Home Healthy Aging Exercise Equipment for Seniors – 13 Devices

Exercise Equipment for Seniors – 13 Devices

by Zac Martin
woman working on exercise equipment for seniors

Exercise equipment for seniors does not differ that much from exercise equipment for everyone else, frankly. The differences (with some exceptions) are more on which exercises you do and to what extent.

Exercise is vital to good health, and this principle becomes even more important as we age. In a world full of lockdowns, crazy traffic, and packed gyms though it can be somewhat inconvenient to make your way to a gym on a regular basis.

For those who are looking at other alternatives, there’s an entire world of at-home exercise equipment available to them. The problem comes with being able to separate the wheat from the chaff. There’s so much exercise equipment out there and not all of it is created equal.

So how do you know what to choose? Which exercise equipment makes the best choice for seniors? Check out our thoughts on the subject below.

These are 13 great types of exercise equipment for seniors.

1) Minibands

These things are fantastic, and as a personal trainer, I enjoyed teaching my clients how to use them. They can be used for hip abductions, clamshells, tricep extensions, band pull aparts, rows, and a whole lot more. These come in a variety of tensions as well meaning anybody can use these, regardless of fitness level.

The below video will better display to you some of the options that are available to you with these great products.

While there are several manufacturers for these products out there – and to tell the truth – they’re all just selling a glorified rubber band, I do have a preference for Perform Better minibands. They don’t have the chalky feel that a lot of the other minibands on the market do.

Perform Better Mini Band Resistance Loop Exercise Bands Set of 4-9" x 2"
  • Mini-Bands can be used anywhere – on the field, at home, in the clinic or gym, or even when traveling.
  • Effective for both upper and lower body training.

2) Hand Grips

Are these the hardest piece of exercise equipment around to use? No. Are these going to give you a fantastic workout of themselves? No.

But hand grips do still serve a purpose. For many, grip strength gradually weakens as time goes on. This can make it difficult to hang onto heavy items, to open jars, or to safely perform other tasks around the house as well.

E-smartinlife Hand Grip Strengthener Set, Finger Gripper - Soft Foam Hand Exerciser for Quickly Increasing Wrist Forearm and Finger Strength, 2 Pack
  • One Set Of Two Quality Foam Hand Grippers Perfect For Athletes,Use To Increase Finger, Hand And Forearm Strength And Stamina
  • Rehabilitate And Relieve Pain Using The Hand Strengthener, For Conditions Such As: Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tendonitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hand grips help one to build up their hand strength, helping to prevent all those problems from happening. So, while these shouldn’t be the sole tool you use to challenge your body physically, they are a good component for a part of the body that’s often overlooked.

3) Recumbent Bicycles

recumbent bicycles

For the older individual who is looking for a means of exercising outside, a recumbent bicycle can serve as a great mode of exercise. These types of bikes are very easy to get on compared to some other bikes, enable the user to sit in a reclined position, and the 3-wheel models don’t require any balance whatsoever. We wrote an article on this very subject, how to select a 3-wheel bike for seniors.

That means there’s virtually no worries about tipping over as you ride this style of bike. 

4) Stationary Recumbent Bicycles

Sometimes the weather doesn’t permit getting outside to walk, hike, or ride one’s bike. For such an instance a stationary recumbent bicycle can make a great addition to a home gym. Cycling is a low-impact form of exercise, meaning it doesn’t impart a lot of pounding on the joints, and recumbent models of bicycles are easy to get into the seat of as well.

Nautilus R618 Recumbent Bike
  • With enhanced Bluetooth connectivity, users can set, track and monitor progress with popular app-based tracking tools
  • Explore the world and discover 50+ global routes that auto-adjust in real time to your speed (Explore the World subscription required)

Another cool thing about these products is that you can really crank up your heart rate on them if you want to. Whether you’re fiddling with the tension, or changing up your RPMs, a stationary recumbent bicycle can serve as a great source of exercise for an older adult.

Like the 3-wheel bikes, we also wrote an article on the best exercise bikes for seniors.

5) Gymnastic Rings

I know what you’re thinking, there’s no way you’re going to hang from these, flip around in the air like an Olympian, etcetera. Rest assured, you don’t have to!

These are the original and way less expensive alternative to the TRX system. While most people associate them with the Olympians doing the iron cross, there are a wide array of exercises that can easily be accomplished by even an older exerciser.

