Exercise is essential for maintaining quality of life (QOL) in elderly individuals. However, adherence to exercise programs is low. Here, we assessed the effectiveness of a self-directed home exercise program with serial telephone contacts to encourage exercise adherence among elderly individuals at high risk of locomotor dysfunction. We recruited community-dwelling adults (ｧ65 years) in Niigata, Japan, who were targets of the long-term care prevention project for locomotor dysfunction but did not participate in the government-sponsored prevention programs. The study was conducted from November 2011 to October 2012. Participants received exercise instruction and performed exercises independently for 3 months with serial telephone contacts. The single-leg stance and five-times sit-to-stand tests were used to assess physical function. The SF-8 was used to measure health-related QOL. Ninety-seven participants were enrolled in the study, representing 2.5% of eligible people;87 completed the intervention. Scores from physical function tests were significantly improved by the intervention, as were 7 of eight SF-8 subscales. Adherence was 85.4% for the single-leg standing exercise and 82.1% for squatting. Thus, self-directed home exercise with serial telephone contacts improved physical function and health-related QOL, representing a promising model for preventing the need for long-term care due to locomotor dysfunction.