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Upper Body Exercises

5th December 2019

Muscle strength, bone density and balance all reduce with age but this can be slowed and even reversed with just a few minutes of exercise a couple of times a week.

Getting back into exercise is not dangerous but please see your doctor before you start.

Adding some resistance exercises to your daily routine does not require a lot of time or expensive equipment. These exercises have been designed to be easy to perform in your own home.

 

Tips for Exercise

Getting Started

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Here are our tips for getting started and adding exercise into your routine:

  • For any exercises that require a chair, choose one that is stable, solid, without wheels and preferably without arms
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing
  • Remember to drink water during and after you exercise
  • Do these exercises at least twice a week. This should be sufficient to improve your muscle strength, balance and coordination.
  • Remember to drink water during and after you exercise
  • As your fitness improves, consider joining a group session
  • Try to exercise your major muscle groups (legs, chest, shoulders, arms) at least twice a week but don’t exercise the same muscle group two days in a row for at least the first month or two. Start with one exercise per muscle group each session and add a second exercise per muscle group into each session after two weeks of regular exercise
  • Some muscle soreness lasting a few days and slight fatigue are normal after strength exercises when you start. If the soreness lasts more than a couple of days or involves a joint, please see your doctor before continuing with the sessions

Adding Extra Weight

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As you get stronger you may want to add some resistance to your exercises. This will ensure your muscles and bones continue to progress - but don’t add too much too soon. As a rule of thumb do any exercise for at least two weeks before you increase the weight.

These exercises have been designed to work with little or no equipment. Adding water to one-litre cordial or milk bottles is a great way to progressively add weight into your routine.

Soft arm and leg cuffs are also gentle but effective way of adding resistance. Check your local sports store or the internet.

Remember – start light and progress slowly.

Enlist a Professional

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These exercises will be enough for nearly everybody to get enough exercise training at home but if you have a gym or pool nearby don’t be afraid to give them a visit. Water aerobics is a great form of low-impact resistance training and many gyms will tailor programmes especially for those who haven’t exercised in a while. Some physiotherapists are also specialising in exercise to assist in keeping people independent and strong. Give your local physio a call to see if they provide consultations specifically for older people.

 

Arm Exercises

Bicep Curls

Begin standing or seated with your feet a comfortable shoulder-width apart to help you keep your balance.

  1. Straighten your arms by your sides.
  2. Beginning one arm at a time, slowly and gently bend at the elbow (keep your wrist straight) and lift your hand toward your shoulder.
  3. Slowly relax the arm.
  4. Alternate repetitions with the other arm.

Starting repetitions:

5 each side

People doing stuff
 

Arm Exercises

Wrist Curls

Begin standing or seated with your feet a comfortable shoulder-width apart to help you keep your balance.

  1. Straighten your arms by your sides.
  2. Beginning one wrist at a time, slowly and gently bend at the wrist and lift your hand towards your elbow but do not bend your elbow.
  3. Slowly relax the arm.
  4. Alternate repetitions with the other arm.

Starting repetitions:

5 each side

People doing stuff
 

Chest Exercises

Wall Push Ups

Stand arm's length from the wall. Place your hands flat against the wall at chest level with your fingers pointing to the ceiling.

  1. With your back straight, slowly bend your arms. Keep your elbows by your side. Aim to get your nose close to the wall but don’t worry if this feels too hard at the start – just close the gap by a few centimeters for the first week or two.
  2. Slowly return to the starting position.

Starting repetitions:

5

People doing stuff
 

Shoulder Exercises

Upright Row

Begin standing with your feet a comfortable shoulder-width apart to help you keep your balance.

1. With your arms straight and your hands in front of your tights, raise your hands towards your chin. Try to keep your elbows higher than your writs at all times.

2. Gently lower your hands back to their starting position. Add weights like cordial bottles with a little water or dumbbells for more resistance.

Starting repetitions:

5

People doing stuff
 

Shoulder Exercises

Lateral Raises

If you are worried about your balance you can grasp the back of a chair for stability and do these one side at a time. If your balance is good your can do these with both arms simultaneously.

1. Raise your arm(s) to the side as far as is comfortable, keeping your back and hips straight. Do not raise your hand above shoulder height.
2. Return to the starting position.

Starting repetitions:

5

People doing stuff
 

Shoulder Exercises

Front Raises

Begin standing or seated with your feet a comfortable shoulder-width apart.

1. Hold your arms by your side.

2. Raise your arms until your arms are horizontal

3.Hold, and slowly lower your arms.

Starting repetition:

5

People doing stuff
 

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