What Are The Best Core Exercises For Seniors to Promote Balance & Flexibility?

What Are The Best Core Exercises For Seniors

What are the best and safest core exercises for seniors? 

The core muscles play a crucial role in our body’s everyday movement. Strengthening your core muscles supports posture, secures balance, and improves mobility. 

As you age, strengthening your core muscles becomes even more vital. Below, we’ll tackle different health tips, benefits, and eight best core strengthening exercises for seniors to use. 

We’ll explain how a strong core can help seniors live a longer and healthier life. 

Why Exercise is Essential for Seniors

Why Exercise is Essential for Seniors?

Our muscles and joints tend to weaken with age. It often results in back pain, poor posture, and other health problems. 

That’s why older people need to keep in shape. Regular exercise helps slow down the body’s aging process. It can improve both your physical and mental well-being. 

It makes targeted exercises such as core strength training even more crucial for older people. 

What is the Core’s Primary Function? 

Your entire body’s physical movement generates entirely from your core. 

Even simple everyday movements such as bending down, walking, and even climbing the stairs all rely on your core muscles. 

It consists of the abdominal muscles, back muscles, obliques, hips, and pelvic muscles. 

Your core muscles help support your body’s posture, balance and protect the spine. 

How Core Strength Training Is Important for Seniors

How Core Strength Training Is Important for Seniors

Statistics show that one out of four elderly in the U.S. experience getting injured in a fall each year. Some injuries may even stem from minor to fatal. 

Having a strong core exercise can help maintain your body’s optimum balance and prevent injuries like falls from happening. 

study back in 2015 gathered that doing core strengthening exercises can improve older people’s balance and stability. 

But that’s not all. Aside from improving balance, having a strong core has a lot of other benefits.

The Benefits Of Core Strength Training For Old Adults

The Benefits Of Core Strength Training For Old Adults

Reduce Muscle Pain

Muscle pain and back pain are usual in older people. Doing core strengthening exercises can help alleviate the tension in your body. 

Allows Full Range of Motion 

You’ll find it easier to move around once you strengthen your core. Your body will be more flexible and capable of doing daily activities. 

Improves Posture 

The stronger your core is, the more capable it is in supporting your spine. 

A lot of elderly suffer from poor posture. Training your core can help keep your body and back aligned. 

Improve Quality of Life

Some older people tend to struggle with doing simple physical tasks due to health problems.  

Building some strength into your core helps you perform better. It helps older people feel good, healthy, and more self-capable again. 

How Can Seniors Strengthen Their Core

How Can Seniors Strengthen Their Core?

How do I strengthen my core over 50? Some seniors would certainly wonder where they would even begin. What kind of core strengthening exercises are safe for them to do? 

And can they even do it? 

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Below are eight core exercise variations you can easily do. It’s complete with a step-by-step guide for you to know what to do. 

No equipment is needed. You can do these exercises virtually anywhere. 

What Is The Best Exercise For Core Strengthening

What Is The Best Exercise For Core Strengthening? 

1. Bird Dog

Benefits: Reduces lower back pain. It improves balance, stability, and posture. 

Targets: Core, Glutes, & Back Muscles

Equipment: Exercise Mat

How to Do It: 

  • Kneel on the mat with your knees a hip’s width apart. Place your hands, palms flat on the ground with your arms shoulder-width apart. Keep your abdominals tight. 
  • Carefully lift one arm with the opposite knee simultaneously an inch or two from the floor. Keep your balance in check while you do this.
  • Once you feel steady enough, slowly extend your arm out in front of you as well as the opposite leg behind you until you form a straight line with your arm and leg. Remember to keep your hips facing the ground. Try not to sag your body and tighten your core. 
  • Hold your position with your leg and arm outstretched for a couple of seconds before slowly lowering it back to its starting position. 
  • Switch to the other side. Repeat. 

2. Side Bends

Benefits: Strengthen oblique muscles and improve the body’s flexibility to move sideways and rotate. 

