hold a light dumbbell in your hands at chest level, while keeping the shoulders relaxed.
- Then rotate the torso towards right, and keep squeezing your muscles at the waist.
- Now, slowly return to the center and rotate towards left side, and again come back to center.
- Perform 8 - 10 repetitions.
- To perform these back exercises for seniors, stand in front of a chair with feet at shoulder-width distance.
- Then sit down and as you touch the chair, stand back up, without rocking back.
- To add more intensity to this exercise, hold a light weight dumbbell or a medicine ball.
- Perform 8 - 10 repetitions.
- For this core exercise for seniors, stand a feet away from a wall and keep your palms flat on the wall at shoulder level.
- With your back straight and abs contracted bend the elbows and lower your body near the wall, then push back and repeat.
- Perform 6 - 8 repetitions.
Stretching Exercises for Seniors
Upper Back Stretches
- This is a good stretching exercise, which helps to relax upper back and shoulder muscle.
- To perform this exercise, position yourself in a sturdy armless chair.
- Then hold your arms in front of you at shoulder height, with your palms facing outwards.
- Now, relax your shoulders and keep your upper body still, and reach forward.
- Hold this position for a reverse count of 10 seconds and sit back up.
- Perform 3 repetitions.
Chair Side Stretching Exercise
- To perform this workout, sit up on a sturdy chair which has armrests.
- Keep your back straight and maintain your feet flat on the ground.
- Now, gradually twist your torso to the left side by moving your waist and move your left hand to hold the left armrest. Twist as much as you can.
- Hold this position for a reverse count of 10 seconds, then slowly release, and return to starting position.
- Then switch sides and repeat.
- Perform 3 - 5 repetitions of this exercise.
Apart from these exercises, seniors can also consider swimming or water aerobics, as they are low on impact and greatly help to strengthen the whole body.