10 Exercises for Seniors with Limited Mobility

Handicapped woman lifting dumbbells

Seniors with limited mobility can still get exercises for seniors! Here are 10 chair exercises to warm up major muscle groups. They’re easy and don’t require any special equipment. This makes them perfect for people who live in retirement homes or assisted living facilities. You’ll be glad you did these exercises when your parents need help getting up from a chair and the only thing they can do is sit there helplessly.

Important: consult your doctor or physical therapist before beginning exercises for seniors with limited mobility plans. This is especially important if your parents are dealing with health issues like heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis.

The Importance of Exercising for Seniors

Aging can be tough on the body as muscles tend to weaken and bones may lose density. This leaves seniors more susceptible to injuries. And it makes everyday activities such as standing and walking more difficult. That’s why exercises for seniors who use a wheelchair or a scooter for disabled person are so important. They strengthen the entire body and allow people to maintain an active lifestyle as they age.

Other health benefits of strengthening exercises for seniors are that they can help improve balance and coordination. This is crucial as falls are the leading cause of injury and death in seniors. That’s why it’s important to make your place senior-friendly so they can stretch safely. Check Senioridy for low-income housing options to provide a safe and comfy living environment for your aging parents.

man in wheelchair doing exercise on terrace

10 Chair Exercises for Seniors with Limited Mobility

Chair exercises for elderly parents focus on strengthening muscles. As well as improving balance and building endurance. All things that will help your loved ones remain independent as their physical abilities decline with age. They require only a chair or two sturdy pieces of furniture. They will support you while sitting down (elevated surfaces like coffee tables work great).

Try out these 10 exercises every day if possible. But at least try to do them twice a week. Because it is proven that exercising regularly increases life expectancy by up to ten years. And who doesn’t want their parents around longer?

There are many exercises for elderly people that can be done from a seated position. This makes them perfect for seniors with limited mobility. Here are 10 chair exercises to get started:

1. Seated Marching

Sit up tall with your feet flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart. Slowly lift one foot at a time off the ground. Bring your knee toward your chest. Alternate legs until you’ve completed 20 reps per leg.

2. Ankle Circles

This is a great exercise for seniors that warms up the ankles and gets them moving. Have your parent slowly make clockwise circles with their ankles for about 30 seconds. Then have them do counter-clockwise circles for another 30 seconds.

3. Seated Arm Curls

This is one of the most efficient seated chair exercises to warm up the upper body. Sit up tall with your elbows bent 90 degrees and hands resting on thighs. Slowly curl your hands toward your shoulders, then slowly lower them. Repeat for 20 reps with each arm. Use lightweight dumbbells for a moderate mode.

Old woman with physical disability lifting dumbbells

4. Seated Side Bends

Sit up tall with your feet hip-width apart. Your arms are in a “W” position at chest level (palms facing inward). Slowly lean to one side, hold the stretch for five seconds. Then move back to center, repeat on both sides. Do 30 repetitions per side or until fatigued without pain or discomfort.

5. Scissors

Lie flat on your back with legs extended straight out in front of you. Bring left leg toward chest while extending right leg long. Keep going until they are about six inches off the ground pausing at either endpoint of motion – keep moving. Alternate legs continuously without resting.

6. Leg Lifts

Lie on your back with both legs extended, arms at chest level (palms facing inward). Raise right leg six inches off the ground while simultaneously raising the left arm. Lower to starting position and repeat with opposite leg & arm. Continue alternating in the same fashion until fatigued. Or 30 repetitions have been completed without pain or discomfort.

7. Chair Squats

That’s one of the best leg exercises for seniors. Stand tall behind a chair, palms touching each other at chest height in a “prayer” pose. Step one foot backward away from the chair as you lower into a squat. Bending that knee deeply while keeping your back straight and your core engaged. Mind that maintaining an upright posture is key! Hold for two seconds. Then stand up tall again before repeating the motion on the opposite side of your body.

8. Forward Lean

Stand with back straight and abs engaged, feet hip-width apart. Slowly lean forward from the hips as if you’re trying to place your head on a chair’s seat. Avoid flexing your spine or rounding shoulders. Forward Lean is another great core workout. Hold for two seconds. Then reverse movement without locking out knees to complete one rep of the exercise.

9. Seated Toe Taps

Sit tall in a sturdy chair holding arms at sides. Lift right leg off of the floor slightly. While keeping it slightly bent and tapping toe toward the ceiling. Keep going before returning your foot gently to starting position. Repeat the action on the opposite side by lifting the left foot slightly. Continue alternating legs until all repetitions have been completed once more.

10. Shoulder Shrugs

Sit tall in a sturdy chair with feet flat on the floor. Your arms are at sides, palms down. Slowly lift shoulders up towards ears. Hold for two seconds then release. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions without any discomfort. You can add shoulder circles movement when your shoulder blades meet up.

Senior man doing exercise at home


Staying fit for seniors with limited mobility is important to maintain mental and physical health. The 10 seated exercises below are a great way to start getting active again and maintain overall health. Just be sure not to push yourself too hard at first – go slowly and build up over time. Use this exercise program for older adults to keep them active. After you consult your doctor, you can look for a personal trainer that has solid experience working with the elderly. Such regular exercise will relieve stress, reduce pain, and improve a good posture.