CornerStone Blog

Best Moves for Senior Fitness!

Senior yoga class

Whether you are new to Cornerstone Clubs or a seasoned veteran, our general expectations for an exercise program are virtually the same. We want a program and/or class to provide an opportunity for movement that will be safe, effective, purposeful, and enhance the quality of life. Think about it. This statement is true from the elite athlete training for their next Spartan race with a goal of cutting their time to the 78 year old looking to maintain independence.

In the fitness world there is this cliché you’ve heard before: “The best exercise is the one you enjoy doing the most.” On the one hand, I completely agree. If it makes you feel good, you’re going to come back.  But it’s not an “end all, be all” statement. Some exercises are just better! For seniors, workouts need to focus on exercises that will build strength and muscle mass, enhance balance and stability and maintain mobility.

There are countless web pages on the informational super highway that will give you the “best” exercise for seniors, but I wanted to see what our Cornerstone Clubs Fitness Professionals had to say.

Cornerstone Pros: Best Exercises

Here’s the question I posed along with their responses:

If you could list one exercise that every senior needs to incorporate into their fitness routine, what would it be?

Senior balancing on bosu ball-1“If I had to pick one exercise for seniors, I would want it to be a compound movement that involves several muscle groups and challenges balance and core stabilization.

One of my favorite exercises for senior members is a Step Up to Single Leg Balance with the knee coming up nice and high! This can be done on a step and later progressed to the Reebok Step 360 or the BOSU balance trainer. A bicep curl can be added using a dumbbell. If using the Step 360, you can attach the band and curl.

Intrinsic core muscles engage as you pull in the stomach, step up, stand tall and balance.”
– Anne Krisher, Personal Trainer, Fitness Instructor, Silver Sneakers Instructor

“Walking heal to toe, like walking on a balance beam, to improve balance.”
– Amy McGahran, Fitness and Silver Sneakers Instructor

“I would suggest a sit to stand with an overhead press.”
Bart Lorenzo, Personal Trainer

“My first thought was a sit-to-stand with cues to engage core and squeeze the glutes!”
– Barbara Vees, Fitness Instructor

“Concentrate on long, deep breathing for a minimum of 3 minutes a day! My ‘Positive, Energetic, Enthusiastic!’ yoga asana! It really uplifts the spirit and strengthens our immune system.”
– Barb Weikamp, Yoga, Aquatics and Silver Sneakers Instructor

Seniors doing squats“I would definitely say sit to stands/modified squats!”
– Nadia Alashoush, Personal Trainer

“I work with a lot of seniors in Doylestown. Here are two of my clients, Armin and Beverly Frost. They are doing a bench squat with full arm raises for cardio, leg and core strength and balance.

Elbow crossover“Another core exercise that is good is the sitting knee up elbow cross over to work the deep core muscles and transverse abdominals.”
–Kim Starkey, personal trainer.

The great thing about the human body is its resiliency and adaptability.  Whether you are an active senior or someone who has been a bit sedentary, our advice it to get moving – and to challenge yourself a little bit!  Even small improvements in overall fitness can result in huge improvements in quality of life.

Since most people aren’t always sure where to get started or how to progress their current fitness routine, a little expert advice can go a long way.  At Cornerstone Clubs, we offer a variety of regular and special programming designed specifically for senior fitness.  Our experienced and certified trainers and instructors are available to help seniors at all fitness levels reach their goals.