Upper Body Exercises for Seniors

Maintaining good upper-body strength will play a very important role in the daily life of a senior citizen. It will help you remain independent in many ways such as driving, carrying your groceries, getting up from a chair or climbing stairs. You will be able to play with your grandchildren, keep up with your gardening or other activities when you have increased upper body strength.

As an older adult, keeping physically active will help keep you young at heart, involved in some of your hobbies and allow you to take care of your personal needs. It is just as important to have a strong upper body as it is to remain mobile.

The Grip

You can do this exercise while sitting, standing or even while out on a walk. You need to use something like a tennis ball, a small foam or rubber ball. The object should give your hand and wrist a bit of a workout. Grip or squeeze the ball for three to five seconds, then briefly relax your grip. Complete 10-15 repetitions with each hand. Then repeat the 10-15 repetitions with each hand.

This exercise will strengthen your hands and wrists, improving your ability to pick up and hold onto things, and will give you a stronger grip while driving and many other things.

Overhead Arm Raise

This can be done while standing or sitting. If you choose to stand, place your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your abdominal muscles tight. Use equally weighted objects in each hand, such as water bottles, cans of soup, wrist or hand weights. With your arms at a 90 degree angle and hands facing forward, raise the arms straight up, hold for a second, then lower your arms back to the 90 degree angle. Complete 10-15 repetitions. Rest. Repeat the 10-15 repetitions.

This exercise will strengthen your arms and shoulders.

Arm Curls

You will need a set of light weights for this exercise. With your arms down at your sides and a weight in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure you are standing with good posture, head up, shoulders back and your abdominal muscles tightened. Your palms should be facing forward. Slowly bend your elbows while exhaling. As you lower your arms, inhale. Complete 10 to 15 repetitions. Rest. Repeat the 10-15 repetitions.

This exercise will work to strengthen the muscles of your upper arms.

Wall Push-Up

These standing push-ups can be done anywhere you have a wall or other sturdy structure to push against. They can be done during a break at the office or during the commercial break in one of your favorite TV programs.

Stand with your face toward the wall at a distance slightly further than arm’s length away and your feet shoulder-width apart. Place the palms of your hands on the wall at shoulder height. As you bend your elbows, let your body slowly move closer to the wall. After one or two seconds, straighten your arms and push yourself back to the starting position. Complete 10-15 repetitions. Rest. Repeat the 10-15 repetitions.

Your arms, shoulders and chest muscles will be strengthened through this exercise.