20-Minute Easy Workouts for Seniors to prevent Muscle Loss

Senior Family

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Experts recommend that older adults should exercise for at least 150 minutes a week, to build strength and muscle mass. As our bodies age, we experience loss of muscle mass that can begin as early as in our 30s or also known as sarcopenia. The term originates from the Greek words, “sarco” which means flesh and “penia” for poverty. The loss of muscle mass in seniors not only makes performing daily activities more difficult, but it also puts them at great risk for falls, which is the leading cause of accidental deaths among those age 65 and older.

Don’t worry! You can prevent loss of muscle mass by doing easy workouts 3 times a week for 20 minutes a day in the comfort and security of your own home—but before you begin, don’t forget to warm up for 5 minutes and always drink plenty of water! You can begin your workout routine with the following simple strength exercises recommended by The National Health Service in the United Kingdom:



  1. Sit on the edge of the chair, feet hip-width apart. Lean slightly forward.
  2. Stand up slowly using your legs, not arms. Keep looking forward and do not look down.
  3. Stand upright and then slowly sit down, using your hands or arms just to guide you if possible.
  4. Aim for 5 repetitions. The slower the repetitions, the better.



  1. Rest your hands on the back of the chair for stability and stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Slowly bend your knees as far as is comfortable, keeping them facing forwards. Aim to bend your knees forward, past your big toe. Keep your back straight at all times.
  3. Gently come up to standing, squeezing (clenching) your buttocks as you do so.
  4. Repeat 5 times.


Calf raises

  1. Rest your hands on the back of a chair for stability.
  2. Lift both heels off the floor as high as it is comfortable. The movement should be slow and controlled.
  3. Repeat 5 times with each leg.
  4. To make this more difficult, perform the exercise without holding on to the chair and just balancing.


Sideways leg lift

  1. Rest your hands on the back of a chair for stability.
  2. Raise your left leg to the side as far & high as it is comfortable, keeping your back and hips straight. Avoid tilting to the right.
  3. Return to the starting position by bringing your left leg back down to center. 
  4. Repeat 5 times with each leg.


Leg extension

  1. Rest your hands on the back of a chair for stability.
  2. Standing upright, raise your left leg backwards, keeping it straight. Hold the lift for up to 5 seconds. 
  3. Bring your leg back down, but avoid arching your back by sucking your stomach in to keep your core strong. You should feel the effort in the back muscles of your thigh and buttocks.
  4. Repeat 5 times with each leg.


Wall press-up

  1. Stand at arm's length from the wall. Place your palms flat against the wall at chest level, with your fingers pointing upwards.
  2. With your back straight, your stomach sucked in, and your buttocks tucked in, slowly bend your arms, keeping your elbows by your side. Aim to close the gap between you and the wall as much as you can.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position, pushing off the wall and straightening your arms while keeping your palms flat against the wall.
  4. Attempt 3 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions.


Biceps curls

  1. Hold a pair of light weights (filled water bottles will do) and stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Keeping your arms by your side, slowly bend your arms upward until the weight in your hand reaches your shoulder.
  3. Slowly lower again.
  4. This can also be carried out while sitting. Attempt 3 sets of 5 curls with each arm.


Workout to Go” is a simple and convenient guide, featuring 13 exercises designed by The National Institute of Aging, and focuses on building strength, balance, and flexibility. You can start or add these exercises in your routine with only these simple items:

  • A sturdy chair
  • A pair of 1- to 2-pound weights, but you can also use unopened canned food or water bottles.
  • 2 tennis balls


Begin by following the reminders on getting ready and safety tips as instructed in Workout to Go. After warming up, you can do each of the strength and balance exercises for 10-15 repetitions for each set. Try to do 3 sets for each exercise as shown in the guide.

Strength Exercises:

  • Hand Grip
  • Wall Push-up
  • Overhead Arm Raise
  • Back Leg Raise
  • Side Leg Raise
  • Toe Stand

Balance Exercises:

  • Stand on One Foot
  • Heel-to-Toe Walk
  • Balance Walk

After performing strength and balance exercises, you should cool down with flexibility stretches for your:

  • Ankles
  • Back
  • Thigh
  • Shoulder and Upper Arm

Since it is not enough for older adults to rely on just a healthy diet, exercising is highly recommended in order to build muscle mass. This allows older adults to navigate their daily lives with ease and without discomfort or pain from weaker bones due to muscle mass loss. Let the rest of your life be the best of your life with the right balance of exercise and a healthy diet, equipping you for your next adventures. Best to also supplement with Birch Tree Advance. It has proteins that help build muscle mass. It is fortified with Bones & Muscle nutrients -- calcium, protein, magnesium, and potassium. Don’t forget to consult your doctor or medical professional for advice if these exercises are right for you or if you experience pain or discomfort. 

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