Best exercise machine for seniors

Best exercise machine for seniors

Today we are going to look at the best exercise machine for seniors. Not only are we going to look at the best strength training exercise machine for home, but also the best cardio machine for seniors as well as a budget option.

If you want to improve your strength and fitness at home and are new to strength training, it can be hard to choose the right equipment. The market is full of all kinds of home exercise machines and gym equipment and if you don’t know what you are doing it’s easy to end up buying something completely useless.

In the worst case scenario you will buy something expensive, use it three times and forget about it after that. This is unfortunately how most home exercise machines end up used. The worst thing is that the wrong equipment can get you discouraged and forget about exercise completely!

As we like to point out, for seniors (and everyone else really) exercise is one of the cornerstones of a healthy, happy and independent life. Strength training is especially important for improving and maintaining your physical health as you age. We would hate to see you give up exercise because of choosing the wrong equipment.

That’s why we have looked for the best exercise equipment for seniors to use either at home or at the gym to get excited about improving their physical fitness and health.

What makes a good exercise machine?

Before we look at the machines, let’s take a minute to look what makes a good exercise machine for seniors. The first thing is safety. Untrained seniors are more prone to exercise injuries than younger adults due to age related connective tissue deterioration and reduced tissue regeneration.

So we want something that is fairly simple to use and doesn’t require extreme ranges of motions or jerking explosive movements. Both can be effective factors of an exercise but they will increase the chance of injury.

The next thing we want is effectiveness. You’d think every exercise machine on the market would be effective but unfortunately that is not the case.

The market is full of all sorts of ab toning gadgets and thigh toning devices that are simply useless plastic trash. These are often advertised in late night TV commercials as the next best thing that will revolutionize exercising. Never believe this type of hype.

An effective exercise machine uses scientifically proven principles to effectively improve either strength or cardiovascular conditioning.

Thirdly we want our exercise machines to be versatile because in all honesty a one trick pony is not something you want lying around taking space in your apartment.

Lastly we want our home exercise equipment to be compact. If you are someone who has space for an entire home gym, great! You probably also have the cash to pay for someone to design and build it.

The rest of the world will likely have shortage of space in their homes and the less space exercise machines take, the better.

Best home exercise machine for seniors to build strength

For improving strength there are a few important things to consider. With seniors, it’s much more important to improve the large muscles of the lower body and the midsection, so our exercise equipment has to be geared towards building leg strength.

It’s important to be able to exercise your upper body as well so you have to have some way for doing that as well.

Strength training requires enough resistance to cause stress to your muscles. If you can do over 20 repetitions on an exercise, it’s not optimal for building strength and muscle mass. So the exercise machine has to provide enough resistance.

Strength training relies on the principle of progression. You increase the weight or resistance gradually over time to increase the stress on your muscles, this will cause your muscles to adapt by becoming stronger and larger.

So as you can see, this is quite a lot to ask for an exercise machine. Then again you can accomplish all that just using your body weight. Bodyweight exercise is not ideal for most seniors however, because it requires a certain level of strength to begin with and it can be very uncomfortable especially if you have joint or back issues.

In all honesty, there really isn’t a machine on the market that could handle all that. That’s why our recommendation would be to get a set of adjustable dumbbells like these:

Dumbbells can be used to exercise your whole body by doing movements like squats, Romanian deadlifts, lateral raises and bent over rows. We have a whole dumbbell workout explained here.

To improve your leg strength and balance you can invest in some resistance bands and a balance board

Our recommendation for a balance board is the StrongBoard Balance


Best home exercise machine for cardio

For improving cardio we want something that can do both low intensity steady state cardio and high intensity interval training. This way we can do some long cardio workouts and some more intense HIIT workouts on the same device.

A recumbent stationary bike is the perfect home cardio machine for seniors for several reasons. A modern stationary bike allows several different programs and heart rate monitoring, which is great for adjusting the workout according to your fitness level.

Recumbent bikes provide a more comfortable and natural sitting position that will prevent lower back pain in most seniors. It also safer to climb on than an elliptical machine for example and you can’t really fall of one. Cycling is also much better for the knees and hips than running on a treadmill.

Our recommendation is the Exerpeutic 1000 Magnetic Hig Capacity Recumbent Exercise Bike for Seniors

It is a recumbent exercise bike designed specifically for seniors. It features a step through design that makes it very easy and safe to use. It has a wider seat than typical exercise bikes for added comfort as well.

The bike is equipped with transportation wheel to make moving it around easier and it can handle body weight up to 300 lbs. The mechanics are equipped with an 8 level magnetic tension control that allows you to adjust the resistance depending on your workout and fitness level.

It’s equipped with a large easy to read LCD screen that indicates time, speed, distance, calories and heart rate. This is truly the perfect exercise bike for seniors and you will definitely enjoy doing your cardio on this. The best thing is that you can do it in front of the telly!

Best exercise machine on a budget

If you are on a budget we have a great solution for you! This option is actually great for anyone looking for home exercise equipment. You don’t really need to break the bank to have effective workouts at home.

For improving overall strength and conditioning, there is no better option than kettle bells! They are super effective and extremely affordable. They won’t take up any space in your home because they fit under the bed for example.

Kettle bells are super affordable!

You can start with a light one and once lifting it becomes a breeze, you can get a heavier one and use the light one for upper body exercises for example.

You can find more information on kettle bell exercises here.


We hope you found these recommendations for best exercise equipment for seniors useful and will try the products yourself. If you have any questions about them or about exercise equipment in general we would be happy to help you out! Just leave a comment on the form below and we will get back to you soon!

Exercise is extremely important for your health as you get older and investing in exercise equipment is never a bad decision. However it’s important to invest on the right equipment and stick with the exercise routine! The exercise equipment can’t do the workouts for you, no matter how good they are.

If you want to find out more about strength training and exercise for seniors please bookmark our site and subscribe to our newsletter.

See you next time!

Elder Strength


  1. I train seniors with some frequency and I don’t think there’s a better overall piece of equipment than a good set of dumbbells.

    Of course you want options. The best piece of exercise equipment is the one you’ll use, after all. And variety is nice. I find myself using other items as well, but when I show up to train a client, chances are he or she is going to be picking up a dumbbell!

    Thanks, good overview!

    1. Thank you for the comment Jon. You are correct, there is no simpler yer more effective exercise equipment than dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells.Building strength is all about resistance and what better way is there than using gravity. Just take something heavy and put a handle on it so you can grap it effectively and you have a great piece of strength training equipment. This is what dumbbells are after all, dead weight with a grip, simple as that. The best part is that you can train your whole body with a simple weight if you use a bit of imagination, or preferably a trained professional.

      All the best to you Jon!

  2. I have experience with the recumbent bike which is amazing. During recovery after left knee surgery, I have used this machine to build back my leg muscles and lower body strength. It was a part of the therapy. It is my recommendation to everyone who is interested in this machine, seniors or not because the results are great!

    1. Thanks you for the comment Ivan! Exercise machines and strength training are excellent for rehabilitation like you have found out first hand.

  3. Hey great post I am getting up there in age my self . I am always working and only have small window after work to exercise. so these are really helpful . Thanks for the share its very informative

    1. Thanks for the comment Eric! It only takes half and hour or even 15 minutes couple times a week to improve your strength and physical health so don’t let lack of time stop you from exercising.

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