What Are the Different Types of Exercise Offered for Older Adults?

By Nicole R April 10 September 11th, 2019 No Comments

Below you will find a chart that explains the differences/benefits of exercises offered in Assisted Living and/or Nursing Homes vs. Tandem Strength & Balance practices.

senior balance training

Sitting Class

senior strength and balance training

Standing Class

physical therapy for seniors






Everyone can do- less limits of diagnosis      

Main emphasis is on arms- use of weights on arms is typical

Easy to do in small group setting

Limited leg exercises. Easy to complete in sitting position. Leg weights are rarely used, therefore more range of motion than strengthening

Strength benefits if weights used on legs

Need to be over 10lbs. to get functional improvements with legs

More strength gains with 5 second holds applied versus just motion

Movement of legs is less due to position allowed while seated


People with arthritis may experience pain due to stress placed on joints in seated position

No individualized assistance if in a group


Can be done in group setting

Participants need to be able to stand independently to participate

Increased confidence in movement

More range of motion vs. balance because of typical requirement to hold onto the chair with exercises


To work on balance, individual need to progress to no-hand support to improve balance. Progression to holding position without hand support challenges the balance more!

Not individualized if in group

Tandem Strength & Balance

Everyone can do regardless of age or diagnosis

If exercises are done lying down, typically weights are not used, and the client is not able to adapt or adjust as needed without seeing a PT again.

Can be completed in recliner, on couch, bed or floor


Full-body – legs, arms, & core

Changes in mobility and balance occur once 4lbs. achieved with legs

1:1 with physical therapist


Adaptable session to session

Next Post

Walkers Are Best as a Temporary Device!

Inspiring Seniors to be Stronger...Longer!

We help people to understand why they are struggling
and what steps can be taken to make life better.
Free In-Home Consultation
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap