Many people over 60 think that core exercises are only for younger people or athletes. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Core exercises are important for people of all ages, but especially for older adults.
Don’t worry if you’re new to exercise as any time is a good time to get started. Incorporating core exercises into your workout regimen can have numerous benefits for your overall health and well-being that should not be ignored.
The Benefits of Core Exercises for Over 60 and Older Adults
The following are some of the main benefits of doing core workouts:
Core exercises can help you stay in good shape.
As we age, our muscle mass and bone density decrease, which can lead to a loss of strength and balance. By strengthening the core muscles, it is possible to get better balance and stability, which can help to avoid falls and injuries.
Core exercises can improve your posture.
Poor posture is a common problem among older adults, and it can lead to lower back pain, neck pain, and other issues. By strengthening your weak core muscles, you can achieve better posture and reduce the risk of these problems.
Core exercises can also make it easier to perform daily activities.
Whether you’re lifting groceries, carrying laundry, or doing yard work, a strong core can help you perform physical activities with greater ease and less discomfort. By incorporating core exercises into your daily routine, you can improve your ability to perform these daily tasks, reduce low back pain, and maintain your independence.
Core exercises can help to slow down the aging process.
As you age, your body undergoes many changes that can affect your physical abilities and overall health. By engaging in regular physical activity, including core exercises, you can slow down these changes and maintain your physical and mental health for longer.
5 Best Exercises for Core Strength in Over 60’s
Here are some of the best core exercises that you can incorporate into your workout routine:
Planks are a great core-strength exercise that works the entire core, and you can do them anywhere without any expensive equipment. To perform a basic plank, get into a push-up position and maintain a straight line from your head to your heels with your hands directly under your shoulders.
Hold the position for as long as you can. If you’re new to the plank you may only be able to hold it for a few seconds. Just try to hold it for a few seconds longer each time you do it. You can try a forearm plank or a side plank for more variety and to work different muscles.
When doing a plank always make sure to engage your abdominal muscles and keep your belly button drawn in towards your spine.
Leg and Knee Lifts
Leg raise and knee lifts are effective exercises that target your oblique muscles and hip flexors. To perform leg lifts, lie on your back with your arms at your sides and lift one leg up towards the ceiling. Lower it and then do the same with the opposite leg.
You can also try knee lifts by bending your knee and bringing it toward your chest. Make sure to keep your lower back flat on the ground and engage your core muscles.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet resting flat on the floor, ensuring your starting point is stable. Engage your gluteal muscles and slowly lift your hips, until your body is in a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold the position briefly, then lower your hips back to the original position.
This exercise targets the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and lower back muscles, making it a great way to strengthen your core muscles.
Lie on your back with your arms extended towards the ceiling and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Keeping your lower back pressed into the floor, slowly lower your left arm overhead while straightening your opposite leg towards the ground. Return to the starting position and repeat with the right arm and left leg.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands on your hips. Keeping your upper body tall and core engaged, slowly bend to the right side, sliding your right hand down your thigh. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
Side bends are a great exercise to target the external obliques on the sides of your torso, helping to strengthen and stabilize the core. They can also be done from a seated position.
Start by getting down on your hands and knees. Keep your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Keep your spine stable by engaging your core muscles. Slowly straighten your right arm forward while at the same time straightening your left leg backward, maintaining a straight line from your hand to your foot.
Hold the position for a few seconds, then return to the starting point and repeat with the opposite arm and leg.
Tips for Exercising
There are plenty of other stomach exercises that can help you strengthen your core but the ones we’ve listed are some of the best. You can modify them a bit by using a resistance band to add more resistance to your exercises as you get stronger. Make sure to work each side of your body evenly to avoid any muscle imbalances.
If you’re new to exercise or have any health concerns, it’s always a good idea to consult with a physical therapist or healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program. They can help you determine which exercises are safe for you and how to perform them with proper form and range of motion.
The good news is that you don’t need fancy equipment or an expensive gym membership to do a core exercise routine. With a sturdy chair or a mat, you can perform a variety of core strengthening exercises without having to invest any money.
Core Strength is Important for Seniors
According to a study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, isometric exercises like planks and bird dogs can help older people improve their core strength and muscle mass. By incorporating these exercises into your workout routine, you can enjoy strong core muscles and reduce your risk of injury.
Remember, it’s never too late to start exercising or to make it a part of your daily life. Even if you haven’t been active in a while, there are plenty of core exercises that are suitable for people over 60. Start with simple exercises like the seated knee lift or the standing side bend and gradually work your way up to more challenging ones like the dead bug.
When performing core exercises, it’s important to focus on good posture, form, and technique. Make sure to engage your core muscles and avoid straining your neck or back. You can also modify exercises to suit your fitness level and any physical limitations you may have.
In addition to core training, it’s important not to neglect the rest of your body. Try to incorporate other types of exercise into your routine that work your entire body, such as strength training, cardio, and flexibility, and balance exercises. By combining different types of exercise, you can improve your overall fitness and reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
Remember, consistency is key when it comes to exercise. Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. With dedication and commitment, you can improve your core strength and overall health, no matter your age.