10 Minute Easy and Effective Chair Exercises for Seniors

Safe exercises for seniors who are frail or have limited mobility

Along with improving strength, flexibility, and blood circulation, exercise also boosts mood, helping to keep seniors as healthy and well as possible.

Chair exercises, done while seated on a chair with back support, are an excellent option for seniors who are frail, at risk of falling, or have limited mobility.

The goal is to provide a steady base so your older adult stays safe while moving their arms and legs during their workout.

We explain why chair exercises are so helpful for seniors and share 6 effective chair exercises in an easy 10 minute routine.




Why chair exercises are helpful for seniors

A major benefit of chair exercises is the reduced risk of falling. 

It’s also a great way for seniors with limited mobility to get the health benefits of exercise.

Chair exercises can be just as challenging as regular standing workouts, especially for upper body or abdominal muscles. 

Another advantage is that exercising while sitting takes less effort than standing and puts less pressure on lower body joints like knees or ankles.


6 chair exercises in an easy 10 minute routine

Dartmouth-Hitchcock, an East Coast health care organization, created a simple 10 minute chair exercise routine for older adults.

The only equipment that’s needed is a sturdy chair with back support, an optional resistance band, and optional ankle weights.

Note: The chair shouldn’t have arms and shouldn’t easily fold, roll, slide, or be unsteady. 

These 6 seated exercises help seniors:

  • Build or maintain muscle
  • Get heart rate up
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Increase flexibility
  • Increase range of motion


The video acts as an exercise instructor

This video is especially handy because it’s a full routine with clear directions that can be easily followed.

Start by doing the routine 2 to 3 times a week. As your older adult builds strength and endurance, add on more days or go through the routine more than once at a time.


Preventing injury is the top priority

It’s still possible to fall out of a chair and get injured so it’s important to make sure your older adult is steady on their chair and able to handle these exercises. 

The first few times they try new exercises, ask them to take it slowly and not overexert themselves. 

And stand close by until you’re both confident that they can safely do the movements on their own.


Next Step  Try an easy and effective 10 minute chair exercise routine from Dartmouth-Hitchcock


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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Garfield County Senior Programs


This article wasn’t sponsored, but does contain some affiliate links. We never link to products or services for the sole purpose of making a commission. Recommendations are based on our honest opinions. For more information, see How We Make Money.


  • Reply February 6, 2020

    Jan and David Cunningham

    Can I purchase a dvd for the chair based exercises or a downloadable video so I can give to my husband when he goes into respite please. He has had Rasmussens Encephalitis and has 2 brain injuries and he finds your video very easy to follow. He can’t use you tube and the home will not do this for him. Any help would be much appreciated.

  • Reply November 9, 2019

    Julia G Sweeneydon,d

    Is there any way to have a print copy along with the CD version? It is for me and I perfer having both ways of trying to take it in mentally…

  • Reply October 19, 2019

    Marti DeGraaf

    Can you provide the 10 minute chair exercises for seniors You Tube in a DVD?

    My aunt is 95 years old. The chair exercises will be wonderful for her, right on target for strengthening her legs. A very together and sharp 95 lady, but starting her on a computer is not practical. She would be comfortable with a DVD.

    Your You Tube video is the best I’ve found for her situation. Your help is sincerely appreciated.

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