If you looking for the best posture exercises for seniors, we’ve got you covered.
A healthy back means lower risk of developing chronic pain and helps improve your overall quality of life.
Posture exercises play a huge role in keeping your back- and really your entire skeletal and muscular system- healthier.
Below, we’ve covered in detail some of easiest exercies to try to help you with that, so let’s get started!
Easy Posture Exercises for Seniors
Our posture tends to change as we age and in most cases, it becomes worse. When that happens simple chores like reaching for something or even lifting your grandkids when playing become difficult.
With bad posture comes all manner of issues like chronic back pain and dependence on others due to changes in bone density and muscle mass.
Staying active through simple posture exercises for seniors and physical activity is the best way to maintain better posture and stay healthy.
Luckily, there are simple exercises to improve posture for seniors that you can do at home especially if you are looking at how to prevent hunchback in your advanced years.
Let’s find out what they are!
Simple Exercises for Posture Correction Suitable for Seniors
No matter how many candles you have on your birthday cake, exercise should still be a part of your routine.
I’m not talking about turning yourself into a gym rat and doing more than your body can handle. Just incorporate some simple exercises into your daily routine (after talking to your doctor first, of course).
Your back especially needs exercising to prevent lifelong chronic pain. These simple postural exercises for elderly people will help you achieve the correct posture in the long run.
1. Child’s Pose
The child’s pose commonly referred to as the Balasana is a common yoga pose. It is performed in between complex poses as a resting position.
The exercise stretches the thighs, hips, ankles and reduces fatigue and stress on the muscles. The stretch is also a great lumbar spine routine that relaxes the front muscles while stretching the back muscles as well.
The yoga pose is therapeutic and when you perform it with the torso and head supported, it can help relieve neck pain as well as back pain.
To do it
Start in a kneeling position with your toes touching and then pull your hips back such that you are sitting on your heels.
Spread the knees making sure that your toes are still touching. If you have tight hips, you can keep your thighs and knees together.
Lengthening your spine, sit up straight. Exhale and then dip the torso between the thighs.
When in this posture, the head and the chest should be resting between the thighs or better still on top. Bring your head down such that your forehead touches the floor.
Your arms should be extended and the palms should be facing down. While still seated on the heels, lengthen your spine from the hips extending it further using the fingertips.
Allow your upper back to broaden before softening and relaxing the lower back. Keep your head down making sure that you are breathing deeply into the waist and back of the rib cage.
Hold the position for about 5 minutes making sure that you are breathing deeply in the process.
Using your hand, walk the torso upright until you are sitting back straight on the heels to release the yoga pose.
2. The Cat-Cow Pose
The cat-cow pose is also a common yoga posture that targets your back and also happens to be great for shoulder training.
It’s a great routine when you are looking to either correct or avoid bad posture now and in the future.
It improves balance and it’s recommended for seniors who suffer from back pain. The pose is a combination of two poses – the cat and cow pose that helps warm up the body while improving spine flexibility.
When done correctly, it stretches the neck as well as back muscles while strengthening the abdominal organs. The synchronized breathing movement is mind calming and helps relieve stress in the long run.
Word of caution – Avoid this exercise routine if you happen to have a neck injury. If not, ensure that your neck remains in line with your torso rather than dropping it back and forward.
To do it
Begin in a table pose on your knees and hands ensuring that the wrists rest directly under the shoulders and that the spine is in a neutral position.
Keep the back as flat as possible and engage your abs and core muscles and then inhale deeply.
As you exhale, round the spine by pulling the belly button towards the spine making sure that you are engaging the abs. Tuck the chin towards the chest and release your neck to assume the cat pose.
Inhale and then arch the back relaxing the belly and letting go. Lift the tailbone and the head towards the ceiling making sure that you are doing it naturally and that there is no unnecessary strain on the neck to do the cow pose.
Continue alternating between the cat and cow pose connecting your breath to every movement you make that is; inhaling when you are doing the cow pose and exhaling when you assume the cat pose.
Do at least 20 repetitions until you feel your spine warming up. To release the pose, sit back on the heels making sure that you keep the torso upright.
3. Standing Forward Fold Pose
This is one of the best balance and posture exercises for seniors that targets the glutes, hamstrings, and most importantly the spine to correct and prevent faulty posture.
The pose stretches and rejuvenates the entire body while preparing the body for deeper and intense poses. When done correctly, the pose acts as an intense back and hamstring stretch.
When doing it, the pose should be comfortable and relaxing but ensure that you don’t push yourself too hard such that you end up doing more harm to your body than good.
