Safe Exercises for the Elderly to Build Lean Muscle

Posted on March 14th, 2018 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

Rebuilding Trust in Your Body

Building muscle is not just a young person’s vanity pastime. Developing lean muscle, even at 60+ years old, is vital to maintaining our independence and stability. We understand the importance of building lean muscle in your golden years—so we wrote a blog with safe, no-impact exercises that’s accessible to nearly anyone.

Want to keep yourself independent at 85? At 90? Read on for a different kind of bodybuilding.


Despite the odd name, this exercise will improve the stability of your core, develop balance, and increase lean muscle mass. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your legs and arms in the air. Keep your back on the floor and lower one of your legs until your heel is nearly touching the floor. Lower the opposite arm at the same time until it is above your head.

Go back to your beginning position and repeat the exercise on the other side. Once you are accustomed to the movement, keep your legs straight. This will make the exercise both harder and more beneficial.

Squats to Chair

This exercise will increase the lean muscle in your core and lower body. We want it to be easier for you to pick something off the floor, walk up and down the stairs, and get out of your chair.

Stand with your back to a chair with your feet apart. The distance should be the same width as your hips. Keep your chest straight, bend your knees, push back your hips and lower yourself towards your chair. Your body should only be slightly forward as you reach the bottom of your squat. Bring your body back to the original position and repeat the movements.

Wall Push-Ups

This is an excellent way to build lean muscle in your upper body. This exercise focuses on your chest and arms.

Place yourself two feet from a wall. Place your hands shoulder width apart on the wall at shoulder height. Keep your elbows bent on a diagonal by your sides and your body straight. Lower your body to the wall allowing your heels to leave the floor. Hold for a few seconds then use the wall to straighten your elbows. Repeat this exercise several times.

All of these simple-but-foundational exercise will help strengthen your body and support mobility for the rest of your life.