Top 22 functional fitness exercises for seniors

Functional fitness exercises is a new term in recent years that indicate the training for body fitness, particularly for older adults. The exercises is connected to health benefits and it can improve your lean muscle, reduce blood pressure, improve bone health, increase the strength of lower back, reduce cholesterol, and it will increase endurance as well as energy for seniors. In this article, VKool.com will show you top 22 functional fitness exercises for seniors and hope you will experience something new from those movements.

Top 22 Functional Fitness Exercises For Seniors You Should Know

1. Ball Squat

functional fitness exercises - ball squat

This movement will strengthen gradually your shoulders, arms, lower back, glutes, and your legs and you should do it every day to prevent a backache, and pain in those parts. Here are the steps how to do it:

  • Firstly, you stand the feet widely and hold a medicine ball with the hands in front of you.
  • Now you squat down, move the back, and keep the knees over the ankles.
  • You reduce the ball to the ground, maintain the head up and straighten the back.
  • Avoid hunching and now you can move to the beginning position.
  • Raise the ball over the head and repeat the exercise.
  • You can increase the weight instead of using the ball.

Read more: Muscle Building Book

2. Stair Climbing.

functional fitness exercises - stair climbing

One of the best functional fitness exercises you should try is stair climbing.  Staying active is a key to having a strong body and health and you should climb the stairs instead of using elevator too often. This simple exercise will keep your legs toned and conditioned and it will improve your arms, increase the energy to carry things to the stairs as well as boost up your cardiovascular health. Here is the instruction how to do the movement.

  • Now you stand at the bottom of stairs and hold the dumbbell (from 5-8 pounds) in your hands.
  • Next, you climb those stairs while you perform biceps curls.
  • You can run or walk down the stairs while you hold the weight without doing curls.
  • Repeat the exercise and you can add the weight of dumbbell to strengthen the arms.

3. Hip Extension

Hip extension exercise will improve your back, legs, glutes, and shoulders. If you want to learn functional fitness exercises, this is really helpful for your target.

  • You stand tall and hold two dumbbells in two hands.
  • Then you extend the left leg back and put the toe on the ground while you straighten the left leg.
  • Now you lean forward at your hips slightly and lift the left leg behind.
  • You bring the chest toward the ground and straighten out the arms to form a T at the shoulders.
  • Next, you squeeze the shoulders blades and keep the head with the neck in line.
  • Turn to the beginning position, change the side and repeat the exercise.
  • You can increase the weight if you feel stronger.

4. Diagonal Reach Exercise

functional fitness exercises - diagonal reach exercise

Reaching exercise is very simple to do and it works best for your muscles of legs, shoulders, and arms. The steps are:

  • You stand tall and hold a medicine ball with your hands, place it toward the chest.
  • Lift the ball diagonally over the head to the left, keep the arms straight and extend the right leg to the side while you make a diagonal line from the ball to the toes.
  • Return to the beginning position and repeat the exercise for the leg.
  • You can increase the weight if you feel stronger.

5. Lunge Exercise

functional fitness exercises - lunge exercise

The lunge is a great exercise that can improve the posture, strengthen the muscles in back, arms, and shoulders as well as tone and improve the legs and hip flexibility. Here is the direction how to do the lunge exercise.

  • You hold the proper weight sin your hands.
  • Then you step the left foot forward, the right foot back.
  • You keep he heels on the ground and point the feet straight.
  • Bend the left knee until it is over the left ankle.
  • Now you reduce the chest toward the thigh and bring the arms to the ground.
  • Make sure that you flatten the back and avoid hunching. This is the beginning position.
  • You keep the left leg straight and put the elbows back as you squeeze the shoulder blades together.
  • You keep the torso forward slightly and turn to the starting position.
  • Change the leg and repeat the exercise.
  • You can increase the weight when you feel stronger.

6. Knee Lift

functional fitness exercises - knee lift

Knee lifting will improve your core, increase the balance and strengthen your shoulders. How to do this movement? Let find this:

  • Firstly, you stand tall and hold a weight in your each hand.
  • Lift the left knee until it reaches the level of the hip.
  • You lift the arms and keep it straight as T form at the shoulders.
  • Hold it for some seconds and pull the belly toward the spine.
  • Now you reduce the starting position and repeat the exercise for each leg.
  • You can increase the dumbbells if you want.

7. Push-up Exercise

functional fitness exercises - push-up exercise

The push-up is a common exercise that can strengthen your arm, shoulder, and chest muscles. For seniors, you can do the exercise like this:

  • Firstly, you put the hands side than your shoulders and extend the left leg straight.
  • Pull the belly toward the spine and tighten the core muscles.
  • Now you lift the leg and reduce the chest to the floor until the elbows are at 90-degree angle.
  • Now you push up and repeat the exercise.
  • You can increase the hip angle and the knee distance from the hands.
  • You can perform the exercise with the legs straighten, but it is more difficult.

