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7 Minute "Good Morning!" Chair Workout for Seniors, At Home- Alone or Group, No Equipment


This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in July of 2020. For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYiH0p4hAm4

Bob: Today we are going to show a seven-minute “good morning” chair workout for seniors at home, alone or in a group, no equipment is needed except for a chair.


Brad: We will need a chair, but there are so many people that want to do some exercises but don't feel safe, maybe doing standing ones and it's a good way to start the morning. No equipment is needed, the seven minutes may vary depending on how long or how fast you go through it, so we're going to probably take a little longer to explain them and make sure you do them properly.


Bob: I'm going to turn to the side, so they can get my profile, my big beak.


Brad: Yeah, okay, so one thing before you get started, it's important that you do this in a firm chair. Don't do it in a recliner, a soft squishy chair is not going to be a good option. One with armrests is nice, it can be helpful, but you don't have to. Bob has one without, I have one with and we'll go through the whole thing. Now these first two things, you may not think they're exercises but they are incredibly important to do before we get into the more stretching part of these and that is first thing, take a deep breath. Breathe in your nose, fill up those lungs, get your posture back, and exhale. Do this three times.

Bob: It's good to go through the mouth when you're breathing out, through pursed lips, like you're blowing out a candle.


Brad: So you're kind of getting some resistance and then breathe in through your nose. Fill up those lungs, so incredibly important to do this, and now we're going to work on that posture, which you kind of do when you breathe. So, it's shoulders back, sitting up tall. Make sure you tuck your bottom, or your butt back in that chair so you have a good tall posture.

Brad: The next thing we're going to do is start out with chin tucks, so we're going to bring the chin in towards your throat and back. So not down.

Bob: Not down, not up, straight back, like someone's throwing a pie in your face.


Brad: The repetitions, you should do at least three but five of them would probably be better. You could go up to 10 but not more than 10. Okay, we'll do between five and 10 here and continue to be relaxed. You know, get some music in the background.


Bob: Continue to breathe.


Brad: Yep, breathing is very important. Now we're going to go to trunk rotations. So, you're going to look over to your right and then over to your left. Now if this feels pretty good and you have armrests, you can grab the armrests and give a little overpressure but not too aggressively.

Bob: I'm just grabbing my leg and giving the overpressure.


Brad: There you go, leg or armrest. I really like the overpressure on this one. This is nice if you're still driving, it really helps that range of motion so you can look behind you when you're backing up.


Bob: You really want to emphasize good posture when you do those. Don't hunch forward and turn.


Brad: Exactly, Bob, thank you for that reminder. The next one Bob calls the Hallelujah. So we're just going to lean back and bring the arms up, and depending on your shoulders, if you have tight shoulders, just bring them up as far as you feel comfortable. We don't want to irritate any shoulder impingement. If you want to bring your hands behind your head you can, or out to the side. Breathe in and exhale.

Bob: And you have to say it, Brad. Hallelujah!


Brad: Hallelujah! That's right, life is good and we're going to enjoy it.


Bob: While we're still on this earth.


Brad: While we're still on the chairs here. Okay next one, we're going to go to the hands. Hands out in front of you, make a gentle fist, don't make a tight fist, and do circles. Take a deep breath, and make sure you go both directions, five or 10 times. Get those wrists moving, there are a lot of little bones in those wrists, they're kind of complicated joints and it's nice to keep them loose.

Brad: Then we're going to open our hands and close the fist. Open and close. Open and close. You can really feel all those, there are so many joints going right now with this. I should have counted them.

Bob: Yeah, there are a lot of joints.


Brad: Probably got 30 to 40 there altogether. All right, good posture, and then we're going to go to the legs and the hips. Marching, get those knees up one at a time as high as you can. 10 times typically on each leg.

Bob: You know what I just read yesterday, Brad? If this hurts in the hip, that's one of the signs of hip arthritis.


Brad: Oh really? The seated march, okay.


Bob: It's one of the tests they were doing, active flexion.


Brad: Oh I see, yep. Now we're going to go to kicking out or we call them long arc quads. Make sure on this one that you don't just do short cheating ones. They are not going to benefit your knees as much. Good posture, up and hold it a second or two.

Bob: For those of you that sit a lot during the day, this is a good one to do throughout the day. It is very good for the knees; you get a little bit of strengthening but you also get some movement.


Brad: It stretches the hamstrings and if you pull your toes up towards your nose, you're going to feel more stretch back in your calf. So, that's a nice way to make that exercise complete. You get more benefits out of it that way. Okay, now we're just going to leave the legs down in front, kind of on your heels and do ankle pumps. Now ankle pumps, the most important part of this is when you pull your toes up towards your nose, and keep your heels on the floor but that stretches those heel cords and strengthens the muscles in the front of the lower leg, which is really important for when you walk, so that you don't drag your toes when you walk because that's a fall risk.

Bob: Yep.


Brad: This is an important one, it's a small exercise but it's really important. All right, now this one, you're going to start with your heel flat on the floor and take your right leg and touch over as far as you can to the right. I call them toe touches.

Bob: I touch my heel.


Brad: Then the other leg. You can touch your heel, but I like to go with the toe, but the heel is okay.


Bob: I'm taller so more difficult to touch the toe.


Brad: Oh sure, whatever works, and with this one it’s nice to have the armrests as well but you don't have to.


Bob: And going back to what I was just talking about with hip arthritis, this is one of the directions that you start to lose with hip arthritis is going out like this, so it's a good one to try to maintain that as long as you can.


Brad: Now we have done 11 altogether, there are 12 of them. This last one is optional, it's more aggressive, you do have to have armrests and we're just going to push up with your arms and do chair push-ups, we call them.

Bob: I'm just pushing off the chair so that really doesn't work.


Brad: The idea is you're going to strengthen those arms a little bit because a lot of people will push off from the armrests and it gets those arms stronger for getting up. If you're strong enough, you may be able to get up higher. If you're not, like I said, this is an optional exercise.


Bob: And you can use your legs to help. I mean, if you're weak, you can start with using your legs to help and then eventually go to more and more arms.


Brad: You could do this if you don't have armrests if you feel stable and you don't feel like you're going to fall forward.


Bob: All right, I feel revived. I feel ready for the day!


Brad: And I think we're very close to seven minutes right there.


Bob: Sure, funny how that worked out.


Brad: The number seven, it is complete. Good things will happen when you work with it.


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