As we get older, taking care of ourselves becomes essential — and a big part of that is exercise. Seniors in their 60s and older should aim to make exercise a part of their daily and weekly routine, as it can delay the onset of common health issues. Exercise can also lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, help you sleep better, and improve balance.
Just moving your body regularly is enough to feel it Positive effects of exerciseBut if you’re ready to step up your training, a great way to do that is to build muscle strength. Weight training is one of the best ways to do this, and using water bells (or KBs) is a safe and easy way to use weights.
Kettlebell exercises for seniors can increase muscle and bone density, improve grip strength, improve mental health and increase confidence. Kettlebells are comfortable, compact and require only a small amount of space, and the five movements below cover all major muscle groups to ensure you get the most out of your kettlebell workout.
It is important to follow the instructions in order to use the bells correctly. There are some safety precautions for seniors when doing bell exercises: If you have heart problems, avoid overhead movements that may stress the heart; If you have problems with your wrists or knees, water bells may not be the right tool for you. And of course, you should always get medical clearance before starting any new exercise program.
The bells of the towers are often marked and sold in kilograms, so keep an eye on this to make sure you don’t gain too much weight. When starting a kettlebell training program, the recommended weight is 8 to 12 kg (or 17 to 26 lbs) – but you may want to start lighter depending on your fitness level.
1. Box sit / squat
Squats are a great lower body exercise to hit almost all of the muscles in your legs. Adding a bell helps focus your balance and keep your joints graceful. Using the bench as a target for your squat depth is a great way to feel about it How low should you go?.
- Find a sturdy surface (such as a chair, stool, or box) and stand in front of it.
- Hold the bell by the handle or by the bell at chest level.
- Place your feet shoulder width apart with your weight balanced on both feet.
- Keeping your chest elevated, push your hips back and down toward a chair or box as you transfer your weight to your heels. Touch the glutes to the chair or chest.
- Press through your heels to return to standing.
Once you are able to sit deep below where your hips are parallel to your knees or you have achieved good balance, you can advance this movement by eliminating the bench.
2. Squat on one bench/box
This one-legged squat takes a seated squat a step further by isolating each leg, building your one-legged strength. Keeping your heels on the ground will help with balance and allow you to focus on using the correct muscles (you should really feel this in your quads, hamstrings, and hamstrings).
- Stand in front of a bench or box. Spread your left leg and place your heels on the floor. (This will be the fixed leg.)
- Put your weight on your right leg, and push your hips back toward the connection point (box/bench). As you lower, bend your right leg to 90 degrees, so that your knee is at the same level as your toes. Your left leg, or stationary leg, remains straight.
- Once you touch your point of contact with your butt, move your hips up and forward all the way to the end. Repeat for 8 reps, then switch sides.
To make this movement work better for you, try raising the leg off the floor (beginner), lowering the box (intermediate), or removing the box completely (advanced).
3. Row bend to KB fly
Focusing on the upper and lower body is important for full-body strength, and this movement will help build the muscles in your back and shoulders. During the row movement, really focus on pulling your shoulders back. You want the pullback movement to come from the muscles around your shoulder blades.
- Hold the bell in your right hand and stand about 2 feet in front of your seat/box. Bend at the waist and knees and place your left hand on your seat/box, so that you are in a standing tabletop position, with your knees under your hips and your left wrist under your shoulder. Try to keep your back straight.
- With the bell in your right hand, pull your right shoulder away from your ear. Make sure to keep your elbow close to the body and pull your right elbow back.
- Finish the bent-over row by extending your entire arm down. Then complete the fly: Keeping your right arm straight, draw your arm laterally away from your body so your hand is on the same line with your shoulder.
- Drop your arm to your side and repeat 8 times before switching sides.
To facilitate this exercise, you can start in a stepping position and divide the exercises into two parts. If you want a challenge, go for the time with 30 seconds on each side.
The goal of the intensely called “skull breaker” movement is to exercise the triceps, a usually weak muscle. Make sure you start with low weights and work your way up with that weight – you may be surprised at how tired your triceps feel after several reps.
- Lie on your back on your seat or on the floor.
- Hold the bell by the bell.
- With your arms directly above your chest, bend at your elbows only.
- Pull the bell toward your forehead.
- Press the bell back once your elbows reach 90 degrees.
5. Reverse push-up lunge to the knee
This is the most advanced KB exercise. We work on mobility, strength and balance. It’s in itself a full-body movement: You’ll feel the pressure of the bell on your shoulders and the thrust in the muscles of your thighs and hips.
- Begin by pressing the KB bell at chest level.
- Move your left foot back about three feet, with both knees bent to 90 degrees as you push your left knee down. You don’t need to touch the ground with your left knee, but the closer you get, the more effective this movement will be.
- As you step back and down, push the bell over your head at the same time.
- Push your right leg and push your left leg forward and up. Your left knee should end toward your chest. Hold for 1 to 2 seconds to balance. This is one representative.
- Repeat 8 times before switching legs.
To make this exercise easier, divide it into two separate parts. First, work on mobility reverse lunge. Once you feel strong, work on the knee drive.