8. Torso Rotation

functional fitness exercises - torso rotation

To avoid injuries in lower back, you can do this exercise more often as the following instruction:

  • Firstly, you sit on the floor and bend the knees.
  • Keep the feet on the ground and hold a ball at the chest with your hands.
  • Now you lean the torso away from the thighs and increase the hip angle.
  • Next, you pull the belly button toward the spine and maintain the hip angle.
  • Now you rotate the torso to the left and move the left elbow toward the ground behind your body.
  • You turn to the center and rotate to the right side.
  • Turn to the beginning position and repeat the exercise.

9. Supine Bridge

functional fitness exercises - supine bridge

The supine bridge is one of the best functional fitness exercises for legs, glutes, back, shoulders, arms as well as core muscles. This exercise will open the chest and you should do it every day to get the best result.

  • You sit on the ground and put the hands under the shoulders.
  • You bend the feet and knees on the floor.
  • You straighten the arms and push the hips to the ceiling with the support of the legs until the torso is flat.
  • You lift the left arm towards the ceiling and rotate the upper body with the help of right arm. Make sure you lift the hips, as well.
  • Now you reduce the left warm to the beginning position and reduce the hips slightly but not touch the ground.
  • You repeat the exercise with the right arm.
  • Repeat each side for 10-15 times.
  • You can hold the hips and arms up for some seconds before reducing.

10. Dynamic Plank

functional fitness exercises - dynamic plank

The dynamic exercise will work for your entire body and it will be a perfect way to improve your fitness. Here are the steps:

  • To get started, you get on the toes and hands and face the ground.
  • You straighten the legs, back and head in a line and put the arms under the shoulders.
  • Now you pull the belly button to the spine to form a downward dog position in yoga exercise.
  • Now you lengthen the legs and arms and turn to the plank position.
  • Bend the elbows against to the sides and reduce the torso, the legs to the ground.
  • You keep the lower body flat on the ground and push the head and chest up with the support of the arms.
  • You stretch out the front of the body and reduce it.
  • Push the body back to the plank position and repeat the movement.

11. Knee Extension Exercises 

functional fitness exercises - knee extension exercises

For the elderly and seniors, it is very important to maintain the balance and prevent falls. So knee extension is an excellent movement for elder health. Be sure that you extend fully and flex the knee while you perform the exercise. Here is the instruction how to perform exercise:

  • Now you sit on the chair and flatten the feet on the ground.
  • Next, you straighten the left knee and hold it for some seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times for each leg.
  • You should exhale when you move up and inhale when you move down.
  • You should move slowly and bring the toes toward the body to engage the quadriceps.
  • You can add some proper weight to the ankle to start.

12. Calf Exercise

functional fitness exercises - calf exercise

Calf movement is one of the most effective functional fitness exercises and it can help you maintain the balance, and improve the ability to walk. By doing this exercise, you will increase the muscles several times each day and you should give it a try like this:

  • Now you stand tall and use a chair to balance your body.
  • Then you raise the toes as high as you can and return to the beginning position.
  • Repeat for 10 times.
  • You should exhale when you move upward, inhale when you move downward.
  • To improve the balance, you can go of the chair and you can use the finger to hold on if it is too difficult to perform.

13. Knee Flexion Exercise

functional fitness exercises - knee flexion exercise

For strengthening the lower body, you can do knee flexion exercise at least 3 times each week. Knee flexion not only helps you keep the balance better, but it also reduces the risk of falls in… Click To Tweet Here is the instruction how to do the exercise:

  • You use a chair to balance your body while standing.
  • Now you bend the left knee backward as high as possible.
  • Turn to the beginning position and repeat the exercise for 10 times.
  • You change the leg and do it again.
  • While performing this movement, you should not bend the hips and try to keep stand tall as much as you might.
  • You should stretch the hamstring muscles for some seconds before doing exercise.
  • You can increase the weight to improve the workout.

14. Hip Raises

functional fitness exercises - hip raises

When you are getting older, it means that your bone might be weaker and it should be improved every day. hip raise will work well for your bone and it will reduce the risks of joint pain, stiffness. When doing exercise, you should begin slowly and here is the instruction for the exercise:

  • You stand tall and use a chair to balance the body.
  • Lift the left leg to the side as possible.
  • You move back to the beginning position and repeat the exercise.
  • You change the right leg and do it again.
  • Avoid bending the hips and stand straight during the exercise.
  • Point the toes straight and you can add some weight to improve the workout.

15. Ankle Circles

functional fitness exercises - ankle circles

To keep the stability and the balance at the elder age, ankle circles are excellent exercises for you. This exercise will make the ankles flexible and strong and it will prevent the loosing of balance in seniors. Learning how to do functional fitness exercises is a great way to improve your health and prevent some diseases.

