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Isometric Exercises for Seniors
This is a list of isometric exercises that can be safely performed by seniors.
You won't need any equipment and you can do them alone or with a group. It doesn't matter. Do what pleases you the most. If done regularly, isometric exercises can tone and strengthen all the muscles in your body, lower your cholesterol levels, help you loose weight, strengthen your internal organs, your digestive system, improve bone density and prevent the muscle loss a lot or aging seniors experience.
Some experts in the field say isometric exercises won't grow any significant muscle mass and will only strengthen the areas you work on. But what the experts don't know, is that when you get to be a senior, ANY strength and muscle growth will suffice.
So seniors, if you want to maintain an active lifestyle, without the frailty that can come with age, you should give isometric exercises a try.
Some points to remember: When doing your exercises, you need to BREATH. Don't hold your breath. This can elevate your blood pressure. You need the oxygen when exercising, so make sure you breath through each routine.
You also need to warm your muscles by doing stretching exercises before starting. This will allow you to exercise without stiffness and will eliminate some of the soreness you may feel the following day.
Before starting any exercise program, even isometrics, please consult with your physician first. He or she will be able to advise if you should or should not pursue this.
So here is my list of isometric exercise tips for seniors. Remember, they are relatively easy, and if done regularly, you will see results.
Exercise: Internal Rotation
Results: Strengthen shoulders
Stand sideways against the wall, keeping your elbow at an angle of 90 degrees. The outside of your forearm goes against the wall. Without moving your shoulder, you must press against the wall while contracting your muscles. Hold this position for 6 seconds. Relax and take a deep breath. Repeat 5 times. When you have finished with one arm, repeat on the other arm.
Exercise: Leg External Rotation
Results: Tone and strengthen back and side of hip
Sit in a chair. Your knees should be bent. Face the door jam or another solid object. Put the outside of your foot on the door jam. While keeping your thigh on the chair and your knee bent, push the outside of your foot against the door jam as if you're trying to rotate your leg. Hold this for 6 seconds. Relax and take a deep breath. Repeat 5 times, then repeat with your other leg.
Exercise: Hand Press
Results: Tone and strengthen inner and outer arms and chest
Stand straight and tall. Raise your arms straight in front of your chest. Slightly bend your elbows until they form a triangle from your wrist to your elbows. Now press your palms together. When you do this, try to tighten your chest as much as you can. It should take only a few seconds before your arms and chest are shaking. Try holding this position for 30 seconds. Release slowly and breath. Rest and repeat 2 times.
Exercise: Wall Press
Results: Tone and strengthen chest, arms and shoulders
Stand three feet from the wall. Put your hands flat against it at shoulder width apart. Slowly flex your elbows and begin lowering your body to the wall. When your elbows are even with your body, you want to push up from the wall. Relax and take a deep breath. Repeat 3 times.
Exercise: Double Leg Lifts
Results: Tone and strengthen abdomen
Lie on your back on either a flat, firm surface or your bed. Bend your knees. Now bring your knees toward your chest and put both your hands on both knees. Push your hands as hard as you can against your knees, while keeping that leg position. Hold for 5 seconds. Relax and take a deep breath. Repeat 5 time.
Exercise: Leg Internal Rotation
Results: Tone and strengthen hips
Sit in a chair with your feet on the floor. Put an object, such as a or soccer ball or rolled towel between your knees. Now squeeze your knees together. Hold for 5 seconds. Relax and take a deep breath. Repeat 5 times.
Exercise: Buttock Squeeze
Results: Tone and strengthen buttocks, hips and abdomen
Sit in a chair with your hands relaxed in your lap and your feet on the floor. Contract the muscles in you buttocks as tight as you can. Hold for 30 seconds. Relax and take a deep breath. Repeat 5 times.
Exercise: Phantom Chair
Results: Tone and strengthen thighs, hips, buttocks and abdomen
Stand with your back to the wall. Bend your knees and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Slowly move your feet from the wall until your calves are parallel to the wall. Raise your arms out in front of you. Hold for 10-30 seconds. Carefully raise your body until you are once again standing. Rest and take a deep breath. Repeat 2 times.
Exercise: Foot Up
Results: Tone and strengthen front of lower leg
Sit in a chair facing a solid object or the wall. Place the toe of your shoe on the wall. Push against the wall with the toe of your shoe. Hold for 5 seconds. Relax and take a deep breath. Repeat 5 times, then repeat with your other foot.
Exercise: Calf Raises
Results: Tone and strengthen calf muscles
Stand near the wall or any object where you can maintain your balance. Raise your leg so that you're standing on just one leg. Place the foot of your raised leg on the back of your other leg's calf). Now carefully raise up on your toes. Hold 10 to 30 seconds. Slowly lower your foot to the floor. Rest and take a deep breath. Repeat 3 times. Then repeat with your other leg.
If you perform isometric contractions just a few minutes a day, you will see results. Some of the repetitions were cut in half for seniors, but if you feel you can do more, then please do. It doesn't matter if you're 50, 60 or 90... these exercises are safe.
However, if you suffer from high blood pressure or any heart ailment, you should consult your physician first. Isometrics can raise your blood pressure, so it is not recommended for you.
You should also remember that isometric exercises tone and strengthen whichever muscles are being exercised. So you should always repeat the exercise in respective positions and angles. For example, if you're doing isometrics for the front thigh muscles. You should also exercise the back, outer and inner thigh muscles.