Simple Dumbbell Exercises for Seniors to Stay in Shape!

exercises for seniorsFeeling tired and out of shape? Feel like you’re losing your touch with your body? It doesn’t have to be this way. It can be changed with some simple additions to your daily routine.

Weight training for seniors is a great way to stay in shape. Moderate but regular exercise can drastically lower your chances of age-related diseases. Weight lifting helps you regain muscle mass loss due to atrophy. Exercise can also prevent bone loss, high blood pressure and more. And you’ll feel much livelier too!

Learn more about dumbbell exercises for seniors in this article! Some exercises include links to demonstration videos.

Before You Start…

If you are a beginner, you can read about the basic weightlifting terminology and types of training programs hereAlso, take some safety precautions. Weight lifting for seniors isn’t dangerous, but it is advised to check with your doctor. And remember: drink water, start slowly and stop if something hurts.

Why Choose Dumbbells?

why seniors need to work outThere are multiple exercise methods out there. Dumbbells offer flexibility and convenience. You can use a full set, but a range of at least three different weights would suffice. They are small and easy to store in your home.

If you truly do not want to buy dumbbells, you can try using a full water bottle or something of similar weight and size. Those can work well as an alternative, but dumbbells are still the best option.

Choose a set that is easy and comfortable to grip. Then read on!

Build Your Core: Abdomen

  • Target muscles: abdominal muscles and lower back
  • Exercise: pelvic tilts
  • Repetition: 8-12 times each set
  • One dumbbell in each hand


This exercise can be done either sitting in a chair or lying on the ground. 

Sit at the edge of the chair and keep your feet flat on the ground. Draw in your abdominal muscles by sucking in. This engages your abdominal muscles during the exercise.

exercises for abdominalRaise your arms overhead. Then bring the dumbbells down and forward until they are about shoulder-height. Hold them there for one count before lowering to complete one repetition.

Continue with pelvic tilts if you can lie on the floor. This further strengthens your abs and also targets your lower back muscles.

Hold the weights by the side of your body. Keep your knees bent and feet firmly planted. Perform pelvic tilts by slowly moving your hips up and down.

This exercise tightens your entire core.

Strengthen Your Upper Back

  • Target muscles: upper back, shoulders, neck
  • Exercise: shoulder shrugs
  • Repetition: 8-12 each set
  • One dumbbell in each hand

Stand and hold a dumbbell in each hand for this exercise. Raise both shoulders as high as possible. Roll them down in a backwards motion. Reverse by beginning with shoulders retracted in the back to complete on repetition.

This dumbbell workout for men over 50 is recommended by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. However, many people make grave mistakes while performing this. Please view the video and follow directions carefully.

A Stronger Upper Body..

  • Target muscles: pectoral muscles
  • Exercise: dumbbell flyes
  • Repetition: 8-12 times each set
  • Hold one dumbbell with both hands

Strengthening the muscle groups in your chest and upper body will let you give even better hugs to your grandchildren.

Dumbbell flyes can be performed by sitting at the edge of your bed and lying down. Keep your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width and feet flat on the ground. Ideally, your knees should be90 degree angles.

Hold on dumbbell with both hands and begin with it resting on your chest. Push it straight up and hold for a count before coming back down to complete one repetition.

This exercise will also engage your arm muscles.

Dumbbell Curls: Upper and Lower Forearm

  • Target muscles: biceps, triceps, lower forearm muscles
  • Exercise: dumbbell curls
  • Repetition: 15-20 each set
  • One dumbbell in each hand

Stand straight with feet shoulder-width apart for best results. You can also sit on the edge of a chair as needed.exercises for upper body Hold the dumbbell down at your sides with your palms facing up.

Flex one arm and bring the weight to your shoulder. To fully work out your biceps, be sure your palm ends still facing you. Complete one repetition by lowering your arm and repeating with the other side.

  • Target muscles: wrists
  • Exercise: wrist curls
  • Repetition: 15-20 each side
  • One dumbbell in each hand

Wrists are a muscle group not commonly focused on. This dumbbell workout for men over 50 is designed to be performed while sitting. It is advised to start with the lightest weights.

Hold a dumbbell in one hand and rest your forearm on the arm of the chair. Let your wrist hang over the arm. Just as with the bicep curls, make sure your palm facing up. Then bend your wrist up and down as far as you can.

Turn your arm over and repeat to strengthen all sides of your forearm and wrist.

Strengthen Your Legs

  • Target muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles

  • Exercise: dumbbell squat
  • Repetition: 5-10 each set
  • One dumbbell in one hand

While your abdominals make up your core, your legs are what support you. Strengthen several major leg muscle groups with this workout.

Begin by standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell with one hand and hold onto something for support with the other. Ease into a shallow squat, and then rise to the original standing position. Try to keep your back straight and do not arch it while squatting. Change the dumbbell to the other side every repetition.

If you can perform this without holding onto something for support, it’ll be even better. Hold a dumbbell with both hands to spread the weight and stress evenly across your body. You can also increase the intensity by squatting until your legs are a 90 degree angle.

  • Target muscles: gastrocnemius (calf) muscles
  • Exercise: calf raises
  • Repetition: 15-20 each set
  • Two dumbbells

Calf raises are an easy way to work out your calf muscles. Standing and going onto your toes is the typical way to perform calf raises.

However, there is also a seated alternative. This is recommended for seniors who need to go easy on the knees. Simply sit straight on a chair and place one dumbbell on each knee. Lift your heels up and go onto your toes as high as possible. One up and down motion counts as one repetition.

Aquatics: Water Dumbbells

Your local pool is a great place to perform dumbbell exercises for seniors. This is especially true if you have joint problems. If you cannot comfortably perform the exercises above, workouts in the water are the solution for you.

Water’s buoyancy can support up to 90 percent of your weight. This will greatly relieve stress on your joints. Choose water dumbbells for an alternative workout routine.

Any of the standing exercises mentioned above can be performed in the water. You can try the abdominal muscle workout first.

Simply raise your weights out of the water and over your head. Lower them to shoulder-height and end a repetition by pushing the dumbbells back into the water. The water will also increase the intensity by giving resistance when you push or pull the weights from the water. Remember to always draw in your ab muscles to engage them.

Become Revitalized

dumbbell workout for men over 50

Dumbbell exercises for seniors are characterized by their accessibility. You do not need fancy equipment to perform any of the above routines. Many can be done while sitting. You can adjust the level of intensity as needed.

A stronger and more youthful body is not the only benefit from these dumbbell exercises for seniors.

Weekly strength training can increase coordination and cognitive thinking. You can also try some light cardio activity, such as walking and swimming.

The workouts can bring back your energy and give you the strength needed to enjoy other activities. Take advantage of this to revisit some favorite pastimes that you might have given up.

About the Author Dumbbellsgeek

Hey! My name is Paul Sheldon. I live in Nashville, TN and I love all things related to sports. Naturally I love workking out and I do it every day. If you want to talk feel freee to hit me a message or if you happen to be in Nashville we can get a coffee, I know a great place. Peace!