• Preston Brown, DPT, GCS

Exercises For Seniors: Top 3 Upper Body Strength Exercises For Elderly Living With Osteoporosis



Osteoporosis is a bone condition that causes the bones in your body to weaken and if not addressed can lead to injuries or even fractures "breaks" in the bones. Strength training is an important component of exercise that should be incorporated to help manage osteoporosis.


When you perform strength exercises, you are working against resistance until your muscles feel tired. You can use many things for resistance like exercise bands, hand or ankle weights, lifting your body weight against gravity, resistance training equipment (gym machines, dumbbells, etc.), or even household items like soup cans and water bottles can do the trick.


As you age, your body naturally becomes weaker and we lose muscle strength. By performing strengthening exercises, you make your muscles stronger and as well as your bones.

Here are 3 of my top upper body strength resistance band exercises for seniors living with osteoporosis:


1. Seated Shoulder Row with Resistance


Begin sitting upright. Hold both ends of the resistance band that is anchored under your feet, with your legs straight and your palms facing inward. Pull your arms backward, bending your elbows, then slowly straighten them and repeat. Think of squeezing your shoulder blades together as you pull back. Make sure to keep your back straight and do not shrug your shoulders during the exercise.



2. Seated Arms Out to the Side with Resistance


Begin sitting upright with your arms resting at your sides and elbows bent to a 90-degree angle. While holding the resistance band in both hands with thumbs pointing upward, gently squeeze your shoulder blades together and downward, then slowly rotate your forearms out to your sides, keeping your elbow bent against resistance. Hold, then return to the starting position and repeat. Make sure to maintain an upright posture and do not shrug your shoulders during the exercise.



3. Seated Punches with Resistance


Begin sitting upright. Place one hand on your chest. Keeping your other arm straight out to the side with your palm facing downward, bring your arm straight out against the resistance, then return to the starting position and repeat. Then perform on the opposite arm. Make sure to engage your core and keep your movements controlled. Your trunk should not rotate during the exercise.


If you are a beginner or have not exercised in a long period of time be sure to consult your healthcare provider to make sure exercise is appropriate for your situation. Also, as a beginner or someone who has not exercised in a while, it might be best for you to start by using your body weight or a light resistance band.


If you do not have an exercise resistance band CLICK HERE, to find one you can purchase. For the exercises, try to perform 8-12 repetitions, hold 3-5 seconds, 2-3 times weekly - stop if there is increased pain or dizziness. Remember not to hold your breath and perform the exercises in a slow, controlled manner.


These top 3 upper body exercises for seniors are a part of Sit, Get Fit & Stay Safe At Home 6-Week Fitness Program. Sit, Get Fit and Stay Safe At Home is an online community not only addressing exercises for seniors but it’s a group of older adults, aged 65+ working together through a fitness program along with myself, allowing for social interactions to help keep you going with some fun, simple exercises that can be done from the comfort of your home.


If you or your loved one lives in the Greater Milwaukee area and would like to learn more about how physical therapy or a trained physical therapist can help you please reach out to us CLICK HERE.



Talk more soon!!


Preston, PT


P.S. If you’re suffering from osteoporosis and would like tips on things to do and avoid, please download our FREE report 5 Easy Activity Do's And Dont's For Individuals Living With Osteoporosis. This report includes tips I share with my patients at Prestige Therapy and Wellness, LLC.



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