Senior woman performs mini squat

Low Impact Mini Squats For Seniors

How to improve your range of motion and improve leg strength with gentle mini squats

One thing most “intense” workouts have in common is some sort of squat. But that doesn’t mean that squats are exclusively an intense exercise. In fact, squats are very versatile and can be adapted to any level of fitness! Keep reading to learn what Mini Squats are and their many life-enhancing benefits.

What Is A Mini Squat?

A full squat sees you crouch so low your thighs become parallel to the ground. A mini squat doesn’t go as low—making it easier for anyone with limited range of motion or leg strength. For a mini squat you go as low as you’re comfortable, allowing your body to adapt to more advanced squat movements. If intensity is a concern, this list of exercises seniors should avoid will help give you peace of mind.

Benefitting From Mini Squats

As one of the most common movements in our lives, strengthening your legs, hips and the other muscles involved in squatting makes daily life easier.

Mini Squats have a wide range of benefits like:

  • Increases the range of motion in your hips, knees & ankles
  • Lubricates joints to help make moving easier
  • Improves balance
  • Improves sit-to-stand
  • Increases leg strength

Including Mini Squats in your exercise routine won’t just have an incredible impact on your lower body strength and stability, they’ll also make it easier to take on life’s adventures and challenges with confidence. Whether you’re picking up grand kids, carrying groceries, bending down to pick up something you dropped, or any other activity that has you bending and crouching—mini squats will quickly become your favourite exercise. If you’re looking for an entire routine, check out this full body workout for seniors!

Which Muscles Do Mini Squats Work?

A mini squat activates the same muscles as a full squat without putting as much strain on you so you can complete more repetitions. Those muscles are primarily in your legs and your lower core:

1. Quadriceps

  • Also referred to as your “quads”, these muscles are used when you need to extend your knee. 
  • When rising from a squat, your quadriceps are doing a lot of the lifting.

2. Glutes

  • The full name of these muscles is “Gluteus Maximus”. 
  • More commonly known as your butt. 
  • These play a large part in helping you stand up from a squat.

3. Adductors

  • These run along the inside of your thigh.
  • They act as stabilisers and help control your balance throughout a squat/standing up motion.

4. Hamstrings

  • The long muscles found on the back of your thigh. 
  • Working with the quads, your hamstrings are some of the most important muscles in providing stability during squats and other similar movements.

5. Calves

  • Found on the back of your legs below the knee, these help stabilise your ankle during a squat and any other similar movement.

6. Core Muscles

  • Your entire core—abdominal, oblique, lower back, and more—are all working to help stabilise you during a mini squat.
  • While these aren’t the focus of a mini squat, it’s still important to engage your core muscles to safely perform the movement

How To Do Mini Squats

The Mini Squat is a great variation of a squat that doesn’t demand as much from you. To get started make sure you have clothing you can move in, comfortable shoes, and a chair or wall nearby for  balance.

  • Place your feet shoulder width apart
  • Start to bend at your knees & slowly stick your butt out
  • Place your hands on your thighs or directly out in front for balance
  • Go as low as comfortable
  • Press your heels into the ground and start to straighten back up
  • Continue for 10 repetitions

For more home gym set up tips, check out this blog.Mini Squats are a great exercise to help your balance and leg strength without the intensity of a full squat. Utilising low impact variations of exercises is a great way to still benefit from the exercise without taking on more than you’re capable of—and they’re easier to incorporate into an exercise routine! For more functional exercises perfect for keeping you moving as you age–check out the “5 Day Class Of Essential Fitness Movements” (Click Or Tap Here)