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The #1 Best Daily Leg-Strengthening Workout for Seniors

Strengthen your lower body and develop the leg strength you need as you age with this routine.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Having adequate amounts of lower-body strength is pivotal for leading a long, healthy life—no matter your age. If you're uncertain about where to begin, don't worry, because I curated a workout specifically designed to help you develop the leg strength you seek. If you're curious about the best daily leg-strengthening workout for seniors, keep reading to learn more.

Building leg strength requires time, effort, and consistent dedication, but the rewards are substantial. Strengthening your lower body brings numerous advantages, including enhanced strength, mobility, stability, resilience, and bone health. The investment in consistent leg workouts pays off in overall well-being and functional fitness.

Check out the #1 best daily leg-strengthening workout for seniors below to boost leg and joint strength, elevate mobility and stability, and enhance your quality of life both in and out of the gym. These exercises target major muscle groups in the lower body for effective results. While this routine is beneficial, remember to incorporate a variety of movements like deadlifts and lunges into other workout days for a well-rounded fitness approach.

Goblet Squats

dumbbell goblet squat illustration

Any squat variation will work here—goblet, back, or front—for an effective workout. To tailor the best options for your progress, let's begin with a movement you can advance. Goblet squats are excellent for beginners, as they help you master fundamental squat patterns, engage your core, and allow for weight progression. Embrace tempos and pauses to intensify your workout without necessarily adding more weight.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes forward. Maintain an upright chest and engaged core. Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in front of your chest, gripping it firmly. Hinge your hips back, and lower into a squat. Lower to a desired depth, then push through your whole foot to return to the starting position. Work through three sets of six to 12 reps of goblet squats with 90 seconds of rest between sets. If you use pauses or tempos, stick with six to eight reps!

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Single-Leg Glute Bridges

single-leg glute bridge hip extension

Single-leg glute bridges show the posterior chain some love, developing your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back while improving hip stability and strength. Glute bridge variations—especially single-leg—will teach you to activate your glutes and core together, helping to stabilize the body when working out.

Begin face up with your knees bent and your feet flat, shoulder-width apart. Ensure your shins are vertical and your ankles and knees are stacked. Slightly tilt your pelvis toward your chin for core bracing, and raise one leg off the floor, flexing about 90 degrees at the hip. Push your heel through the floor, and drive the hips up, squeezing the glutes at the top. Repeat for the other side. Perform three sets of eight to 15 reps per side with 90 seconds of rest between sets.

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Split Squats

Bulgarian split squats, concept of daily leg-strengthening workout for seniors

Split squats are essential for developing lower-body and single-leg strength. The split squat exercise is a unilateral movement that helps build balance and stability, enhance strength deficits between sides, and further develop your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and core. In addition to promoting strength gains, splits squats with tempos and pauses are excellent for joint strength and stability.

To perform a split squat, start with a hip-width stance, and step one foot forward. Elevate the back foot on its toes. Lower your back knee toward the floor until it's slightly above the ground. Keep your torso upright, engage your core, and push through the front foot to return to the starting position. Maintaining proper posture throughout the movement ensures the front knee aligns with the ankle. Perform the desired repetitions on one leg before switching. Complete three sets of eight to 12 reps per side with a 90-second rest between sets.

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Leg Extensions

leg extension illustration, concept of daily leg-strengthening workout for seniors

I'm typically not the biggest fan of using machines during workouts, however, I will make exceptions. Using a seated exercise—especially for seniors—is a safe and effective method; it's low-risk with a high reward. You can focus on developing your quadriceps, improving strength and muscle mass while improving knee health.

Knocking out reps of leg extensions is pretty simple. Sit with your back against the backrest, grip the handles, and position your feet under the ankle pad. Extend your legs, squeeze the quadriceps, and lower the weight with controlled movements. Start light and increase gradually, maintaining proper form. Complete two to three sets of 12 to 15 reps with 90 seconds of rest between sets.

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Leg Curls

illustration of seated leg curls, concept of daily leg-strengthening workout for seniors

Like leg extensions, the idea here is safe and effective. Seated exercises will allow you to work out with more weight and for more sets and reps. Due to leg curls being an isolated movement, you can specifically target your hamstrings to maintain and enhance lean muscle mass.

To perform seated leg curls, sit with your back flat against the seat, and place the backside of your lower leg on the leg curl pad. Then, squeeze your hamstrings, and pull the weight down, allowing your knee to bend. Slowly return to the starting position with control, feeling the hamstring lengthen. Repeat for desired reps, then switch legs. Complete two to three sets of 12 to 15 reps with 90 seconds of rest between sets.

Jarrod Nobbe, MA, CSCS
Jarrod Nobbe is a USAW National Coach, Sports Performance Coach, Personal Trainer, and writer, and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 12 years. Read more about Jarrod
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