8 Risky Exercises Seniors Must Never Do

Did you know the more muscle mass you have, you will burn more fat while resting? Like all people, seniors need exercise to maintain a healthy body and improve their life quality. However, ageing comes with some bone and muscle loss; hence seniors need unique exercises and age-appropriate training. Not all exercises are suitable for seniors, and they should select their workouts based on their requirements. Today’s article on Living Maples will list 8 Risky Exercises Seniors Must Never Do, maximizing their exercise sessions’ benefits.

You might think that missing these exercises may limit how you can use them effectively to maintain a healthy body. However, the good news is that seniors can add various alternative practices to their workout sessions to enjoy the same benefits without putting so much strain on their bodies. The  importance of exercise for seniors is not hidden from anyone, but you must be very careful in choosing the proper training.

1. Deadlifts

It is the first in our list of exercises seniors should avoid, and there is a good reason for that. Though seniors can do deadlifting with years of lifting experience, it is not ideal for those just getting into strength training. Many seniors have back, and posture issues that make lifting weights difficult, and incorrect form can significantly damage the back, shoulder, and arm muscles. Deadlift involves a kind of dynamic movement under the resistance provided by the weight. This exercise is highly recommended for younger people since it challenges both the upper and lower body muscles. The deadlift requires a higher body balance, which is why it is on the list of exercises seniors should avoid.

exercises seniors should avoid


Seniors can do other exercises to target the same muscles without balancing weights. Kettlebell swing and hex bar are good alternatives to keep a similar range of motion without balancing the weights.

2. Weighted Squats

The squat is a perfect exercise that targets multiple muscles such as hamstrings, calves, quadriceps calves, glutes, and abdominal muscles. The person requires balance and strength. Some seniors lack enough balance; hence they can’t control it while supporting weights on their shoulders. So, weighted squats are among the exercises seniors should avoid.

Seniors can use the tools they have at home to do squats. Chair squat is one of the best alternatives to weighted squats. The only things they need to do this exercise are a sturdy chair and a kettlebell or a free weight.

exercises seniors should avoid

Seniors are advised to do this exercise without any weights at first. Also, it is recommended to do this work out in front of the mirror to keep the excellent form.

3. HIIT 

High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a type of exercise routine recently added to most sports facilities. HIIT exercises involve various activities with the lowest amount of rest between sets of rapid motion. Hence, it requires the person to have a healthy heart and lungs. Seniors might suffer from breathing or heart conditions; therefore, it is one of the exercises seniors should avoid.

However, they can adjust HIIT and do this exercise in a healthy heart rate range. It is easy to calculate the maximum heart rate allowed for seniors. The only thing you need to do is subtract your age from 220. It is also a wise idea to use a heart rate monitor while doing HIIT exercises.

4. Power Yoga

Yoga has always been suggested for seniors due to its relaxing effects; however, not all yoga types are suitable. Restorative yoga is one that most experts recommend because of its relaxation movements. But exercises involving bending and twisting at the waist are dangerous for seniors; this is particularly true for seniors with osteoporosis. Hence, power yoga is among the practices seniors should avoid. 

Restorative yoga helps relieve stress and also contributes to better brain health. It involves using props to support the body, meaning that individuals with a wide range of physical conditions can perform it. Also, yoga helps seniors lose weight.

5. Sit-Ups

Although they might not seem very difficult, sit-ups can be unsafe for most seniors. Seniors suffering from back problems should avoid doing sit-ups.

exercises seniors should avoid

Planks are a better alternative since they cause less strain on the lower back muscles. Furthermore, seniors performing planks can target the frontal muscles, sides, and back of their bodies. Planks also present a much better opportunity to work the abdominal muscles and achieve a good motion range.

6. Standard Pull-Ups

Pull-ups are helpful in targeting lats, biceps, and the upper back. They can also engage cardiovascular muscles. In our list of exercises, seniors should avoid making their bodies vulnerable to injuries. Pull-ups need a high strength so that the senior pull his body over the bar.

Using a Pull-up machine or resistance band is the best alternative to keep the lats engaged. Lats are essential muscles in the body that are involved in many different movements. Nowadays, most gyms have assisted pull-up machines to cancel at least part of the body weight. You can also use a resistance band attached to the pull-up bar and the foot.


7. Leg Press

It is a type of exercise that involves leg muscles and glutes. However, it is not suitable for seniors. It can put a lot of pressure on the leg muscles. Seniors might be facing osteoporosis; hence they should avoid this exercise to prevent having knee injuries.


Resistance bands are a suitable replacement. They are the best tool available for seniors. The good news is that their resistance level varies according to their colour. They don’t put excessive pressure on the leg muscles. Thanks to resistance bands, seniors can engage their legs without exposing themselves to dangers.

8. Running

An active lifestyle is a must for seniors; however, some activities such as long-distance running can pressure the elderly body. Researchers have found that the body’s aerobic capacity declines about 15% every ten years between 50 and 75.

Seniors accustomed to running long distances will not face any problem, but running is one of the exercises that should be avoided for those new to training. Even long-time runners doing demanding cardio exercises should monitor their heart rate to prevent the risk of a heart attack.

exercises seniors should avoid

Brisk walking and biking are the best alternatives to these exercises. They can help seniors burn extra fat, and they are perfect choices for achieving physical fitness.

Final Words

Ageing requires a carefully calculated change in our diet and lifestyle. Although exercise is a must for seniors, there are several exercises that seniors need to avoid in order to prevent accidents and injuries. 

Source Reddotalerts SuddenlySenior
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2 years ago

I didn’t know running could hurt seniors. Everyone always told me that running is good for your health no matter how old you are. I actually used to run my way to work before. But I stopped when I was around 37,38, and only recently I started again. Now I’m 62. It is definitely nothing like old times, but I haven’t had any problems so far. Do you think I should stop?

2 years ago

I love HIIT! I have an app, I workout three times a week, some of the exercises are a bit difficult, but I manage. should I stop? I feel week, and I need to get stronger; HIIT seems right. I’m 58, by the way, and since I can remember, I’ve always been physically active. 

2 years ago

I wish exercising was like dating so you could find partners for each activity. It would be so much more fun. Someone like me never enjoys exercising alone. Does anyone know if there is a website or app for this kind of thing? I think it would be very cool if we had one.

2 years ago

I’m 60, and I do about 20 sit-ups every morning. It’s a habit I have had from my younger days. But I do feel fine even though I’m older now. To be honest, I’m even surprised to see sit-ups on this list. Do you think I should stop when I have no problem?