Older adults (60plus) lockdown home workout

Lockdown workout

We’re all on lockdown here in sunny Brighton and Hove just as the rest of the UK is, and now that our usual exercise venues of gyms, community centres and or church halls are closed you can now workout at home using a few things you have in the house to replace the equipment that you’d normally use. 

This lockdown home workout designed by Gav O’Brien at 3Fs Personal Training, Hove is for older adults age 60 and above to improve flexibility, balance and strength.  However, anyone who feels they would benefit from exercise, particularly during this unsettling time can do it. For this lockdown home workout routine you’ll need only: 

  • 2 Tins of food of equal weight 
  • 1 Large Bottle of water / squash
  • 1 Dining room chair

To keep it fun put on some music or tune into your favourite radio station. If you’ve got a friend that you’d normally workout with, why not using your Smartphone do this together over Whatsapp or Skype or similar, of course it’s not quite the same but you can still have fun and a chat while do the workout together! 

The 45 minute long home workout has three parts to it: 

  1. Warm-up
  2. Exercises & Balance work
  3. Stretch out    

 WARM UP (5 MINUTES)

These are fairly self-explanatory. Always warm up your body and major joints before starting any exercise, this will help to prevent injury.

  • SEATED SHOULDER SHRUGS
  • SEATED SHOULDER CIRCLES FORWRD & BACKWRD
  • SEATED BREAST STROKE
  • SEATED ARM SWINGS BACK & FORTH & WIGGLE YOUR FINGERS
  • SEATED MARCHING ON THE SPOT
  • STANDING KNEES INTO ELBOWS
Home exercises during lockdown

THE EXERCISES & BALANCE WORK  – 2 SETS (20 to 30 MINUTES)

Depending on your level of fitness do-between 8 to 12 repetitions (reps). If you’re new to exercising start with 1 set of 8 reps. If you’re more advanced, aim for 2 sets of 12 reps. Each of these is explained in the step-by-step guide below.


ARMS – WITH 2 TINS OF FOOD – 8 to 12 REPS

  • SEATED BICEP CURLS

SHOULDERS WITH 2 TINS OF FOOD – 8 to 12 REPS

  • SEATED UPRIGHT ROWS 
  • SEATED LATERAL RAISES 
  • SEATED FRONT RAISES

LEGS INCLUDING THE BALANCE WORK

  • SIT DOWN STAND UPS USING DINING CHAIR
  • STANDING HIP ABDUCTORS STANDING BEHIND DINING CHAIR
  • SEATED LEG EXTENSIONS USING DINING CHAIR
  • STANDING FLAMINGO STAND
  • STANDING BACK LEG RAISES
  • WALKING HEEL TO TOE

WHOLE BODY / CORE EXERCISES USING BOTTLE OF WATER / SQUASH

  • STANDING GOBLET SQUATS
  • STANDING FIGURE OF EIGHTS
  • SEATED TRICEPS EXTENSIONS
  • SEATED LATERAL SIDE BENDS

END STRETCH – (10 MINUTES)

Each of these stretches is explained in the step-by-step guide below. Always stretch out after exercise, this will reduce aching muscles as well as improve your flexibility and range of movement over time.

  • HAMSTRING SEATED
  • HAMSTRING BENT KNEE SEATED
  • LOWER BACK SEATED
  • ARMS ACROSS SEATED CHEST
  • OBLIQUES REACH IN AIR STANDING
  • CHEST STRETCH STANDING
  • SHOULDERS ARMS OUT SEATED
  • TRICEPS SEATED OR STANDING
  • QUADS HOLD ON CHAIR STANDING

This workout is low impact, and can be done daily. If you’re new to exercise build up gradually leaving a full day of rest between workouts. Guidelines for exercise are that older adults should take at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each, with strength training on at least two days. Completing this routine three times per week would meet this minimum requirement.    

Exercise guide

GUIDE TO PERFORMING EXERCISES & STRETCHES

If you’re not familiar with any of the exercises and balance work listed above here’s a simple step-by-step guide to doing each of them:

FLAMINGO STAND BALANCE
• Stand on one leg, place one hand on the dining chair and stretch the other leg forwards
• Hold for 10 seconds, repeat five times before changing to the other leg
• Maintain correct posture, keep shoulders, back, and head straight and the ears above shoulders 
BACK LEG RAISES BALANCE
• Start by standing behind the dining chair
• Lifting right leg straight backwards, avoid bending the knees and remain in this position for a couple of seconds before returning the leg back down
• Repeat for the other leg, aim for 8 to 12 reps for each leg 
WALKING HEEL TO TOE BALANCE
• Put right foot in front of left foot so that the heel of the right foot touches the top of the toes of the left foot
• Move the left foot in front of the right, putting full weight on the heel, shift weight to toes
• Repeat the step with the left foot, walk this way for 20 steps
BICEP CURLS
• Sit towards front of dining chair
• Holding a tin in each hand curl up towards the chest under control
• Avoid excessive wrist movement and keep the elbows still
• Lower the tins under control, this is one rep. Repeat 8 to 12 reps 
UPRIGHT ROWS
• Sit with a tin in each hand with palms facing your body
• Lift the tins by raising your elbows out to the sides until they line up with shoulders, hands finishing beneath your chin
• Under control slide the tins down to your lap, this is one rep. Repeat 8 to 12 reps  
LATERAL RAISES
• Sit with a tin in each hand with arms by your sides and palms facing inwards
• Ensure your shoulders are relaxed, your abs engaged
• Retaining this posture, lift the tins out to the sides by going no higher than shoulder height
• Pause and then gradually lower the tins to the starting position, this is one rep. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps
FRONT RAISES
• To start sit with a tin in each hand with arms by sides and palms facing your body
• Without bending your elbows, raise alternate arms straight up in front of body until shoulder-level
• Lower the tin back down to start and repeat with the other arm this is one rep. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps
SIT DOWN STAND UPS USING DINING CHAIR
• Sit toward the front of the chair with knees bent and feet flat on floor, shoulder-width apart
• Lean back with your hands crossed over your chest. Keep your back and shoulders straight throughout exercise.
• Breathe in slowlyBreathe out and bring your upper body forward until sitting upright
• Extend your arms so they are parallel to the floor and slowly stand up
• Breathe in as you slowly sit down. Repeat 8 to 12 reps
STANDING HIP ABDUCTORS STANDING BEHIND DINING CHAIR
• Stand with feet slightly apart behind the chair with knees slightly bent and hands on hips or one hand on a chair or wall for balance, move weight to right let keeping it slightly bent
• Keeping feet pointed forward with foot flexed and leg straight, lift the left foot off the ground and out to the side as high as you can. Hold here for 2 counts
• Lower slowly with control without letting left foot or leg rest to complete one rep. Repeat 8 to 12 reps
• Complete all reps and switch sides
SEATED LEG EXTENSIONS USING DINING CHAIR
• Sit towards front of chair keeping left foot planted and upper body still then extend the right leg until it’s level with the floor
• Hold here for 2 counts
• Bend knee to lower right leg back to floor to complete one rep
• Complete 8 to 12 reps on one side and switch legs
GOBLET SQUATS
• Stand with feet shoulder width apart
• Hold the bottle of water / squash with both hands
• Keep chest up and heels down throughout the full movement
• Perform a squat and on the upward movement raise the bottle up to above the head, this is one rep
• Aim for 8 to 12 reps
FIGURE OF EIGHTS
• Stand by the chair with feet shoulder width apart, bracing your abs, upright posture holding the bottle in both hands with arms fully extended
• Draw large figure of 8s in front breathing comfortably throughout, this is one rep
• Aim for 8 to 12 reps   
SEATED TRICEPS EXTENSIONS
• Sit  on a chair and hold the bottle in both hands  extending it up overhead
• Keep biceps close to ears and elbows pointing forward as you lower the bottle behind your head until the elbows are at 90-degree angles
• Straighten your arms, contracting the triceps, this is one rep.
• Repeat for 8 to 12 repsKeep your abs engaged throughout the exercise, avoid arching your back
SEATED LATERAL SIDE BENDS
• Hold a tin in right hand
• Sit on dining chair keep back straight and head up, bend only at the waist to the right
• Breathe in and bend to the right side. Hold for a second and come back up to the starting position and exhale
• Keep the rest of the body stationary, this is one rep. Aim for 8 to 12 reps
• Repeat the movement but bending to the left instead aim for 8 to 12 reps
HAMSTRING SEATED STRETCH
• Sit on chair, place hands on the thighs
• Straighten one leg out, place hands on the bent leg
• Lean forwards
• After 10 seconds ease a little further into the stretch, after another 10 seconds ease forward again
• Repeat with other leg
HAMSTRING BENT KNEE SEATED STRETCH
• Sit on chair, place hands on the thighs
• Straighten one leg out but keep slightly bent at knee, place hands on the bent leg, lean forwards
• After 10 seconds ease a little further into the stretch, after another 10 seconds ease forward again
• Repeat with other leg
LOWER BACK SEATED STRETCH
• Begin by sitting tall, extending both legs in front
• Bend right knee and cross it over the left thigh, then bend left knee
• Take left elbow and place it on the outside of the right knee, then place right hand on the floor behind, looking over right shoulder
• Hold for 10 seconds and breathe deeply
• Switch sides and repeat
ARMS ACROSS SEATED CHEST STRETCH
• Sit on chair
• Take one arm across the body
• Place the palm of the other hand on the back of the upper arm and apply pressure
OBLIQUES REACH IN AIR STAND STRETCH
• Stand with feet hip distance apart, neutral spine
• Place one hand just below the hip
• Reach the other arm up above the head, lean to one side
• Repeat on other side
CHEST STRETCH STAND STRETCH
• Sit on chair
• Place hands on small of back
• Squeeze shoulder blades together
• After 10 seconds ease a little further into the stretch
• Stretch only to the point of tension and not pain
SHOULDERS ARMS OUT STRETCH
• Sit on chair
• Clasp hands together, elbows round
• Upper back should be rounded, drop head forward
• Push hands away from body
• After 10 seconds ease a little further into the stretch 
TRICEPS STRETCH
• Sit on chair
• Place one hand above the head and bend at the elbow
• With the other hand on back of upper arm apply pressure
QUADS HOLD ON TO CHAIR STRETCH
• Stand with feet hip distance apart, neutral spine
• Hold on to chair if needs be, stand on one leg
• Raise one heel towards your bum and hold onto ankle
• After 10 seconds ease a little further into the stretch 
Exercising for older adults

Benefits of older adults exercising

There are many benefits of keeping up regular exercise as we get older:

  • To live longer
  • Better bone density
  • Prevent trips and falls
  • Reduce the risk of dementia
  • Prevent or delay the onset of disease
  • Reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke
  • More confidence, improved mood  and maintain independent living

Got any questions?

Like everyone else, I’m now at home instead of being a busy Older Adults Personal Trainer dashing across Brighton and Hove seeing my many clients, either in their homes or outdoors in a park or even down by the beach. If you’ve got any questions about this older adults lockdown home workout, please email gav@3fspt.co.uk or call /Whatapp me on 07730 038830. And remember, you’re never too old to start exercising to gain the valuable benefits to your health and wellbeing.  Keep active during lockdown and stay safe!

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