PACEARTH Gymnastics Rings Wooden Olympic Rings 1500/1000lbs with Adjustable Cam Buckle 14.76ft Long Straps with Scale Non-Slip Gym Rings for Home Gym Full Body Workout
  • 【1500lbs Capacity】The 32mm thick exercises gymnastic rings are made of birch wood, which is a natural material used for making premium sports gear. The pull up rings have great weight capacity up to 1500lbs/680kg, secure and durable.
  • 【Wider Adjustable Straps】Our 1.5 inches/3.8cm straps are wider than the competition, so they are safer and more durable. The adjustable straps with scale ensure that the training rings are always at the same height. The little touch fasteners we provide help you tidy up the strap ends so they don’t get in your way during the exercise.

Bicep curls, ring rows, ring pushups, chair squats, and more are just some of the options that are available here. To adjust the intensity on ring exercises, normally all you have to do is move your feet either closer towards or further away from the anchor point of the rings (typically further away). The more body weight you must support, the heavier the exercise will be.

As such these are an incredibly versatile piece of exercise equipment that can add a lot of variety to your gym with minimal space and investment.

6) A Cable Station

Cable stations are easily one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in the gym. There are so many things that you can do with them, and for those that are struggling with injuries, cable stations often provide several alternative means of working around such injuries.

Given that these are a form of doing strength training as well, these serve as a great way to combat bone loss, to build muscle mass, to lose fat mass, and more. A cable station can easily be scaled to anyone’s level of fitness as well.

Valor Fitness Cable Crossover Machine - 17 Adjustable Positions with Pull Up Bars, Max Weight 200 lb. Plate Loaded Pulley System for Home Gym Power Workout - Handles Included - BD-61
  • Sturdy Construction: Built with heavy duty high-quality steel for durability and reliability. Rubber end caps on each foot add to the safety and stability of the machine, while also protecting your home or gym floor.
  • Floor Mounting Option: For those seeking extra stability, this Cable Crossover Machine can be anchored to the ground, with all necessary hardware included.

Should somebody with bad balance issues what to work out but are (rightfully) concerned about falling over with dumbbells in their hands, a cable station with a chair in front of it can provide everything one needs to get a quality and tiring strength training workout in without having to worry about falling.

These are a more expensive piece of gym equipment, but if you had to only pick one piece of strength training equipment out there for an older client, this would likely be one of your best bets.

7) Treadmills


Treadmills are a good option for those who have the balance and ability to safely use them without hurting themselves. For those who have a hard time navigating that first initial step up or down, or for those who have an unsteady gate, they may want to look elsewhere for a form of exercise equipment.

That said, there are several benefits that an older person can get from using a treadmill. For starters, walking is a weight-bearing exercise, meaning that it’s good for those who are suffering from bone loss. Weight-bearing exercise is exactly what’s needed in cases of osteopenia to inhibit further bone loss and to rebuild what has been lost.

While strength training is easily the best form of exercise for such, that doesn’t mean that a treadmill is to be discounted. There’s a lot of benefit that can be received from using such, and for those whose knees don’t tolerate the regular bending of a bicycle, this may prove to be the best bet.

8) Seated Ellipticals

These work well for the person who struggles with knee pain. In many circumstances as a trainer, I was able to get somebody with chronic knee pain who couldn’t tolerate an exercise bike to utilize a seated elliptical without any issue whatsoever. Something about the way the seats on seated ellipticals can be adjusted makes it so that one doesn’t have to bend their knee as deeply to complete the rotation of the pedals.

Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer and Elliptical (LT3)
  • ZERO-IMPACT EXERCISE: Ideal for all fitness levels. The natural stepping motion and comfortable seated position eliminates stress on the joints and back while delivering a total body, fat-burning cardio workout. A great exercise option for those with Arthritis, Parkinson's or MS
  • PHYSICAL THERAPY TECHNOLOGY: The only home-use stepper with a patented natural stride licensed from commercial physiotherapy steppers. Experience the same gentle, effective exercise found in a PT office in your own home.

Add in that these are easy to get on and off, they are low-impact, and one can get the upper body in motion with these as well, and you have a winner.

9) Rower Machines

The only caveat with a rower machine is that it’s going to need to be placed near a wall with a handrail if you want somebody who’s older to be able to get on and off it as easily as possible. These are a fantastic form of exercise.

