If you’re a senior and you want to target your core strength from multiple angles, you should aim to combine isometric exercises with dynamic full-body exercises that engage your core, which includes ab exercises for seniors.
Full-Body and Core Exercises for Seniors
Mission Lean aims to help seniors build great core strength, while also targeting their workout from an anti-aging standpoint. This is why we recommend incorporating dynamic full-body exercises, which will work your core muscles but also elevate your heart rate so you get the benefits of an aerobic workout. The best abs exercises for seniors is the following routine:
- Glute Bridges
- All Fours Plank
- Tip Toe Walk
- Side Plank
- Toe Touches
Isometric Exercises To Engage Your Core Muscles
Isometric exercises are ones where you maintain a static position and hold that position. Doing so will engage certain muscles of the body, such as your core. Our three favorite isometric exercises are Plank, Side Plank, and All Fours Plank. The Plank is a traditional exercise that targets the central abdomen, and the Side Plank works your oblique muscles.
The All Fours Plank is a great variation of the traditional Plank, because you benefit from the same core engagement but you also build great arm and shoulder strength because you’re holding your body up with your arms. However, it’s not enough simply to perform isometric exercises as you need to elevate your heart rate in your workout if you wish to truly benefit from anti-aging fitness.
Dynamic Full-Body Exercises That Engage Your Core
That’s where dynamic, full-body core exercises for seniors come into your routine. Our 3 three favorite dynamic, full-body exercises that target the core are Glute Bridges, Tip Toe Walk, and Toe Touches. All of these exercises involve you actively moving your body to engage your core muscles, but the benefits of these moves will not exclusively apply to your abs.
Glute Bridges activate the gluteus maximus muscles as well as the hamstrings and lower back muscles, all of which constitute the “core” as well. Similarly, the Tip Toe Walk activates your core muscles, which you will need to engage to maintain your balance, but you will also benefit from increased calf strength.
Lastly, Toe Touches is probably considered the most difficult exercise of the routine, but it’s necessary to include because it will get your aerobic pathways activated. You are engaging your core each time you bring your hand to touch your opposite toe, almost like a sitting side crunch. However, because you are standing and jumping at the same time, you will find yourself getting a bit out of breath, which is what we want for the capstone of the routine.
Combining Isometric and Dynamic Exercises
The goal of your ab routine should be to move from an isometric exercise to a dynamic, full-body exercise. In this way, you are getting a break from the more aerobically challenging dynamic moves when you move to a more controlled, isometric exercise. However, you aren’t “taking a break” because you’re still present and active in the workout, only completing a different type of move.
You’re getting a breather but still benefiting from strength gains in your core from the isometric move. The idea of this routine is to move from one exercise to the next without any rest. Once you complete the series of 6 moves, you should then rest for 2-3 minutes and complete the routine again, all the way through without breaks. Try to complete 2 or 3 sets of this entire routine.
In order to target your workout from an anti-aging standpoint – extending cellular lifespan by improving telomerase activity, as one example – you need to bring an “aerobic burn” into your workout. Put simply, you should be out of breath at various points throughout the workout. This is why combining the dynamic, full-body moves with the isometric exercises is a must.
The Age Defying Workout Program
If you like these ab exercises for seniors, download the Mission Lean app and try our Age Defying Workout program, which is specifically designed for seniors (Ages 60+). There are many great workouts to choose from and many additional isometric and dynamic, full-body moves to choose from that you can incorporate into your daily routine. It’s time to start building great core strength and benefiting from aerobic improvement at the same time so you can live longer, fuller, healthier, fitter, and stronger!
Jon Pearlman is a former standout tennis player at Harvard, ATP-ranked touring pro, and author of The Lean Body Manual. He founded Mission Lean to share his unique formula for lean body fitness and nutrition, an approach that took over a decade to develop and perfect. He is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist.