Stretching Exercises for Seniors : Top 10 List

Aging might affect your body negatively.

If you notice that you are losing flexibility, your muscles go tight, and you feel more severe aches and pains than before, you might want to take a look at some of the stretching exercises for seniors.

Stretching is overall good for your body, as it reduces pain and stress in your muscles, improves balance, and advances your flexibility.

That means you will reduce risk of injuries or falling, as stretching exercises for seniors focus on improving your body’s posture and gaining more mobility.

Just in case, it would be great if you go see your doctor and consult him about performing any exercises, especially if you already have an injury, illness, or if you are in a specific medical condition.

As exercises are highly recommended by doctors, you will for sure get approval from the doctor for the most of the exercises for seniors we are about to present in this article.

Which Equipment Do You Need?

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Our goal is to help you stretch out without investing much effort.

That means our stretching exercises for seniors are simple and relaxing so that anyone can perform them.

The best thing is that you might not need anything but a chair, which means that people in wheelchairs and disabled persons can also include these exercises into their routine.

If you maybe want to achieve maximum benefit of these exercises, then you can get yourself an exercise ball or bench.

You can do these exercises in your home or in the gym – whatever suits you better.

Stretching Program

Your age doesn’t define you, as you can work on yourself both physically and mentally.

The thing is – your body has the possibility to operate impeccable, despite your age.

Even if you don’t feel any changes in flexibility and functioning on daily basis, these exercises for seniors will relax you and release stress.

  • Take a warm bath or shower before performing exercise to relax and prepare your body,
  • Start off with some light cardio exercises to warm up a bit (for example, walk in place or do arm circles),
  • Repeat stretches 10-30 seconds each and do 3 times sessions,
  • Stretching might work best after cardio or strengthen exercises, but this is optional.

Try to stick to stretching exercises for seniors routine, as you want your body to adapt to changes slowly, without causing additional stress or pain.

Static Vs Dynamic Stretching

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As we mentioned above that you should repeat the stretching exercises in sessions of 10 to 30 seconds each, we want to clarify difference between two stretching types – static and dynamic.

For example, if you have just begun with our stretching exercises for seniors, you don’t want to force yourself to do more than you are able to do at this moment.

That means you should start off with 10 or more seconds exercises for the first couple of days – static stretching.

When you prepare your body for daily stretching, it would be great to increase duration of sessions, moving up gradually to 30 seconds or more.

Stretching for 30 seconds or more that focuses on specific group of muscles is static stretching.

Dynamic stretching is no different when we talk about stretching a specific group of muscles, but it takes more active approach.

The main goal of dynamic stretching is to increase blood pumping (circulation) and improve your range of motion, but you might want to think twice about this type of stretching if you suffer from some medical condition.

Static stretching is recommended for everybody, as it takes less effort, while dynamic stretching is more effective, but requires more action.

Stretching Exercises for Seniors

We have come to the point – stretching exercises for senior that will improve your health, flexibility, and mobility.

People with injuries or physical limitations are also highly welcomed to apply these exercises.

All of the stretching exercises for seniors in this article are meant to improve your coordination, circulation, flexibility, gain more independence, and reduce aches and difficulties in moving.

Stretching will repel stress and boost your mood at the same time.

For the best results, do these stretching exercises for seniors on daily basis, as frequent as possible.

Don’t forget to warm up a bit (5-10 minutes) before heading to the work.

1.       Ankle Circles

You can’t maintain your balance well if your ankles are stiff or weak. Our bones are highly prone to losing density, which further triggers losing flexibility, pain, and falls.

·         Sit up tall in a sturdy chair,

·         Extend one leg in front of you, while holding the other one on the floor,

·         Do 10 to 20 ankle rotations clockwise and counter-clockwise,

·         Repeat these steps with opposite leg.

Stretching your ankles from time to time will prevent stumbling and falls and gain back density to your bones.

Make sure to bring healthy food rich in calcium to your diet in order to get the best results.

*This stretching exercise is wheelchair-friendly

2.       Neck and chest stretch

Start your day with some neck stretching exercises, as these are so simple and don’t take much time.

Aging people might feel some tension in neck and shoulders after getting up from bed, which is a result of calcinations.

