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10 Minute Seated Exercises for Seniors, Elderly, & Older People

This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in February of 2021. For the original video go to

Bob: Today, Brad, we’re going to demonstrate 10 minutes easy exercises for seniors, elderly, and older people.

Brad: Right.

Bob: I don’t know, I think that’s all the same person.

Brad: We fit in there.

Bob: We want to include everybody. We’re part of it. All right, Brad, you’re going to do the timing and the workout.

Brad: That’s right, Bob.

Bob: I’ll do a lot of the description.

Brad: Instruction, guidance.

Bob: Okay, are you guys all ready? Let’s go.

Brad: You must be in your chair upright and tall. Good posture. Yes, do you want me to go right now?

Bob: Yes, 30 seconds. Just arm circles. It’s a good warm up. I like to go reverse because that way it works on your posture too.

Brad: How long are we going?

Bob: 30 seconds.

Brad: Did you tell me that already?

Bob: I think I told you that already.

Brad: Remember to breathe, in your nose, exhale out your mouth.

Bob: And relax. Now, I’m going to wait just 15 seconds so that we get on the top for you.

Brad: That’s good because I feel it’s easier.

Bob: The next one, you’re going to be putting your hands on your neck and you’re going to squeeze your shoulder blades together. So, this is a good posture one.

Brad: This is like flying.

Bob: Is it?

Brad: Well, like a bird flapping it's wings. This feels good on the back. Arch your back and get that posture.

Bob: Keep your back straight, keep your neck straight. Breathe like Brad said.

Brad: We have seven seconds, Bob. Seven is complete, you know.

Bob: You’re going to find this next one a little strange I bet.

Brad: And relax.

Bob: Okay, the next one. We’re going to start right away.

Brad: Well, you get a little break. My gosh, you'll wear these people out.

Bob: Bring your ankle to the opposite hand. What I’m trying to work on here, Brad, is getting some hip external rotation.

Brad: So, think about bringing that foot up.

Bob: Yeah, that foot up, you’re touching the ankle and you’re getting some range and some strength at the same time.

Brad: I think about bringing my heel to the other knee and that works that femur in the right direction.

Bob: Sure.

Brad: All right, Bob, we have seven seconds.

Bob: We want to maintain rotation of the hip because it’s really important.

Brad: Time!

Bob: All right, we’re done already. Okay, fast feet. We’re doing that for a minute.

Brad: We’re going to bounce our feet off the floor or keep them elevated? It’s a little harder if you keep them up.

Bob: I bounce them off the floor.

Brad: If you want more challenge, don’t put your feet on the floor.

Bob: I can’t even do that. I’m too tall.

Brad: Yeah, too tall Jones, remember him?

Bob: Yeah, he was a football player.

Brad: We have seven seconds, Bob.

Bob: No, it’s a whole minute on this one.

Brad: A whole minute?

Bob: Yeah, I wanted to make it tough for people.

Brad: What the heck, you know. I’m going to have to take a breath, slow down a little bit. Whoa.

Bob: This next one. I forgot that we were going to have people use water bottles for strengthening, we have weights though. We’re going to do double rows. You can start the timer, Brad, right now.

Brad: Yep, go.

Bob: So, for 30 seconds, you’re going to lift and squeeze the shoulder blades together. You can lean forward just slightly. We don’t want to put too much pressure on your back, but we have a lot of them that emphasize posture. It’s so important as we get older to work on that. It’s a constant battle.

Bob: We’re on number seven now. Overhead triceps, so, we’re going like this and we’re working up muscles that are behind the arm. We want to get rid of that, what was that the flabby wave?

Brad: The triceps flab? Yeah. From when you were in school and the teacher would be writing on the board and you’d see that.

Bob: You’d see that thing that was slapping back and forth.

Brad: We’re going to get in trouble.

Bob: Yeah, we are. Those teachers are going to be mad at us now. By the way, you didn’t need weights for that, you could use water bottles. I’m sorry, I was trying to emphasize to people you don’t need equipment, but I’ll have you use what you have. So, here we’re going to use a belt. We’re going to do curls. Place the belt under your knee and bring your leg up using your arms to lift.

Brad: I’ve got a towel roll, but whatever works for you.

Bob: So, the leg gives a little bit of resistance. It depends on how much you want to give. You might want to, we’re fifteen seconds into it, you might switch to the other leg because you’re getting a little leg strengthening in here too.

Brad: And range of motion on the hip, and a little bit on the knee too. Especially if you get it up in there, I think this is going to be a double winner.

Bob: Yeah. You can work that bicep hard if you give a lot of resistance. All right, moving on, Brad. We’re now in pushing up from the chair or from your thigh.

Brad: Okay. All the way up or just enough?

