9 DIY Physiotherapy Exercises for Seniors to Do at Home

physiotherapy at home

9 DIY Physiotherapy Exercises for Seniors to Do at Home

“He who has health has hope. And he who has hope has everything” – Arabian Proverb

Physiotherapy is medical treatment for problems of the joints, muscles, or nerves, which involves doing exercises or having part of your body massaged or warmed. As our body starts to age, it requires more attention and care. And certain habits like physiotherapy exercises have a lot of benefits for the actively-ageing body.

There are several DIY physiotherapy exercises that we can safely perform at home to improve flexibility, strength, balance, and overall mobility. But remember, do consult with your healthcare provider or a physiotherapist before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions or concerns.

Here are some simple exercises that can benefit seniors:

1. Chair Yoga

Chair yoga involves performing simple yoga poses while seated or using a chair for support. This gentle form of exercise helps improve flexibility, especially ankles, knees, and arms. Chair yoga can also improve your balance, and encourages relaxation through breathing and meditation. 

There are a lot of free tutorial videos available online nowadays. So grab a chair and have a go! 

2. Leg Raises

Seated leg raises or lying leg raises are effective exercises for strengthening the leg muscles, including the quadriceps and hamstrings. You can try out these exercises while seated on a sturdy chair or lying on their back on a yoga mat. Start by lifting your legs slowly with the knees bent, then work your way according to your comfort level.

3. Wall Push-Ups

Wall push-ups are a modified version of traditional push-ups that provide a safer option for seniors and beginners. You can start by standing facing a wall at arm’s length, then place your hands flat against the wall at shoulder height and perform push-ups by bending and straightening your arms. You don’t have to lean forward too much, working up the intensity slowly and gently.

4. Heel Raises 

Heel raises help strengthen the calf muscles and improve ankle stability, which is essential for balance and mobility. You can perform heel raises while standing, holding onto a sturdy chair or countertop for support if needed.

5. Sit-to-Stand Exercises

Sit-to-stand exercises can help improve your lower body strength and functional mobility. You can start practising by sitting in a sturdy chair and standing up without using your hands for support. Then, you can gradually increase the number of repetitions as you build strength.

Exercises like these and more are done daily at Komune Care’s Senior Daycare and living units. We have a team of trained physiotherapists that will evaluate and develop exercise routines based on your needs. 

6. Shoulder Rolls

Shoulder rolls are really easy to do and can be done on a chair or bed. It helps relieve tension and improve mobility in the shoulders and upper back. Start by sitting or standing with your arms relaxed at their sides and gently roll your shoulders backward in a circular motion. You can repeat this exercise several times, alternating directions.

7. Marching in Place

Marching in place is a low-impact cardiovascular exercise that also helps improve balance and coordination. To begin, stand tall and start marching in one place. Work your way lifting your knees as comfortably as you can while swinging your arms naturally.

8. Ankle Alphabet


Ankle alphabet exercises are a great way to improve ankle mobility and range of motion. First, sit with your legs extended on a mat. Or you can also sit on the edge of a chair with your feet hovering slightly above the floor. Then, start by tracing the letters of the alphabet with your toes, moving your ankles through a full range of motion. 

9. Deep Breathing & Relaxation

Last but not least, you can try breathing exercises. This activity promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and improves your lung function. There are many ways to do this. You can practise deep breathing by sitting or lying comfortably. Start inhaling deeply through your nose, filling your lungs with air, and then exhaling slowly through your mouth.

You can do this while meditating, resting, at any time of day. Everyone can benefit from breathing exercises.  

“Ageing is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength” – Betty Friedan

Give It a Try!

These DIY physiotherapy exercises offer seniors a safe and effective way to maintain and improve your physical health and mobility in the comfort of your own homes. It’s essential to start slowly, listen to your bodies, and modify exercises as needed to ensure safety and comfort. 

If you do experience any pain or discomfort while performing these exercises, stop at once and consult with your healthcare provider. 

Physiotherapy exercises not only work for people recovering from injury, but it can also benefit seniors looking to improve flexibility, balance and overall well-being.   

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