  • You sit in a chair and keep the feet flat on the ground.
  • You extend the left knee and move the foot in a circle for 15-20 times.
  • Then you change into another direction for 20 times and repeat with another ankle.
  • You can extend the knee out if lifting the knee is difficult for you.
  • You can try small circles if the ankles feel cracked and painful.

16. Hip Marching

functional fitness exercises - hip marching

To strengthen the lower body and increase the endurance ability to hold objects, hip marching is a perfect exercise for you. This movement is also helpful and easy to give a try and here is the direction how to do it:

  • You sit in the chair and keep the feet flat on the ground.
  • Then you lift up the left knee as high as you can.
  • Now you reduce the leg and lift the knees for 10 times.
  • Change the leg and repeat the exercise.
  • You should not do this exercise more than 20 times to avoid soreness and fatigue.
  • You should move slowly and you can push the hands on the thighs and resist the movement upward.

17. Sit To Stand

functional fitness exercises - sit to stand

This exercise is also simple and easy to do as you just need to have a chair handy. This movement will strengthen your leg and mobility and the instruction of the exercise is:

  • Stand tall and place a chair behind your body.
  • Put the knees in front of the seat and lean forward.
  • Now you bend the knees and reduce the body toward the chair.
  • Pause a little and stand back before you try to touch the chair.
  • Repeat the exercise.
  • You should bend from your hips and put the hands on the knees to support.
  • You raise up the ribcage and stand up.

18. Heel Stand

functional fitness exercises - heel stand

Movements on ankle will increase the blood flow in the legs and it will improve the calf muscle. The exercise will give you a great chance to improve the balance with little support. Here is the way how to do the exercise for adults:

  • You stand tall and use a chair to balance the body.
  • Raise the heels up and lower them for 10 times.
  • You should inhale when downing the movement and exhale when raising up.
  • Avoid leaning on the chair too much time.
  • You should straighten the body when you lift the toes.

19. Leg Lunges

functional fitness exercises - leg lunges

Leg lunges are great functional fitness exercises and they can help you keep balance and maintain the mobility as well as independence. This is the instruction how to do the exercise:

  • You stand tall and put the arms on the hips or at sides.
  • Keep the feet and shoulder wide apart.
  • Step forward to keep the trunk vertically.
  • Now you push back to the beginning position.
  • Change the leg and repeat for 10 times.
  • You should increase the exercise gradually and avoid bending the knee deeply.

20. Leg Raise

functional fitness exercises - leg raise

Straight leg raise will improve the flexibility and balance in adults. This movement also increases the confines and functional independence in the body. Moreover, it can stabilize the lower back and pelvis as well as the quadriceps. If you want to strengthen abdominal muscles, the exercise is also a great option for you.

  • To get started, you lie the back on the ground and bend one knee, straighten another knee.
  • Point the toes upward to the ceiling and raise the straightened leg to the bent knee.
  • Turn back to the beginning position and change the leg.
  • Repeat for 10 times with each leg.
  • Also, you exhale when you move upward and inhale when you move downward.
  • You should put your palms down to have more support and avoid raising the knee higher than another one.

21. Partial Squats

functional fitness exercises - partial squats

Partial squats are great functional fitness exercises and they can increase hip flexibility. This exercise belongs to the training of lower body and it can increase the balance and improve your life quality. This movement will strengthen the quadriceps and hip flexor as well as improve your walk and balance. Here are steps how to perform the exercise:

  • You stand tall and use a chair to keep the body balanced.
  • Bend the knees as far as you can and stop it if you feel pain.
  • Return to the beginning position and repeat the exercise for 10 times.
  • You should inhale when you move downward and exhale when you move upward.
  • When bending the knees, you should breathe out and when you standing tall, you should breathe in.
  • You should straighten the body as you reduce and raise it.
  • You should look forward and keep the heels contact with the ground.
  • You can add weight on each hand to improve the workout.

22. Standing Hip

functional fitness exercises - standing hip

Standing hip exercise is one of the best lower body strengthening exercises for the elderly. This exercise will strengthen your leg and improve the balance at your age. It also tone the muscles on the buttock and help you walk or stand easier. So you should add it as a good workout for a great posture and strong legs.

  • This exercise will improve hip muscles and you just need to prepare a chair for the movement.
  • Now you stand tall and use a chair to balance the body.
  • You extend the leg backward and straighten the knee.
  • Now you move back to the beginning position.
  • Change the leg and repeat the exercise.
  • During the exercise, you should keep the rib lighted and the body erect.
  • Also, you try to straighten the knee and tighten the muscles and keep breathing.

You can visit our main page to get more Tips And Tricks About Fitness. After reading the article about top 22 functional fitness exercises for seniors, I hope that you have learned a lot of helpful information to improve your exercises and increase your energy, endurance at home. If you have any question, please leave your comments below.

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