Types of Exercise: Flexibility, Strength, Endurance, Balance

  • Lynn B. PantonEmail author
  • Ashley L. Artese

Key Points

  • Different exercise components—flexibility, strength, endurance, and balance—provide different benefits to older adults.

  • Prior to starting exercise, an assessment of current function and fitness is helpful.

  • “Start low and go slow” is the mantra for older adults beginning exercise programs.

  • Although a multicomponent exercise program is optimal, it may overwhelm some beginning exercisers, who can start with one component and add others over time.


Aerobic training Balance training Endurance training Exercise prescription Flexibility Resistance training Strength training Weight training 

Supplementary material

Video 4.1:

Fitness assessments for older adults. This video demonstrates six maneuvers used to assess fitness: the timed up and go, chair stand, arm curl, chair sit-and-reach, back scratch, one-legged stand

Video 4.2:

Water exercises. This video demonstrates eight water-based endurance activities, five strength exercises, and two balance exercises which can be performed in a pool to minimize weight-bearing strain on joints

Video 4.3:

Cardiovascular exercises. This video demonstrates five maneuvers for endurance activity and cardiovascular conditioning: marching in place, heel digs, side steps, knee lifts, and modified jumping jacks

Video 4.4:

Pet therapy exercise class. This video demonstrates how dogs have been incorporated for fun and motivation in an exercise class which includes flexibility, endurance and balance training


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise SciencesFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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