Bob: Partly, it’s up to you.

Brad: If you feel comfortable getting all the way up, you can do that. If you’re feeling good and this is too easy, you could bring your hands across your chest.

Bob: Sure, or out in front of you.

Brad: Watch your balance though.

Bob: Or you can put your hands on your head.

Brad: Reach up.

Bob: I think that’s about 30 seconds now, Brad. I’ll give it a little rest to people here. They’ve been working hard.

Brad: Whew, there’s a lot of muscle groups working there.

Bob: All right, next one. Rest time is over.

Brad: Kicks.

Bob: Just kicks now. These aren’t too hard. These are a great one if you’re having knee pain because not only are you getting some motion to the knee, but you’re also getting a little bit of quad strengthening and that is the muscle that tends to get weak with knee pain. Almost universally, no matter what knee issue you have.

Brad: We’ve got eight seconds, Bob.

Bob: No, we’re doing this for a minute, Brad.

Brad: Oh, a minute.

Bob: I like to mix it up a little bit.

Brad: And you stretch the hamstring, which is a nice muscle to stretch.

Bob: Oh yeah, good point. When you kick up, you could pull the toe toward you too and you stretch the calf a little bit too. Especially since we’re doing this for 60 seconds.

Brad: I hope people notice my socks, Bob. I wore these special for today.

Bob: Yeah, what do they say on the bottom of there?

Brad: It says Sock Guys.

Bob: No, on the bottom, it says something. Absolute something.

Brad: Oh, this is my Route 66 socks.

Bob: Is this a minute now?

Brad: No, you said we had four seconds.

Bob: Okay.

Brad: You said 60 seconds.

Bob: Yeah, all right.

Brad: You don’t think I’m doing my job? Time!

Bob: All right, now calf raises. Now, to make them harder, you provide a little resistance to it.

Brad: Oh, push down. We’re just lifting the heel off the floor, keep your toes down.

Bob: Provide resistance by putting your hand on your knees and push down.

Brad: It may be some people it might be okay just to do this just to get the range of motion if you’re stiff and sore.

Bob: And you aren’t going to have much strength. We want to start with that.

Brad: Adjust to fit to you. Another 30 seconds, Bob.

Bob: Okay, hip openers, Brad.

Brad: Oh, like a can opener.

Bob: Yep.

Brad: That’s a nice one. That’s kind of like that Russian dance, except for the sitting.

Bob: This is harder on me because I have long legs.

Brad: Yeah.

Bob: You have those little, short ones.

Brad: I was thinking about it, it must be tough being tall, Bob.

Bob: It’s a burden.

Brad: Well, you must buy clothes like that. You must wear high waters.

Bob: Sure, next one, Brad. Hip togethers now. So, you’re going to squeeze them together.

Brad: Squeeze this fist?

Bob: Yep. (High voice) one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

Brad: You talk at a high pitch that way, Bob.

Bob: (Low voice) one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

Brad: You could put a pillow between your legs if you have arthritis in your hands and it’s painful.

Bob: Good point, Brad. Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. Looks like we have seven seconds left.

Brad: You could roll a towel as well, that feels a lot better on my hands.

Bob: Now, we’re going to do some mid-back stretches, and we call this the hallelujah stretch sometimes. We’re going to stretch back over the chair. Really expand your chest. This works well on a chair that kind of hits you underneath the shoulder blades. These chairs are a little high for us.

Brad: You don’t have to go up if your shoulders are painful.

Bob: Yeah, however you want to go, but you’re trying to stretch that mid-back. That’s the 30 seconds.

Brad: Think about breathing in on that one when you go back.

Bob: Half squats. We just did that one. I guess we’ll do it again.

Brad: Oh, that’s a good one to work.

Bob: Yeah, that’s a good one to do.

Brad: Because this is where I see people get weak, is getting out of a chair and that’s where a lot of falls happen.

Bob: Right.

Brad: You really can’t overdo this one.

Bob: Next we're going to do bridging. Make sure the chair doesn’t tip back. You must make sure of that.

Brad: If you have armrests and you put your forearms on that, it makes it much easier.

Bob: Yeah, that works the best. I still almost tip. All right, go to the edge of the chair and we’re going to do W’s now.

Bob: All right, now we’re going to take our thighs and pull them up and down. We’re going to work on hip extension. It’s kind of the belt thing, what we were doing with biceps too.

Brad: As if we are pushing down.

Bob: Pushing down, right. Pushing down. All right, hands-on neck. We’re going to squeeze the neck again. We’ll finish up with where we started. On posture. Remember, Brad?

Brad: Oh yeah.

Bob: We’re right back to the beginning.

Brad: It’s like going in circles, Bob. It reminds me of my life.

Bob: Thanks!

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