Easy Chair Exercises for Older Adults

Chair Exercises

Want to stay independent as you age? Keep it moving! Making an effort to stay active every day is the key. Mobility issues might make staying active a little trickier, but it’s always possible! Chair exercises, for one, are a great way to maintain an active lifestyle. If you or a loved one are looking for motivation to stay fit, our senior activity coordinators in Camden County have compiled a list of easy chair exercises for older adults.

Safety note: Please consult your primary care physician or professional fitness trainer before performing any new strenuous exercises that might do more harm than good.

Ankle ABC’s

A great place to start is always the ABCs and 123s! This chair exercise can help ankle mobility, which in turn can help seniors be more steady on their feet when walking.


  • Sit up straight with your feet on the floor, palms resting face down on your thighs. Keep an eye on your posture, ensuring you’re not slouching.
  • Lift one leg up off the floor.
  • Point your foot and pretend that your big toe is a pen. Then, use your toe to “write” out the ABCs. Make sure to keep the movements in your foot rather than using your whole leg.
  • After writing all the ABCs on one foot, switch to the other foot.


Sit-to-stands work out all the good stuff: your hips, legs, abs, and core muscles. This chair exercise is beneficial for your overall balance and strengthening muscles, which is essential for performing Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) like walking to the restroom unassisted.


  • Sit up straight towards the front of the chair with your hands resting on each side of your thighs. Make sure your spine is straight, and your feet are hip-width apart.
  • Draw your belly button more towards your spine to activate your core.
  • From your hips, lean forward, shifting your weight through to your feet.
  • Next, stand up gently, pausing for a breath while standing upright.
  • To sit back down, make sure to shift your hips back and bend your knees before returning to your starting position.
  • Repeat 10-20 times, depending on your fitness level.

Seated Jumping Jacks

This move is a little bit more challenging, so don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. Seated jumping jacks are full-body aerobic exercises that support heart health and can help to improve mobility and coordination.


  • Like the exercises above, start by sitting up straight toward the front of your chair. Ensure your spine is straight, your arms are at your sides, and your feet are together.
  • Pull your belly button in toward the spine to activate your core.
  • Swing your arms overhead in the traditional jumping jack motion as you simultaneously step your legs out about shoulder-width apart.
  • Return to the starting position by stepping your feet back together and bringing your arms to your sides.
  • Repeat 10-20 times, depending on your fitness level.

Seniors exercise safely at UMC in Collingswood, NJ

At United Methodist Communities at Collingswood, we offer every senior living resident opportunities to exercise safely through group classes – and even more personalized programs through our physical therapists in short-term rehab.

Some of our favorite fitness classes include chair dancing and chair yoga. We understand that everyone has different health goals, and we are more than willing to help each senior find an exercise regimen that works best for them. We also make an active effort to offer multiple programs to support each resident’s fitness level and preferences to the fullest at our independent lifestyle community in Camden County.

For more information about senior exercise classes in Collingswood, New Jersey, please contact UMC at Collingswood today or visit our website at: https://umcommunities.org/collingswood/

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