·         Sit in a tall and sturdy chair,

·         Warm up your neck muscles by leaning your head left and right,

·         Lift one arm over your head while holding your palm gently in the opposite direction,

·         Pull your head to the side of the arm you lifted and hold position for 20 to 30 seconds,

·         Repeat the steps with other hand.

*This stretching exercise is wheelchair-friendly

3.       Shoulder Rolls

Aging people usually feel the friction in their shoulders and back.

If you try to lubricate these by light stretching, you will prevent aches in shoulders and keep your upper body relaxed.

·         Extend your arms in front of your body,

·         Bend your elbows,

·         Roll the shoulders by making circular motions in the air with pointed elbows,

·         Lean forward and get back.

4.       Triceps stretch

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What we like about triceps stretch is that you can choose if you want to do it by standing or sitting.

Triceps stretch is one more easy exercise that helps you gain back flexibility in your upper back and your arms.

·         Stand still or sit in a chair,

·         Lift your hand over your head and bend it at the elbow,

·         Reach with your other arm towards the elbow, pulling it gently towards the hand,

·         Hold the position for 20 to 30 second,

·         Switch the arms.

If you are doing triceps stretch exercise right, you will feel it in the back of your arms and your back.

*This stretching exercise is wheelchair-friendly

5.       Hip stretch

Hip strengthening exercises for seniors are a must, as hips are highly prone to losing density with aging.

By stretching your hips, you will re-gain wide range of motion and flexibility.

·         Sit in a chair with your legs crossed,

·         Let the ankle sit on the top of your knee,

·         Relax your hips,

·         Press the ankle slightly to the knee,

·         Hold it for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat the process with opposite leg.

*This stretching exercise is wheelchair-friendly

6.       Back stretch

Your spine might lose mobility with time so that it would be great to stretch it up from time to time.

Back stretch exercise belongs to dynamic stretching exercises for seniors, which improve your circulation in the back.

·         Stand tall and put your hands on your hips,

·         Arc backwards holding your head slightly tensed up,

·         Hold each repetition for 3 seconds,

·         Repeat the exercise 10 times.

7.       Seated backband

Some people call this exercise lazy, even though it actually works as well as the regular back stretch.

·         Sit on a chair, holding your feet tightly on the floor,

·         Put your hand on lower back with your thumbs wrapped around your waist,

·         Arch your spine backwards while leading with your head,

·         Hold until you breathe in and breathe out 5 breaths,

·         Repeat 3 to 5 times.

*This stretching exercise is wheelchair-friendly

8.       Seated cat-cow

Cat-cow exercise is great for lower back muscles, but it might be a bit difficult to maintain if you are already dealing with back pain.

Seated cat-cow is modified stretching exercise that will keep your spine healthy and stretch your lower back muscles.

·         Sit on a chair, holding your legs bent at a 90-degree angle,

·         Place your hands on the outer side of your knees, turned towards each other,

·         Press your hand into the knees and move backwards with your head towards the sky,

·         Move your back upwards by leaning your head down,

·         Breathe in and breath out slowly and repeat 3 to 5 times.

*This stretching exercise is wheelchair-friendly

9.       Hamstring stretch

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Tight hamstrings limit your mobility and walking.

If you want to lengthen them up and walk more stable, follow these steps.

·         Sit on near to the edge of the chair,

·         Extend your leg, place the heel on the foot on the ground, and keep your toes tensed towards the ceiling,

·         Stay in this position until you feel slight resistance, then repeat the process on the other leg.

10.   Spinal twist

You definitely need a healthy spine in order to prevent osteoporosis and arthritis and make your moves more comfortable.

·         Sit on the floor with your legs crossed or sit in a chair,

·         Cross your arms over your chest,

·         Twist your upper body (but not the neck!) from one side to another,

·         Keep your hips steady.

*This stretching exercise is wheelchair-friendly

 

Conclusion

Aging is inevitable life process, but that doesn’t mean you should let your body lose its flexibility and tightness.

As we age, our muscles lose elasticity, while our bones lose density.

Secret to maintaining your body fit is to do stretching exercises for seniors, as they will support your body fully and provide your freely moving through the years.

Life without restrictions – that is the best advantage stretching exercises for seniors bring you.

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