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4 at-home standing exercises for seniors

Jun 11, 2020

Exercising is most effective when you do it every day. Staying active on a regular basis is the key to healthy living and independence for seniors. These four exercises for seniors listed below can help increase core strength and stability as daily exercises.

Exercise #1: Sit-to-stand


Standing up from a chair or toilet are major factors for seniors being able to live at home independently. Otherwise, some may need to hire a full-time resident assistant or go to an assisted living community. It's also important to remember that spending too much time sitting can be potentially dangerous for your health. This exercise for seniors strengthens the muscles in your upper legs.

How to:

  • Stand in front of a chair with your feet apart and your arms straight out in front of your shoulders. 
  • Holding your arms out will help you stay balanced as you complete repetitions. 
  • Bend your knees and push your hips down toward the base of the chair. 
  • After a slight pause, press your body upward and stand up to complete the rep. 
  • Two to three sets of 10 reps a day are recommended.

Exercise #2: Tandem stance

An older woman is seen doing a tandem stance balance exercise in her living room-2.png

The tandem stance is mostly used as a way to test your balance. But, it is also a good exercise for seniors to perform every day. For more ways to help improve your balance, check out  the best balance exercises to improve your stability.

How to:

  • Stand with your feet together and your arms straight out to your sides. 
  • Put one foot in front of the other in a straight line and hold this position for 30 seconds. 
  • Switch the position of your feet and repeat. 
  • Holding your arms out to your sides will help you stay balanced.

Exercise #3: Farmer’s walk

An older woman holds hand weights in her living room-3.png

This standing exercise for seniors works out your upper body and promotes core strength. Perfecting it enhances your ability to do any daily exercise or activity that you need to do.

How to: 

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and a weight in each hand down by your sides. 
  • From here, slowly walk forward for 30 seconds then repeat in the opposite direction.

Exercise #4: Single-leg stand

An older man is seen doing a single leg stand exercise in a field-4.png

This exercise for seniors helps improve your ability to perform everyday activities. It is a favorite Silver Sneakers exercise to support yourself on one leg at a time. It helps with activities like walking and climbing stairs.

How to:

  • Stand tall with your feet together. 
  • Lift one of your feet off of the floor so that you are standing on one foot. 
  • Make sure your core is not leaning toward one side of your body. 
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds and switch feet. 
  • You can use a wall, counter, or sturdy chair for balance if needed.

All of these exercises can be done in the comfort of your home. If you want to start going to the gym but can’t afford a gym membership, your health plan may offer the SilverSneakers benefit. SilverSneakers allows you free access to over 14,000 participating locations. You also have access to a number of amenities like pools and workout classes. You can check your eligibility at silversneakers.com

One Medical Senior's commitment to our patients’ whole health includes everything from mental to physical health. We empower patients with information and education so they can live their healthiest lives. In this article, we reviewed four great standing exercises for seniors to incorporate into their routines.

For more information about exercises for seniors and strength training, you might be interested in learning more about chair exercises every senior should know.

Meet the Author

SilverSneakers is a free fitness program for seniors that’s helping millions of people on Medicare defy the odds, shatter stereotypes and answer every challenge with, “I can do this!” SilverSneakers includes unlimited access to every participating gym and fitness center in the network. That’s a gym membership at more than 14,000 locations with unrestricted access to EVERY location. Weights, treadmills, pools, and other amenities are included. We also offer fitness classes for all abilities led by our certified instructors at gyms and other locations. The gyms are yours. The amenities are yours. The classes are yours. Now go get ’em!

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The One Medical blog is published by One Medical, a national, modern primary care practice pairing 24/7 virtual care services with inviting and convenient in-person care at over 100 locations across the U.S. One Medical is on a mission to transform health care for all through a human-centered, technology-powered approach to caring for people at every stage of life.

Any general advice posted on our blog, website, or app is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any medical or other advice. 1Life Healthcare, Inc. and the One Medical entities make no representations or warranties and expressly disclaim any and all liability concerning any treatment, action by, or effect on any person following the general information offered or provided within or through the blog, website, or app. If you have specific concerns or a situation arises in which you require medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified medical services provider.