Community Blog

Chair Exercises

By Michelle Brown

Exercising has physical and mental benefits for seniors, but many seniors find it difficult to get in a full exercise workout especially on their feet.  Here are some range of motion exercises that can be done in a chair.  

Ankle and Wrist Rolls 

Improve flexibility and circulation in your wrist and ankles by getting your hands and feet moving while sitting in a chair. Start by flexing your fingers and opening and closing your fists several times. Then roll your wrist while making a fist. Do this 10 times with each hand. Use the same exercise with your feet. Curl and straighten your toes and flex your foot. Roll your ankle to the inside, then roll it to the outside. Do this 10 times on each foot.  

Single Leg Calf Raises  

Sit in a chair with your back straight and shoulders back. Lift one heel from the ground keeping your toes on the floor. Raise your heel as high as you can, then lower it back to the floor. Complete 10 repetitions with each foot.  

Hip Marches  

Sit in a sturdy chair with your feet flat on the floor. Use the armrests of the chair to help keep your torso straight and sit tall. Keep your knees bent and lift your leg as high as you can. Lower your leg to the floor. Repeat 20 times with each leg. When done for two or three repetitions, this exercise has a cardiovascular effect. This exercise is also great for strengthening the hips. 

Seated Shoulder Press  

Use lightweight dumbbells, water bottles or small cans as weights to do overhead arm raises. Sit in a sturdy chair with proper posture. Hold a small weight in your hand with your elbow bent and palm facing away from you at shoulder level. Push your arm straight up overhead while extending your elbow. Lower your hand back to the starting position. Repeat 10 to 20 times for each side.  

Yoga Twist  

Sit in a chair with your back about an inch away from the back of the chair. Use your hand to grab onto the opposite side of the chair. Twist and move toward the arm. Hold for two to three seconds, then release. Repeat with the opposite side of the chair. Perform this exercise 10 times on each side to increase blood flow through the body. 


As a caregiver, you can encourage your senior to do exercises by teaming up and completing the exercises together. Let Home Helpers of Drexel Hill help you find care options for your senior loved one. Contact us today for a free in-home consultation.