9 Standing Core Exercises for Seniors

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Core strength becomes more crucial as you age, as it helps maintain your balance and good posture. Standing core exercises for seniors can effectively work your ab area and strengthen your hips and back.

Heck, out of these nine standing exercises, target your core muscles and can help improve your core strength.

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9 Standing Core Exercises for Seniors | Senior Workout & Fitness

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Before Your Workout

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Before you start exercising, here are the things you need to prepare:

  • Space: You need a room where you can perform your workout. Additionally, have something you can hold onto, such as a chair, a countertop, or a wall. This can help support your body as you do some of the exercises.
  • Bottled water: It’s important to keep yourself hydrated. In addition, you may also use these water bottles as your dumbbells for some of the exercises.
  • Timer: The duration of each workout is 30 seconds, with 10-second rests in between.
  • Your mind: Lastly, you have to focus on your core muscles. You want to work your abdomen for these exercises, not your legs.

Standing Core Exercises for Seniors

1. Knee Lifts

How To:

  • Lift your right knee to about 90 degrees.
  • Keep a slight bend in your standing left knee and a stable base on your left foot.
  • Maintain good posture as you do this movement. Be sure that your core is engaged.
  • As you lift your knee, slightly bend your chest forward, crunching your knee and trunk together and squeezing your abdomen.
  • Lengthen your abdomen as you put down your knee.
  • Do this for 30 seconds. Then, take a short break before doing the same on the other side. Alternatively, you may do alternate standing knee lifts.

2. Standing Cross Crunches

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How To:

  • Lift both your arms to around 90 degrees as preparation for the standing cross crunches.
  • Lift your right knee to the side. As you lift your knee, pull down your right elbow. They should almost touch each other.
  • Afterward, do a cross crunch by reaching your left elbow to your right knee.
  • Squeeze your core and focus on your obliques as you make this move.
  • Do the same on the opposite side.

3. Figure 8 Workout with Alternating Knee Raise

How To:

  • Raise your arms to your front center, and pretend like you’re holding something. Alternatively, you may hold your bottled water.
  • Do a figure eight with your arms passing through your knees.
  • As your arms pass to your right side, lift your right knee.
  • Then, bring your right knee down.
  • Lift your left knee as your arms pass to the left.
  • Do this exercise for 30 seconds.

4. Standing Side Bend

How To:

  • Put a slight bend in your knees.
  • Place your hands on your sides.
  • Then, bend your upper body to your right, reaching your fingertips down to the floor. Repeat on the other side.
  • You may also carry dumbbells or water bottles to take this workout to the next level.

Pro Tip: You may stand with your feet together while doing this workout for a bit of a challenge.

5. Hip Hinge Exercise

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For this workout, focus on your lower back to help you stabilize and pull yourself up. This movement is similar to a deadlift.

How To:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Steady the base of your feet.
  • Slightly bend your knees, putting equal pressure on both heels.
  • Put your hands on your hips. Alternatively, you may carry dumbbells or water bottles.
  • Inhale, then bend your chest, waist, and hips forward.
  • Keep your neck neutral and your back straight.
  • Then, exhale as you go back to standing position.

RELATED: Top 7 Dumbbell Exercises for Men Over 50

6. Standing Bird Dog

How To:

  • Stand on your left knee, then raise your right leg backward.
  • As you lift your right leg, raise your arms forward, forming an almost straight line that’s parallel to the floor.
  • Alternatively, your right hand may hold onto a chair as you lift your opposite or left arm.
  • Get back up to the standing position, and repeat this exercise for 30 seconds with slow, controlled movements. Again, don’t forget to engage your core.
  • Repeat on the other side.

7. Standing Toe-Touch

How To:

  • Lift your arms, and raise your right leg without bending your knee.
  • Try to touch your right foot with your left hand as your leg comes up. Remember that you don’t have to reach your right foot ultimately, especially if you’re not that flexible yet. Your foot may go up a little off the floor, and that’s perfectly fine.
  • Squeeze your abdominal muscles, and keep a slight bend in your left knee.
  • Do this exercise for 30 seconds, then switch to the other side.
  • After performing this workout on your left knee, you may do an alternate leg lift for another 30 seconds.

8. Wood Chop

How To:

  • Hold either a light dumbbell or bottled water.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Twist your hips to the right as you lift your arms overhead to the right side as well, carrying your dumbbell or bottle.
  • As you raise your arms, shift your weight to your right leg.
  • Bring your arms to your lower left side, and bend your knees.
  • Repeat this movement for 30 seconds before shifting to the opposite side.

9. The Twist

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How To:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, keeping a slight bend in your knees.
  • Hold your dumbbell or water bottle in front of your chest.
  • Then, twist your arms and core to the right, then to the center, then to the left, then back to the center.
  • Do this movement for 30 seconds.

Stretches after Your Workout

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Stretching after doing standing core exercises can help limit the strain you might feel on your joints and muscles. Additionally, they can help your muscles maintain flexibility.

Try doing these stretches, and hold each move for 20-30 seconds:

  • Hold onto a chair, a countertop, or a wall, then step a little back. Bend your waist forward, stretching your chest, shoulders, and lower back.
  • Roll up your arms as you step your feet forward, lengthening your arms toward the ceiling and stretching your entire abdominal wall.
  • Don’t forget to breathe in and breathe out in between these movements, then bring down your arms.
  • Stand back up, keeping a stable base and a slight bend in your knees.
  • Place your left hand on your left hip, then raise your right arm overhead. Next, bend to your left side, deeply stretching your right oblique. Do this on the other side.

There are also core exercises that you can do while seated. Check out this video by Senior Fitness With Meredith to get some workout ideas:

Having a strong core can make it easier for you to do daily activities, such as getting up from a chair, bending, and lifting. It can also help prevent falls and injuries.

Fortunately, you don’t need to sign up for gym membership or invest in fitness equipment to work your core. You may use these standing core exercises for seniors as stand-alone or as a mixup to your other favorite ab workouts. Feel free to modify them based on your activity level.

Remember always to connect your mind and body when performing these exercises. And as always, don’t force movements that cause joint pain or muscle discomfort. If you’re experiencing sharp pains during a workout, stop and consult your doctor or physical therapist.

Stay hydrated and have a great workout!

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