A senior couple works out together, focusing on isometric exercises to help improve their strength, balance, and joint health.

More Seniors Are Trying Isometric Exercises—Should You?

How to build strength—by staying still!

For seniors, maintaining muscle strength and fitness is crucial to living a healthy and independent life for years to come. Isometric exercises are some of the best ways to maintain that independence without too much strain. If you’re not familiar with what they are or how to do them, don’t worry! We’re going to get into all the specifics of isometric exercises for seniors below!

What Are Isometric Exercises?

Traditional strength training sees you lifting and moving weights to help build muscle. Isometric exercises, by contrast, build strength utilizing static movements and poses. That’s why many seniors gravitate toward isometric exercises. They’re generally much more gentle on your body and decrease the risk of injury, but really helps maintain and build muscle.

Isometric Exercises For Seniors Can Improve Quality Of Life

Just like any type of strength training, when you feel the benefits of isometric exercises, you’ll quickly notice your joints ache less and it’s easier than ever to move through the world. Whether you’re taking a stroll through the park or getting in on play time action with grandkids, isometric exercises can help improve most seniors’ lives.

Isometric Exercises Support Mental Health

Regular exercise, of any kind, has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. What sets isometric exercises apart is that these are gentle and easily done anywhere, so they’re easy to include in your daily routine, especially for older adults. So if you want to boost your mental health through working out, consider trying isometric exercises.

Isometric Exercises Improve Bone Density

A bonus to building muscle strength with isometric exercises is improved bone density. As we age, our bones lose density, and isometric exercises can help seniors overcome and minimize the symptoms of Osteoporosis.

What Equipment Do You Need To Do Isometric Exercises?

One of the best aspects of isometric exercises for seniors is how little equipment you need. There’s every chance you have the most common gear used when performing isometric exercises.

Wall

  • Used in exercises like Wall Sits and Wall Pushes, also used for support.

Chair

  • Used in any exercise that you need to be seated for. Can also be a good way to take pressure off during rest periods.

Mat

  • Used in ground-based exercises to keep you comfortable as you workout.

Resistance Bands

  • Resistance bands add resistance to exercises to increase the impact on your muscles.

Towel

  • Used for isometric holds, like pulling exercises.

Gentle Isometric Exercises for Seniors

Isometric exercises often work more than one body part, so make sure to stay within your limits. The best way to see results is to be consistent, and an injury won’t help with that. These isometric exercises are gentle and great for building muscle.

1. Isometric Bicep Curl

  • Sit in a chair with your back straight
  • Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle with palms facing up
  • Press your palms up against a sturdy surface or table edge
  • Hold for 10-15 seconds, then relax
  • Repeat for 8 repetitions

2. Isometric Shoulder Press

  • Sit or stand with your back straight
  • Bend your elbows at 90 degrees, hands at shoulder height
  • Press your palms up against a sturdy surface or wall
  • Hold for 10-15 seconds, then relax
  • Repeat for 8 repetitions

3. Isometric Triceps Push

  • Sit in a chair with your back straight
  • Place your hands on the armrests
  • Push down as if you’re trying to lift yourself off the chair
  • Hold for 10-15 seconds, then relax
  • Repeat for 8 repetitions

4. Isometric Hip Adduction

  • Sit on a chair with your back straight
  • Place a pillow or soft ball between your knees
  • Squeeze the pillow/ball with your knees
  • Hold for 10-15 seconds, then relax
  • Repeat for 8 repetitions

5. Isometric Neck Exercise

  • Sit or stand with your back straight
  • Place your hands against your forehead
  • Push your head forward while resisting with your hands
  • Hold for 10-15 seconds, then relax
  • Repeat for 8 repetitions

Keep up with a life filled with your favorite activities and people with isometric exercises for seniors. The poses are easy on your joints and since you don’t need much equipment, they’re easy exercises to do anywhere. Build strength to maintain independence, but you don’t have to do it independently. Keep your workouts balanced with 3-4 strength workouts per week and  2-3 cardio workouts. Here’s an easy cardio workout to follow along with on your non-strength days–Couch Boxing Cardio Class.