Strength training tips for older patients

  • Warming up

    Warming up

    The warm-up is a very important step in exercising to help prevent injury. All patients need is a 5-minute walk.

  • Squats


    Stand in front of a sturdy chair, make sure feet are shoulder-width apart, bend knees, and slowly lower buttocks as if sitting in a chair.

  • Wall push ups

    Wall push ups

    This exercise is easier than a regular push up and helps strengthen the arms, shoulders and chest. Find a clear wall, bend elbows, and lower body toward the wall, slowly.

  • Toe stands

    Toe stands

    Toe stands help strengthen calves and ankles and improve stability and balance. Slowly push up on the balls of the feet, and hold the position for a few seconds.

  • Finger marching

    Finger marching

    This exercise helps strengthen the upper body and grip. Sit on a chair facing forward. Slowly “walk” fingers upward until they are above the head.

  • Biceps Curl

    Biceps Curl

    Bicep curls help with everyday tasks. Stand or sit in a chair with a dumbbell in each hand (5lbs). Rotate forearms and slowly lift weights.

  • Side Hip Raise

    Side Hip Raise

    Side hip raises help target muscles that are in the hips, thighs, and buttocks. Stand behind a sturdy object. Slowly lift one leg out to the side, keeping it straight.

  • Knee Extension

    Knee Extension

    This exercise helps strengthen the knees. Sit all the way back in a chair, point toes forward, flex the foot, slowly lift the leg, and count for a few seconds.

  • Pelvic Tilt

    Pelvic Tilt

    The pelvic tilt improves posture, and helps tighten the abdomen and buttocks. Lie flat on the back. Keep palms down on the floor, and slowly roll the pelvis toward the abdomen.

  • Cool Down

    Cool Down

    Stretching helps flexibility and relieves tension in the chest and shoulders. Extend both arms behind the back, and grab both hands together. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds and breathe throughout.

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As people age, everyday activities may not be as easy as they used to be -- carrying groceries, walking through the park, stairs, etc. Strength training can help make these tasks easier and is also associated with preventing diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and back and hip pain.

Additionally, strength training can help increase strength and energy, help prevent arthritis and osteoporosis, and boost vitality. Advise older patients to do these easy and safe exercises from the CDC two to three times per week.

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