Keeping fit as we age can be a struggle. Many of the age-related changes we undergo can make it hard to gain or even maintain muscle.

Because of this, many seniors feel that they should just withdraw from their favorite activities in favor of more passive, sedentary hobbies.

But if you are a high-energy person who never wants to stop participating in the activities you love, you will not accept the rule that you have to start doing “old-people activities”.

For people like you, there needs to be a way to stay strong and healthy throughout the later portion of your life.

For this reason, I have compiled some of the best core strengthening exercises for seniors. These moves are all geared towards an athletic population, while still minimizing impact to limit joint damage.

If you’re looking for ways to keep participating in tennis, golf, or any other activities, give these moves a try!

4 Best Core Strengthening Exercises You Should Be Doing After 60

The top 4 best core strengthening exercises for seniors

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1. Dead Bug Variation #1

Dead Bug Variation #1

Dead bugs are great for strengthening the muscles of the core. This move has many variations, some of which may be more appropriate for certain individuals than others.

This variation is considered “medium-intensity”. So, most people can do it fairly comfortably, but not everyone. If this version feels too difficult for you, just do the same movement with your legs only.

How to Perform

  • Lie on your back, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Reach both hands up toward the ceiling as you simultaneously lift both feet off of the ground, keeping your knees bent.
  • Keeping your left leg bent and in the same position, kick your right leg out straight, in line with your body. At the same time, allow your left hand to fall behind your head, in line with your body, keeping your elbow straight.
  • Hold this position for a second, then return to the starting position. After that, switch sides.
  • Complete 10-12 reps on each side per set, for 3 sets per session.
  • Perform this move, as part of this whole workout, 3-4 times per week.

2. Bird Dogs

Bird Dog

Bird dogs are one of the quintessential core exercises. This move works the multifidi, a tiny muscle that helps to stabilize and “fine-tune” movements of the spine. Also, this exercise works many other core muscles as well.

How to Perform

  • Start on your hands and knees, with your knees directly under your hips and your hands directly under your shoulders.
  • Kick your left leg out straight behind you, in line with your body.
  • At the same time, reach your right hand out in front of you, also in line with your body.
  • Hold this position for 3 seconds. An observer should be able to trace a straight line from your fingertips, through your trunk, to your heel while you hold this pose.
  • Then, return your hand and knee to the starting position and repeat the movement on the opposite side.
  • Complete 12-15 reps per set, for 3 sets per session
  • Perform this move, as part of this whole workout, 3-4 times per week.

3. Side Plank Raises and Holds

Side Plank Raises and Holds

Thus far, we’ve focused on moves that use the majority of the core muscles at the same time. The side plank raises and holds, on the other hand, emphasizes the obliques in isolation. This exercise is great for keeping back and core strength. The side plank is particularly helpful for seniors who have one-sided low back pain.

How to Perform

  • Lie on your left side.
  • Place your left forearm on the ground, with your hand flat on the floor.
  • Lift your hips up toward the ceiling and hold this position for 10 seconds.
  • Then, slowly lower back down to the ground.
  • Once your hips tap the ground, lift back up and hold again for 10 seconds.
  • Complete 10 reps as instructed for 3 sets per side, per session.
  • Perform this move, as part of this whole workout, 3-4 times per week.

4. Standing Band Rotations

Standing Band Rotations

Most athletic activities in life require rotation through the trunk and hips. For this reason, it’s a good idea to train in rotational motion during your exercise sessions. The standing band rotation movement works tons of muscles in the trunk, hips, and even the shoulders.

How to Perform

  • Secure your band to a stable, immovable surface.
  • Grasp the other end of the band firmly with both hands.
  • Next, while facing perpendicular to the line of the band, rotate your trunk slowly, keeping your arms extended with tension on the band. Rotate as far as you can without pain.
  • Then, slowly allow yourself to be pulled back into the starting position to complete the rep. Complete 10-12 reps per set, for 3 sets per session.
  • Perform this move, as part of this whole workout, 3-4 times per week.

Conclusion On Core Strengthening Exercises

Building a strong, athletic core later in life is not easy. However, with consistent effort, this goal can be achieved by anyone. If you want to stay in the game, and off of the sidelines as you age, make sure you start training your core musculature today!

Works Cited

  1. Cannataro, R., Cione, E., Bonilla, D. A., Cerullo, G., Angelini, F., & D’Antona, G. (2022). Strength training in elderly: An useful tool against sarcopenia. Frontiers in sports and active living, 4, 950949.
  2. Langhammer, B., Bergland, A., & Rydwik, E. (2018). The Importance of Physical Activity Exercise among Older People. BioMed research international, 2018, 7856823.

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