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How to Get Stronger Without Getting Up From Your Chair!

Cathy Richards
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Cathy Richards
How to Get Stronger Without Getting Up From Your Chair!

Exercise programs, like people, come in all shapes and sizes. And there are incredible benefits to be derived from any and all types of exercise. One of the most valuable types is strength training. What does that translate to for older adults? Stronger muscles mean being able to carry our own groceries, get out of a chair with ease, and walk farther and faster. Stronger muscles help ward off joint problems, decrease the risk of osteoporosis, and improve posture and back pain. Give them a try!

1. Seated Chest Press
Wrap the exercise band behind your back and grip it on each side under your arm pits.  Press out in front of you until your elbows are almost straight.  Slowly return to starting position and repeat.

2. Seated Row
Sit upright close to the edge of the chair with legs extended a bit, heels anchored to the floor and knees bent.  Wrap the exercise band around your feet, crisscross the band and then hold one end in each hand.  Pull on the band, squeezing your shoulder blades together.  Slowly return to starting position and repeat.

3. Biceps Curl
Sit with feet firmly planted on the floor in front of you.  Anchor the tubing securely under your feet and grip firmly with each hand.  Keeping your elbows by your side, curl your palms up towards your shoulders.  Slowly return to starting position and repeat.

4. Triceps Extension
Grip the band with both hands in front of you, leaving approximately 8-12 inches of band between your hands.  Anchor one hand right above the chest.  With the other arm, extend the elbow until your arm is straight out to the side. Slowly return to starting position and repeat.

5. Abdominal Crunch
Sit upright close to the edge of the chair and cross your arms over your chest. Slowly lean back until your shoulder blades barely touch the back of the chair.  Hold for just a small moment, then slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

6. Leg Press
Sitting upright, lift one leg, wrap the band around the bottom of your shoe, and grip firmly in each hand. Press your foot out until the knee is almost straight.  Slowly return to starting position and repeat.  Switch to the other leg when finished.

A few overall guidelines:

  • Make sure the chair you have selected is sturdy and does not have wheels.
  • If you experience true pain, especially in a joint, stop immediately.
  • Perform each exercise slowly and smoothly.
  • For each exercise, move through the full range of motion as much as possible as long as no pain is experienced
  • Breathe evenly during the full range of motion. Do not hold your breath during any portion of the exercise.
  • Perform approximately 8-12 repetitions of each exercise or until you feel as though the muscles are fatigued and you can’t comfortably do any more.  Feeling tired is different than feeling pain.
  • The amount of resistance used will impact how quickly the muscles feel fatigued. With exercise bands, this depends on how slack you have in the band based on where you grip the band. Adjust your grip until the exercise feels somewhat challenging – not too hard nor too easy.
Cathy Moxley

Submitted by Cathy Moxley

Cathy Moxley, MA, is the Fitness Director at Asbury Methodist Village. She has a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology as well as certifications from the Senior Fitness Association, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

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