7 Leg-Strengthening Exercises for the Elderly

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Many seniors benefit from having a consistent leg strengthening routine. Weak calves and thighs are major risk factors for falls, and these types of accidents result in several emergency room visits every year. Here are a few exercises that can help seniors strengthen their legs, burn calories, and increase their balance.

1. Chair Stands

Standing up from a sitting position is one of the most effective ways to activate several muscles in the midsection and legs. The goal of chair stands is to strengthen these muscle groups until the senior can get up and sit down without using the arms at all. Seniors who have balance or strength issues might need assistance during the first few weeks of exercising. 

Lincoln home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

2. Plantar Flexion

This is a very specific movement that involves lifting the heels off the ground until standing on the balls of the feet. Seniors who carry out plantar flexion should only use their body weight as resistance. While holding onto a chair or counter, seniors should slowly lift the heels up and flex the calf muscles. 

3. Partial Squats

Full squats activate the core while building leg muscles, but they can become quite difficult with age. Many people lose flexibility in their hips, which makes traditional squats extremely dangerous to carry out. Instead of going all the way down during a squat, seniors can lower themselves into a partial sitting position. A chair, counter, or desk should be used for balance until the leg muscles become stronger. 

4. Leg Extensions

The quadriceps can be strengthened by sitting in a comfortable chair and raising up a single foot until the leg is perfectly straight. As seniors become stronger, they can use small ankle weights or exercise bands to add more resistance. This exercise also increases range of motion and strengthens the flexor muscles along the outside of the hips and legs. 

5. Walking in Sand

Walking barefoot in the sand is not only a relaxing pastime, but it is also good for the legs. There are countless stabilizer muscles throughout the ankles and calves that prevent people from falling over as they move around. Walking in sand is a great way to strengthen the smaller muscle bands that tend to deteriorate with age.

Seniors with limited mobility or other health issues may require assistance with walking and other daily activities. For families living in Lincoln, CA, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.  

6. Swimming with a Flotation Device

Even though swimming laps is a great way to exercise, most strokes focus on arm and shoulder strength. Using a flotation device such as a chest harness allows swimmers to focus on the muscles in their hips, buttocks, and thighs. Swimming gently raises the heart rate without putting too much pressure on the joints. 

7. Riding a Stationary Bike

There are many different types of stationary bicycles, and each model has its own pros and cons. Upright bicycles tend to burn more calories, but they can also cause quite a bit of discomfort in the lower back and buttocks. Recumbent bicycles support the spine and are much easier to stay balanced on. Those who have difficulty managing their equilibrium should use recumbent bicycles until they are comfortable sitting on an upright bicycle for longer periods.

Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Lincoln live-in home care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust in professional live-in caregivers to enhance his or her quality of life. Call Home Care Assistance at 916.226.3737 and find out how our premier care plans can help your loved one age in the comfort of home.