Skip main navigation

Hurry, only 9 days left to get one year of Unlimited learning for £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

A 40 minute ‘at home’ exercise session to strengthen muscles

An article providing an outline of a 40 minute exercise session which can be done at home.
© University of Reading, INRAE, CHU, NOFIMA, VUB

You don’t have to go to a fitness club to strengthen your muscles! Here are some exercises that can easily be done at home and incorporated into daily routines. We suggest trying out this strength session twice in the next week on non-consecutive days.

Firstly, stay safe!

  • Find an uncluttered space to do the exercises in with no obstacles in the way.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and sports shoes.

Two important things to note

Get medical advice BEFORE STARTING if the older adult has not been physically active for a long time, if they suffer from balance problems, lower back pain, arthritis, heart problems, or any other pathologies or have just undergone surgery.

If, they experience pain, difficulty breathing, dizziness or palpitations during exercise, stop immediately and seek medical advice.

Strength session (30-40 minutes in total)

It’s often easier to exercise in company and these activities can be carried out alongside the person you’re caring for to provide motivation and encouragement.

  1. Warm-up for about 5-10 minutes using the warm-up & cooling down exercises.
  2. Spend about 10 minutes strengthening the lower body. Do the chair stand exercise 10 times. Take a break for about a minute. Then repeat the 10 chair stands twice more with a one minute break in the middle.
  3. Have a break for about two minutes. Drink a little water.
  4. Spend about 10 minutes strengthening the upper body. Do the rising pot exercise 10 times. Take a break of about a minute. Then repeat the 10 pot lifts twice more with a one minute break in the middle.
  5. Cool-down for about 5-10 minutes using the warm-up & cooling down exercises.

Taking these exercises twice a week will help to ensure that muscle mass and bone density are maintained and improve mobility and coordination, enabling older people to stay independent for longer.

You can download and keep the exercise cards for the exercises featured in the video from the Downloads section below. If you’d like to add some more for variety, take a look at the ‘Move it or Lose it’ videos such as the one on improving balance below.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Share any muscle strengthening exercises you find helpful in the Discussion area below.

© University of Reading, INRAE, CHU, NOFIMA, VUB
This article is from the free online

Ageing Well: Nutrition and Exercise for Older Adults

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now