5 Strength & Balance Exercises for Seniors (Video)

5 Strength & Balance Exercises for Seniors

UnityPoint Health Physical Therapists, Abby Rezansoff, PT, DPT, and Maggie Negrete, PTA, walk through exercises for older adults designed to help with balance and strength. Watch the videos below for a workout program you can do within your own home.

*Always have provider approval before beginning an exercise program. If you notice any shortness of breath, lightheadedness, chest pain or increase in pain, stop the exercise immediately and contact your provider.

Before beginning, keep these tips from Rezansoff in mind:

  • All exercises below can be done three to five times per week, depending on ability and tolerance.
  • Warm-up with five minutes of light activity, such as walking or biking and light stretching. After the exercises, cool down with the same five minutes of light activity.
  • Whenever adding weight or resistance to exercises, begin with low weight and low repetitions to minimize the impact on the joints and allow the muscles to adjust.
  • Always breathe during exercises. Never hold your breath!
  • For best results, do an exercise program including aerobic activity, flexibility exercises and resistance training.
  • It takes six to 12 weeks to see significant changes with resistance training, so keep up the program to see intended benefits.

Glute Bridge

Use the glute bridge as a strengthening exercise for the muscles in the back of the hip.

  • Repetitions: 10 | Sets: 2-3

Hip Three-Way

The hip three-way exercise includes hip abduction, flexion and extension. These can be done lying down or standing against a stable surface, like a kitchen counter.

  • Repetitions: 10 | Sets: 2-3

Sit-to-Stand Squat Progression

For these exercises, start using an armed chair before progressing into a full, free squat. This exercise is designed to strengthen quadriceps muscles, as well as your glutes. As comfort your level increases, try different, more advanced movements.

  • Repetitions: 10 | Sets: 2-3

Scapular Rows

Strengthen upper shoulders and shoulder blades with a resistance band, available at any medical supply store.

  • Repetitions: 10 | Sets: 2-3

Tandem & Single Leg Stance

Rezansoff gives two balance exercises for seniors, depending on ability level. Always do these exercises near a stable surface, such as your kitchen counter. Make it a goal of holding the positions for 30 seconds.

  • Repetitions: 30-second hold| Sets: 3-4

For additional questions about maintaining or improving strength and balance as you age, contact your UnityPoint Health primary care provider.

Other Topics from Our Experts:


Cardiac Rehabilitation: Exercising for Your Heart


10,000 Steps: How Many Steps a Day Should You Take?


6 Ways to Reduce Prescription Drug Costs