Concept2 RowErg Indoor Rowing Machine - PM5 Monitor, Device Holder, Adjustable Air Resistance, Easy Storage
  • Integrated Device Holder allows you to keep your Smart Phone or Tablet securely in place. Compatible with over 40+ apps.
  • 14-inch seat height fits most uses. Adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle

Once more, the intensity can be adjusted to accommodate whatever it is that you’re looking for here. These aren’t as intuitive to use as many people think they are, and it does take a bit of coaching to figure out if you’re using one correctly or not.

I highly recommend checking out the below video for advice on how to use proper form on a rower machine.

10) Schwinn Airdyne Bikes

These are just cool. While a little more difficult to get onto than the other bikes on this list, a Schwinn Airdyne can serve as a great source of cardio. They operate off a flywheel system, meaning that they can give you an incredibly good workout that will absolutely kick your butt.

Schwinn Fitness AD7 Airdyne Bike
  • Progressive wind resistance for infinite levels of challenge
  • Efficient single-stage belt drive that keeps it running quietly

If that’s not what you’re looking for, adjust the tension and just pedal slower. The Airdyne is an incredibly versatile tool that can scale the intensity up or down to whatever it is that you’re looking for.

11) Cubii

Say what you want about this being a TV gimmick, but this is one of the few great infomercial products. Many people don’t exercise at home because they don’t have the space for equipment, the physical ability to routinely move equipment into and out of the middle of the floor, or because they don’t have the money that a new treadmill requires.

Cubii JR1, Under Desk Elliptical, Bike Pedal Exerciser, Seated Elliptical, Work from Home Fitness, Mini Elliptical Machines for Home Use, Exerciser for Seniors, Desk Exercise, Aqua…
  • UNDER DESK ELLIPTICAL- Cubii JR1 pedal exerciser is the leading compact and ergonomic mini elliptical that lets you workout or rehab while you sit at home or the office
  • WORK FROM HOME FITNESS - Now you can exercise while you work from home - right at your desk! Burn calories, lose weight, and feel great with Cubii elliptical machines for home use

A Cubii in contrast is something that can easily be used by virtually everyone. They’re $250, but they enable you to exercise as you’re watching TV, working on bills, or even crocheting. All one has to do is to put the Cubii at the base of the couch, and they’re good to go.

Is this going to be the most intense workout out there? No, it’s not, but that’s not the point. The point is to help get people moving – to get them to engage in more activity daily.

And for that, the Cubii excels.

12) Exercise Table

How on earth can a table be a valuable source of exercise for an older adult? Easy.

It allows one to do on-the-floor exercises without having to get down on the floor. This means someone can engage in bridges, clams, fire hydrants, Russian twists, knee pushups, hip abductions, foam roller work, and other traditional floor work without having to worry about having to figure out how to get back off the floor.

Sierra Comfort Low-Level Massage Table, Black
  • Beech Hardwood Frame / Multiple Frame Support Cables / Threaded Support Bar
  • 2” High Density Foam Deck / Water & Oil Resistant PU Leather Upholstery

Seated exercises as well as those that traditionally require a bench such as seated shoulder presses, chair squats, dumbbell kickbacks, dumbbell rows, and more can also be utilized with such a surface.

In short, if you’re looking for a way to make your home gym as versatile as possible without adding a host of new gizmos and gadgets, an exercise table may be just what you’re looking for.

13) Nu-Step

If you’re looking for a way to do cardio for somebody who has a lot of joint pain, is too heavy to use other pieces of exercise equipment, or is very frail, a Nu Step can serve as a great form of low-intensity cardio.

These come with an adjustable tension knob that gives you ten possible levels of resistance, are incredibly easy to adjust the seat on, and for the newer models, adjusting the handles only requires the unfastening of a clip (older models require turning a screw to adjust the handles).

Once on, the user will be able to challenge their legs and – to a lesser extent – their upper body as well. In the past as a trainer, I have had people use the arms exclusively should their legs not permit (e.g., recent surgery), so that is an option here as well. While on the expensive side of this list, a Nu-Step is a machine that many claim is worth every penny.

Exercise Equipment for Seniors Summary

A home gym is a great way to ensure that you’re giving your body the daily exercise that it needs to function properly. And while there is undoubtedly a lot of other great exercise equipment out there, much of it is either going to require quite a bit of coaching to use correctly (here’s looking to you, kettlebells), or it’s not going to be the best option for an older individual to utilize by their self.

After working in a gym setting for 8 years, I believe that the above options are the best of the best when it comes to at-home exercise equipment for seniors.

What are your thoughts on the situation though? Is there other equipment out there you’ve been able to use to great success? Is there equipment out there you don’t think is great for an older client? Do you agree with our assessment? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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