The more relaxed you are when doing the routine, the deeper the stretch will be. Ideally, the stretch also helps stretch the legs and the hips especially if your hips are too tight.
When you are doing the stretch, you will feel the whole backside lengthening and opening up.
To do it
Begin in a standing position with your back straight, toes touching, heels apart, and the hands-on the hips. Exhale and bend forward using your hips such that the front of the torso lengthens.
Bend your hands at the elbows and hold the left elbow with the right hand and vice versa. Drop your head and let it hang naturally and then press the heels to the ground making sure that the sit bone faces towards the ceiling.
Next, turn your thigh tops inwards a little making sure that your knees don’t lock.
Keeping the torso lengthened and the knees straight, place the fingertips or even the palms on the ground beside the feet. Bring the fingertips to be in line with the toes and then press the palms on the floor.
If you are more flexible, you can place your palms on the back of your ankles.
In that position make sure that you are engaging the quadriceps and then bring them towards the ceiling. The more your thigh muscles are engaged the more release you will feel on your hamstrings.
Transfer the weight to the balls of the feet making sure that the hips remain aligned over the ankles. Lengthen and lift the torso slightly as you inhale and then exhale releasing deeper into the stretch. Make sure your head is hanging.
Remain in that position for about a minute and do five to ten repetitions before you release the pose.
4. Standing Chest Opener
This exercise is meant to gently and gradually lengthen the shoulder and chest muscles. The stretch also helps even out the muscles along the hips and spine.
When done correctly, you should feel a stretch that isn’t too deep on the shoulder blade, chest, hip, and spine.
It is a great stretch for the postural muscles and you should gradually notice changes in the way your spine, hips, as well as shoulders, react to even deeper stretches.
To do it
Start in a standing position with the feet wide to as far as the hips can widen. Raise the arms to the height of the shoulders and then spin the hands so that the thumbs face the floor.
Exhale and then drip the arms behind the hips. Clasp the hands together or use a yoga strap.
Lift the arms slowly away from the hips and keep them behind the back and then push the chest forward while you pull the shoulders down. Hold that position for about 30 seconds.
With your feet hip-width apart, stand and interlace the hands behind the back and squeeze the shoulder blades until you feel your chest stretching. With your legs straight, bend at your hips and then tuck in the chin and bring your hands over the head.
Hold for about 30 seconds. If you experience any pain in the neck, back, or shoulder when you are doing the pose, ease out of it to prevent further injury.
5. Downward Dog Yoga Pose
The downwards dog is a common yoga pose that involves a forward bend and it is mostly incorporated in exercise routines as a resting pose meant to balance out the body.
When done right, the stretch can help relieve back discomfort as well as pain. It also helps to align and strengthen the muscles of the back.
If you incorporate the stretch into your exercise routine a couple of times a week, in the long run, it can help in strength training while helping improve stooped posture that is associated with old age.
To do it
Lie on your stomach and press into the hands while tucking the toes under the feet. In that position, lift the heels, the hips, and knees and bring the sit bones towards the ceiling.
Bending the knees slightly, lengthen the spine making sure that the ears are aligned to the upper arms before tucking the chin towards the chest.
Pressing firmly into the hands and keeping the heels lifted slightly, hold the pose for about a minute. Do 5 to 10 repetitions.
6. Spine Rotation
If you are looking for great back straightening exercises, the thoracic spine rotator is one of the best. It targets the back to relieve pain and tightness to achieve proper posture.
At the same time, when done correctly, it can help improve mobility and stability and give you more independence as you grow older.
To do it
Start on all fours and then push the hips towards the heels such that they are resting on the shins.
Placing the left hand behind the head, extend the elbow to the side of the body. Make sure that the right hand stays under the shoulder. If you can’t do that, you can also bring it to rest on the forearm or towards the center.
Exhale and then rotate the left elbow towards the ceiling making sure that you stretch the torso as you do that.
While in that position, inhale and exhale deeply and then release the pose and go back to the starting position. Do five to ten repetitions and then repeat on the other side.
Keeping your body engaged through simple exercises is an excellent way to remain healthy and ensure that you can do things for yourself.
One of the areas that need care as you age is the back. We tend to lose muscle mass and flexibility as we get older and this can lead to back problems.
These back exercises for elderly people can help improve flexibility and mobility, and they are not too intense or hard to figure out.
So, go ahead and beat poor posture with regular manageable exercises starting now! Just remember to check with your doctor first!