Last Updated on June 20, 2022
Maintaining physical fitness is paramount to a healthy long life. Strength training for seniors can come in many forms—both in and out of a gym setting. Weight training for seniors helps maintain bone strength, muscle mass, balance, and mobility. As with any routine, it will become easier the more it’s done.
Read on to learn about three ways to improve strength training in seniors of any age.
Best Strength Training Exercises for Seniors
Beyond weights, kettlebells, and resistance bands, strength training for seniors can include 10-45 minutes per day for stretching. Muscle tightness in one area of the body, such as the back, can lead to other pains in the legs or neck later on.
Asking “Is strength training effective for seniors?” or “Should a senior lift weights?” are good initial questions. As with any exercise program, it is only as effective as the person doing it. If a senior is committed to becoming stronger or retaining his or her strength, the program will be effective.
Dumbbell Weights for Seniors
Dumbbells are an easy way to start an exercise program at home and create a standardized workout routine. Weights as low as 1-lb or 5-lbs can be a great starting point. With higher sets and reps, seniors can increase their range and build lean muscle that can protect bones.
Dumbbells are great for upper body strength. Movements like arm circles and curls can help with rotator cuff movement, too. Weight training doesn’t happen overnight, but it can happen with many low-weight dumbbells.
Kettlebell Weight for Seniors
Kettlebell workouts can add intensity to strength training for seniors. With weights starting at 5 lbs — up to 50-lbs. — seniors have a range of options. Because kettlebells have handles, they’re easy to grasp. The weight of a kettlebell is compact, making it easier to maneuver. Seniors can add leg movements such as squats and lunges while holding the kettlebell.
As with any weight—kettlebell or otherwise, don’t drop the weight on a foot or body part. If the hands aren’t strong enough to grasp the kettlebell, it’s best to opt for another exercise.
Resistance Training for Seniors
Resistance training is low impact and a good way to use the body to strengthen itself slowly. Used in Pilates and yoga classes, strength training for seniors with resistance bands can be achieved with a variety of band lengths and resistance levels. Seniors can work on upper- or lower-body strength easily — at home, on vacation, or even at work.
Often, resistance training can also be a bodyweight exercise. Think of a plank or modified plank. With the resistance around one’s arms, there is resistance through the arms as the abdomen and back are also engaged.
Movement, Mobility, and Freedom
It’s important to maintain mobility and the ability to move about freely. Strength training for seniors takes commitment. Contact Williams Lift today for information on stairlifts and how they might help seniors up the stairs.