Targets: Obliques & Torso

Equipment: Chair (optional) 

How to Do It: 

  • You can do it when standing or sitting. 
  • With your feet flat on the floor, raise one arm behind your head. Keep your free arm stretched to the side. 
  • Carefully bend to the side where your outstretched hand is. Bend just enough without causing too much discomfort. 
  • Tighten your oblique muscles as you bend before slowly going back to your starting position. 
  • Switch to the other side. Repeat. 

3. Bridge

Benefits: Strengthens the abdominal muscles, core muscles and helps support the spine

Targets: Abdominals, Core, & Spine

Equipment: Exercise Mat

How to Do It: 

  • Lie flat on your back with your arms straight beside you until you are in a comfortable position. Knees bent, with your feet flat on the ground. 
  • Once you are situated enough, tighten your core and slowly raise your hips upward. Enough until you form a straight line from your chest to your knees. 
  • Hold this position with your legs bent for a few seconds without arching your back. 
  • Lower your hips back to the floor slowly until flat on your back again. 
  • Take a short break. Repeat. 

4. Leg Lifts

Benefits: Simple but carries a lot of benefits. It improves core and leg strength. It eases lower back pain and tones the glutes. 

Targets: Core, Lower back, Hips, Glutes, Leg muscles

Equipment: Exercise Mat

How to Do It: 

  • Lie flat on your back, legs straight. Settle your arms to your sides, palms flat against the floor.
  • Slowly raise your left leg off the floor. Remember to engage your core strength you do so. 
  • Keep it up for a few seconds before gently lowering it to the ground.
  • Switch to the other side. Repeat. 

5. Wood Chops

Benefits: Strengthens arms and entire core. It helps improve balance and stability. 

Targets: Core muscles, arm muscles, shoulders, hips, and back. 

Equipment: No equipment needed. 

How to Do It: 

  • The movement of this exercise is as if you are chopping wood. 
  • Assume a standing position with your feet wide apart. Keep your body straight.
  • Raise both of your arms to one side of your head. Keep your hands clasped together as if you are holding an ax.
  • Bend your knees as you make a diagonal chopping motion in front of you. 
  • Bring your arms back up to your initial position. 
  • Repeat. 

6. Kneeling Planks  

Benefits: Engages the core. It strengthens the back, arm, and abdominal muscles. It also builds endurance. 

Targets: Core muscles, back muscles, arm muscles, shoulders. 

Equipment: Exercise Mat. 

How to Do It: 

  • Kneel on the floor with your arms and elbows situated on the ground. 
  • Give your glutes a tight squeeze before bringing your pelvis into a hollow-like position. 
  • Try to keep your body in a straight line. Try to keep your hips from dipping. 
  • Try to hold this position for as long as 30 to 60 seconds. It depends on how long you are comfortable.
  • Slowly ease yourself to a more relaxed position to rest. 
  • Repeat. 

How Long Should a 70 Year Old Hold a Plank? 

Holding a plank position may be a challenge for most seniors at the age of 70. While it depends on their fitness level, 70-year-olds should keep a plank position for 20-30 seconds. 

7. Stationary Lunges

Benefits: Strengthens the core and leg muscles. It improves body strength, stability, and balance. 

Targets: Core muscles, leg muscles, hips, and glutes. 

Equipment: No equipment needed.

How to Do It: 

  • Stand straight with your legs together. Take a large step back with your right leg with your right heel up, toes on the floor. Concentrate on transferring your weight to your opposite leg. Keep your body upright, core engaged, and shoulders relaxed. 
  • Keep your breathing in check. Face forward, slowly lower yourself down enough until your knee is three inches away from the ground. Your left leg should be forming a 90-degree angle. Remember to avoid letting your toes go past your bent knee. 
  • With an exhale, slowly push yourself back up by driving from your left heel to your starting position. Tighten your glutes as you do so.
  • Keep your leg straight. Don’t lock your knee and keep it extended. 
  • Repeat. 

