A senior's lower back is a critical area of the body that must be protected and exercised so that they can walk, sit, and stand comfortably. Elderly adults afflicted with chronic low back pain have significantly decreased muscle strength, leading to an increased risk of falling.
Back strengthening exercises are essential for seniors to maintain their independence in their daily lives. In many cases, preventing or correcting back problems at home may be feasible through proper exercises for seniors.
Back Strengthening Exercises For Seniors
The following exercises are suitable for seniors and do not require any special equipment. This is a do-it-yourself exercise that targets the upper, middle, and lower back. A variety of exercises can be performed on the bed, on the floor, or in a chair.
Bent Knee Raise
To begin, lie on your back with bent knees and your hands on either side of your body, palms down. Slowly raise one knee toward your chest. Raise the other knee against your chest and bring it into contact with the other. For 5 seconds, raise both knees and then return them to their starting positions.
Keep in mind to breathe while performing the bent knee raise. It is recommended that you inhale as you lift your knees and exhale as you lower them back down.
Sit-backs are an excellent way to strengthen both your back and abdominal muscles. Knees bent and back straight, sit on the floor or bed. Cross your arms across your chest, palms facing up.
Lean back slowly, using your abdominal muscles for the majority of the lifting. Maintain contact with the ground in front of you and proceed only as far as you are comfortable. Retrace your steps back to your starting position and repeat the movement ten more times.
Lay firmly on the floor or in bed and prop your head up with a pillow. Raise your right knee toward your chest while maintaining a straight left leg. Grab your knee with both hands and pull it close as possible to your chest.
For a count of five, keep your knee close to your chest, start releasing, and slowly return your leg to its initial position.
How Frequently Should Seniors Perform Exercises?
Back strengthening workouts should be done three times per week to improve an elderly person's balance and mobility, but more regularly is advisable. However, the back should not be painful following exercise sessions; therefore, take a break between sessions if your back needs to rest.
What Exercises Should Seniors Avoid?
To strengthen the back, elders must perform mild exercises on a regular basis that engage the core and keep the back's muscles fully involved. Exercises that cause muscle strain, such as weight training, long-distance running, abdominal crunches, rock climbing, and sit-ups, should be avoided.
For seniors, regular physical activity has benefits not only for the physical body but for mental wellbeing as well. As with any other fitness routine or healthy habit, the best method to reap the benefits is to do a little bit every day.
Exercises that engage the core muscles can help avoid injury, enhance stability, and improve posture. Seniors experiencing lower back pain must also give importance to their overall stance and how they carry heavy objects.
For more advice and recommendations for your senior loved ones, head over to Senior Strong today!
William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.