7 Best Leg Exercises for the Elderly to Improve Mobility

Soniya
Leg workout can help elderly to improve their mobility in the lower body. (Image via Pexels / Mikhail Nilov)
Leg workout can help elderly to improve their mobility in the lower body. (Image via Pexels / Mikhail Nilov)

If you are an elderly person, you may no longer be able to do some exercises, as they could make you feel uncomfortable.

That doesn’t mean you should freeze your physical activity completely when you grow old. You just need to find ways to exercise without feeling the pain and hard work that can come with it.

Exercise can lower your chance of falling, give you more energy, help you lose weight, prevent diseases and enhance your brain's functionality. Regular exercise can significantly lowers the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by 50%.


Best Leg Exercises for Elderly

If you're looking for the best workouts to improve physical function as an older adult, check out this list of seven leg exercises that can help make your daily activities easier:

1) Ankle Circles

Warming up the legs and feet with this exercise is a great idea. For balance, stability and flexibility, it's critical to keep your ankles flexible.

To walk with control, having strong ankles is essential. They assist in maintaining our upright posture and support our centre of gravity. Ankle circles are easy to carry out while seated.

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Here's how you do ankle circles:

  • Place yourself upright in a chair.
  • Keep your left foot firmly planted on the ground.
  • Draw a circle with your right foot, lifting your right knee into the air 20 times.
  • With your right foot, step in the opposite direction of the circle.
  • Use your left foot to carry out the same exercise.
  • Try simply stretching your knee out if you are unable to lift it into the air.

2) Knee Extension

This exercise is extremely beneficial for restoring the knee's range of motion and its rehabilitation. To balance, stand and prevent injuries, having flexible, functional knees is crucial.

You can add an additional challenge to this workout by using ankle weights weighing two to five pounds.

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To do a knee extension:

  • Lie down on the floor, with your feet up in a chair.
  • Take a deep breath in as you slowly lift and straighten your left knee in front of you.
  • As much as you can, tuck your toes in toward you. Hold for a short while.
  • Carefully lower your left foot to the ground, exhale ten times.
  • With your right knee, repeat the above steps.

3) Calf Raises

It's crucial to strengthen your calves if you want to walk and stay balanced. These are the strongest parts of your legs and help you push off surfaces when you walk. Calf strength is essential for navigating rough surfaces and climbing hills.

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Here's how to do a calf raise:

  • Holding onto the chair's back will help you balance while you stand behind it.
  • Maintain a straight back.
  • Take a breath, and slowly raise yourself to your toes or as high as it feels comfortable for you. Avoid moving the rest of your body.
  • Breathe out as you slowly descend to the floor with your feet flat.
  • Try it without holding on to the chair, for an added difficulty. Alternately, try using fewer fingers.

4) Hip Marching

Your thighs and hip flexors are the focus of this workout. Your walking distance and speed will increase. Hip marching also aids in picking your feet up to avoid tripping over objects.

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To do this workout:

  • Lie down on the floor with your feet up in a chair.
  • As you carefully raise your left knee as high as you can, take a breath.
  • Breathe out as you slowly descend to the ground ten times.
  • Repeat the aforementioned steps with your right knee.

5) Side Hip Raises

For walking and side-stepping, hip strength is crucial. Osteoarthritis of the hips can be prevented by maintaining healthy, powerful hips.

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Here's how you do a hip raise:

  • Holding onto the chair's back for balance, stand up straight behind it with your ribcage raised. Your feet should be hip-distance apart.
  • Inhale as you raise your left leg to the side slowly.
  • Maintain a straight angle with your foot, and point your toes forward. Go up as high as you feel comfortable. Avoid bending at the hips.
  • Exhale as you carefully lower your leg to the ground.

6) Heel Stand

This exercise helps in stretching your ankles, which increases the blood flow to your legs. Your ability to stand and balance depends on you paying attention to this area. You can step over obstacles safely if you keep your heels firm.

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To do this move:

  • Holding on to a chair's back for balance, stand up straight behind itm with your ribcage raised.
  • Breathe out as you slowly bounce back onto your heels while lifting your toes.
  • Breathe in as you slowly return your toes to the ground. Repeat 10-12 times

7) Sit to Stand

This is the most important exercise on this list. It can help you to strength your hip and enhance mobility, especially in the elderly. To boost strength, perform this exercise as frequently as you can.

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To do this move:

  • With your knees resting on the seat of the chair, take a tall position in front of it.
  • Breathe in as you slowly lean forward, and budge your hips towards the direction of the chair.
  • Pause before you sit down.
  • Exhale after a little pause as you steadily bring your body back to a standing position.

Takeaway

Strength training does not have to be a difficult or overwhelming process. All you need is a consistent programme you can stick to for the rest of your life.

With dedication and consistency, the best muscle building exercises for older people can help improve overall strength, mobility and balance so that they can live an active life for many years.

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Edited by Bhargav