If you want to carry things, bend over easily, rotate with ease, and do other similar tasks, then you need to maintain core strength. Your core helps you maintain balance and carry out everyday movements, which is especially important for aging adults. One of the primary benefits of practicing core exercises as an older adult is that you reduce the risk of falling. Although many falls don’t cause injuries, one out of five falls can cause serious injury, including broken bone or head trauma.
According to research, a weak core is one of the risk factors for falling. Other risk factors that increase the risk of falling include low vitamin D levels, vision problems, foot pain, difficulty walking, or home hazards like broken steps. When you train your core, you are able to have an easier time avoiding falls. And since standing core exercises may be tricky for older adults with mobility or balance issues, the sequence in this article involves seated exercises. Doing core exercises in a seated position may help older adults avoid injury. Complete the following five exercises in a sequence about two to three times a week for a stronger core.
Sit up straight on an exercise box, armless chair, or bench. Make sure to stack your ribs over your hips, keep your feet flat on the floor, and let your arms remain by your sides. Engage your core by inhaling, filling your entire rib cage with air. During your exhale, use your core to draw your right knee up toward your chest, forming a 90-degree angle with your leg. Slowly lower your right leg down to the ground and then repeat on your left leg. Complete three sets of 10 reps on each side, alternating legs.
Remain seated on your exercise box, bench, or chair, stacking your ribs over your hips with your feet flat on the floor. Square up your hips and keep your feet hip-distance apart. Twist your torso and reach your hands across the right side of your body and an upward angle. In a fluid motion, bring your hands down and across your body so that they extend below your left leg. Do not lean forward during this motion; rather, maintain a sturdy core. Reverse that motion so that your hands reach up across to the right again. Once you complete 10 reps, switch sides. Complete three sets of 10 reps per side.
Seated Side Bend
You don’t have to move from your seated position on your exercise box, bench, or chair. Just be sure that your posture is straight and that your feet are flat on the floor, hip-distance apart. Keep your torso straight and lean to your right side, hinging at the waist to lower yourself as far as you can comfortably go. Return to the center by engaging your obliques. Bend to the left side and continue to alternate until you complete 10 reps per side. Complete three sets of 10 reps per side.
Sit up tall on your exercise box, bench, or chair, ensuring that you stack your ribs over your hips and that your feet are flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head and lift your right foot off the ground on an exhale. Slowly twist your torso, drawing your right knee in to touch your left elbow. Reverse the motion to return your foot to the ground and then immediately alternate to repeat on the other side. Continue alternating sides until you do 10 reps on each side. Complete three sets of 10 reps per side.
Seated Russian Twist
For your final exercise in this routine, you are still going to remain in a seated position. How about that?! Keep your feet flat on the ground, hip-distance apart, and lean slightly back until you feel your abs engage. Aim to form a 45-degree angle between your torso and the chair or exercise box, on which you’re sitting. On an exhale, twist your torso to the right, reaching your hands back in the direction of your oblique. Return to the center and then repeat on the left side, continuing to alternate until you complete 10 reps on each side. Complete three sets of 10 reps per side.