8. Chest Pull

Benefits: Strengthens the core muscles and chest. It engages the back, arm, and shoulder muscles. 

Targets: Core muscles, back muscles, arm muscles, shoulders, and chest.  

Equipment: Resistance Bands and Chair (Optional)

How to Do It: 

  • You can try to do this exercise sitting or standing. 
  • Keep your back straight, core tightened. 
  • With your resistance bands, grasp each end with your hands and position it over your chest, elbows bent. 
  • Holding a tight grip on each end, carefully pull the resistance band with your arms wide and away from each other. Enough for you to feel the tension on your arms, core, and chest. 
  • Hold that position for a second before easing your hands back to their starting position. 
  • Repeat. 
What Exercises Should Seniors Avoid

What Exercises Should Seniors Avoid?

Ending up doing the wrong exercise can be risky to your health. Heavy-hitting workouts can even cause or worsen joint pain and imbalance. It may even leave you more vulnerable to serious physical injury. 

Below are some of the exercises seniors over 60 should try to avoid doing: 

  • Deadlifts
  • Weighted Squats
  • HIIT
  • Stair Climbs
  • Long Distance Running
  • Sit-ups
  • Pull-ups
How Can I Strengthen My Core Muscles At Home

How Can I Strengthen My Core Muscles At Home?

1.Add Daily Stretches 

Adding stretches to your workout routine can be a great way to make your core stronger. 

Stretching can give a lot of other health benefits as well. It can relieve joint and muscle problems and even promote flexibility. 

It’s also important to do pre and post-workout stretches to make the most out of your core exercises. 

2.Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

It’s crucial for older people to eat a healthy diet. 

It’s essential to give your body the right energy and nutrition it needs to power through your day. 

Try adding more lean protein to your diet to help you build more muscle mass. 

3.Stay Hydrated

Older people retain less water in their bodies compared to younger people.

It’s vital to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day, especially if you’re going to workout 3-4 times per week. 

Water is necessary for the body to function optimally. It aids digestion, lubricates joints, and promotes healthy blood and oxygen circulation in the body. 

4.Encourage Healthy Habits: Stay Active

Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to succumb to living a sedentary lifestyle. 

It’s time to develop some new hobbies that will keep you up and active. It doesn’t have to be anything too tiring. 

Moving about the house Doing yoga or pilates can be healthy hobbies to start.

Even doing basic household chores is already a great way to begin a new active lifestyle. 

5.Do Breathing Exercises

Engaging in breathing exercises can help strengthen your core and promote the oxygen flow in your body. 

It’s also a great exercise you can do during your rest days or cool down periods. It is a highly encouraging activity for older adults. 

Taking a few deep breaths once in a while to relax can help boost your mood and strengthen your body, core, lungs, and heart. 

Can Walking Strengthen Your Core

Can Walking Strengthen Your Core?

Like any other type of endurance exercise, walking engages your core. 

Not only does this low-impact cardio beneficial for your heart and lungs. Walking can effectively decrease your belly fat and tone your stomach. 

Walking utilizes a combination of your core muscles. It helps improve stability, endurance, and total body muscle strength. 

A recent study in 2019 indicated how walking improves your balance and relieve back pain. 

Walking can be a great cardio and core strengthening workout to include in your fitness routine. 

The Bottom Line

Consult your doctor first before starting your workout program is a good idea. They will help ensure that you are in top condition to perform these types of workouts. 

You can also hire a personal trainer to guide you through your workout program as safe as possible.

With that in mind, you’re never too old to exercise and switch to a healthier lifestyle.

Adding core exercises to your workout regimen is a process that will lead you to live a happier and longer life.

Henry James

Henry James

Founder of livepowerful.com: I am a web content writer and editor who focus on studying and writing articles about health and wellness ,and believe that it is these qualities could make people healthier in life.

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