Dancing Hands

Seated Exercises For You To Try At Home

Whatever your abilities, here are some exercises that can help with mobility and strength


Try these with caution and slowly 

 
Heart Socks

Marching

An obvious one, but a great way to build up mobility in hips, knees and ankles as well as elevate the heart rate a little. It’s a good warm up pulse raiser, and for parts of a main component. Marching repeatedly can get a little boring, so spice it up with some funky arm combinations to test coordination, and some changes of speed. I’m a big fan of this to music, they can move to the beat, and in a class it will liven things up a bit. Make sure this is done slowly.

Fast Feet Intervals

As with any interval, set your interval timings first, you might start with as little as 10 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. Or work for minutes at a time … this is dependent on each client and ability.

Work Phase =  Fast feet << Staying seated with abs engaged throughout, and sitting upright with an active posture (no slouching). Accelerate the marching action to fast feet, so it is like running on the balls of the feet.

Rest Phase = Heel Taps << Choose any leg exercise that is a considerable reduction in intensity. I like using heel taps forward, as this acts as good knee mobility and a change of motion compared to marching.

Senior Citizen Exercise Class
Image by Nsey Benajah

Air Speed Ball

Don’t hit yourself in the face. Sit in a normal seated position, but it is important their core is totally engaged and posture is active, feet on the floor. Make fists with both hands and then rotate them around each other as fast or slow as you wish, a few inches in front of the chest or face. Try with one hand around the affected hand if possible.  Spice it up by using intervals and asking them to change direction. You could get them to rotate slowly as they do it, so they also get mobility and oblique activation.

Side Taps

Most of the exercises so far are in the sagittal plane, so it is good to do some frontal plane movement, get the hips mobilised, and abductors working. The abductors are great for stability and fall prevention. Sit comfortably; if in a group setting make sure there is at least a few inches in-between chairs to allow for room to move. Step one foot out to the side as if they want to stand on their neighbour's foot. The aim is to reach out from the hips (not just the knees) and gradually build Range of motion and speed. They may be able to put the full foot flat on the floor, but if not toes are absolutely fine. Alternate between the legs or do 10 reps each side before changing sides.


To spice it up, this to the “can-can” song << cheesy I know (but have a giggle, another good exercise).

Dance Class
Image by Thais Do Rio

Shadow Boxing

Making fists with the hands, punch forward with control, and gradually increase the speed…. until they get a sweat on. Pretend to hit things (but be really careful of fragile wrists).

 

Video

Check out this step by step guide to chair exercises you can try in the comfort of your own home

 
 

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