Printable Stretching Exercises For Seniors

Related Articles

Best Resistance Band Exercises For Seniors

5 Stretches Seniors Should Do Everyday

Seniors who have limited space in which to exercise can work almost every area of the body with varying levels of resistance. Because bands can be easily stored, they can be taken anywhere and used whenever a person has a few free minutes. There are many resistance band exercises you can rely on for positive results. The following exercises are some of the best.

Can You Increase Flexibility After 60 Years Old

YES! Although joint mobility will deteriorate over time, adults still have the capability to regain some flexibility. This study showed static stretching can have awesome results for seniors. Active older adults performed static stretches five times a week over the course of one year. This resulted in a 31% increase in flexibility while muscle strength also increased from 10-17%. Now, who said you cant teach old dogs new tricks?

How Flexible Are You

To test your flexibility, here are a few simple at home tests you can do to determine how flexible you in areas important for everyday tasks.

1) Sit & Reach

Sit and Reach – Toe Touch

Area Tested: Hamstrings and Lower Back

How To: Whilst seated in a chair, move forward to the front of the chair.

Place one leg straight out in front of you with your foot on the floor.

Slide one hand down your leg, keeping your leg straight.

Aim to get your hand as close to your foot as you can.

Take note, or get someone to measure, the distance between your fingers and foot.

If you can touch your foot you have good flexibility in your hamstrings and lower back.

Everyday Application: Flexibility in the hips, hamstrings and lower back is required for improving walking, balance, decreasing back pain, and preventing falls.

2) Tie Your Shoelaces

Tying our shoelaces is an everyday task which is dependant on the most range of motion/flexibility compared to all of our other everyday tasks we do.

Area Tested: Hips and Lower back.

There are 3 typical positions we will usually use to tie our shoe laces.

  • Seated with leg out in front on the floor.

  • Seated with one leg crossed over the opposite leg or

  • 2. Leg Up – Seated

    3. Kneeling

    If you have difficulty tying your shoelaces , in any of the above positions, you have decreased flexibility in your hips and lower back.

    Even a fairly small flexibility loss in the hips and lumbar spine will make this task difficult.

    3) Scratch Your Back/Brush Your Hair

    Read Also: Best Senior Wet Cat Food

    Smoothies & Shakes For Seniors

    Exercise helps you continue to do many of the things you love and need to do. Many seniors are afraid to exercise at home because they are worried they may injure themselves that is a valid concern. Exercise is meant to improve your health, not cause you to get hurt. As always, check with your physician before starting any new exercise programs.

    Activity Stretching. Region Lower Body. Sit tall on a chair with both feet flat on the floor. Float one knee up high and gently pull it in toward the body with your hands around the knee. Hug your knee for a few seconds, and then gently return your foot to the ground. Alternate every few seconds between each leg.

    We cant do without the best stretching exercises for seniors to stay active. Sooner or later, most seniors find it hard to sleep and then wake up stiff in the mornings. Even though I cant guarantee a new lease on life with these simple stretches You are going to love them.

    Older Adults Stretches. SKU: $49.00. $49.00. Unavailable. per item. Great health promotion for Cardiac Rehabs / Physical Therapy Offices / Senior Living Communities or any profession that works with older population. Own the print license and print as many copies as you like. Print license not for commercial or resale use.

    The Ideal Stretching Routine

    Exercises For Seniors: Stretching Exercises For Seniors

    Stretching promotes flexibility and helps your joints maintain a healthy range of motionand in doing so, also lowers the chances of joint and muscle strain.

    But how often should you stretch? How long should you hold a stretch? And how many times should you do each stretch?

    A panel of experts convened by the American College of Sports Medicine reviewed a wide range of studies to help answer these questions. Stretching has been studied much less rigorously than other forms of exercise, so the science is not as strong. But, based on the evidence, the panel agreed that:

    • Healthy adults should do flexibility exercises for all major muscle-tendon groupsneck, shoulders, chest, trunk, lower back, hips, legs, and anklesat least two to three times a week.
    • For optimal results, you should spend a total of 60 seconds on each stretching exercise. So, if you can hold a particular stretch for 15 seconds, repeating it three more times would be ideal. If you can hold the stretch for 20 seconds, two more repetitions would do the trick.

    Image: Martinan/Getty Images

    Recommended Reading: Free Dental Care For Seniors In 2021

    Sitting Balance Exercises For Seniors

    Its important to have good balance in a variety of chairs or surfaces, like getting in and out of your bed or on and off the toilet. Oftentimes, standing up from a chair feels unbalanced because of poor sitting balance.

    Our next balance PDF handout goes into even more detail on the following essential exercises for seated balance:

    • Head turns with minimal support
    • Trunk rotation and flexion training
    • Sit-to-stand exercises

    Move : Seated Chest Opener

    Image Credit:

  • Sit on a chair with both feet flat on the floor, and gently hold the back of your head with both hands.
  • Open your elbows wide to the sides and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Keeping your chest proud, neck long and gaze up, roll your shoulders back.
  • Hold this stretch for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat for 3 rounds.
  • Why the Seated Chest Opener Works

    âThis movement opens and creates space in the front of the body,â Jesner says, âreversing the effects of a rounded shoulder posture and promoting proper spinal alignment.â

    You May Like: Walking As Exercise For Seniors

    Is Stretching Good For Seniors

    If you think of your body as a machine then you should think of stretching as the oil you need to keep all the parts well lubricated so it continues to function well over time. Proper exercise and stretching is essential to strengthen muscles while also keeping joints flexible and mobile. Daily stretching and exercise for seniors is particularly important as this can help with fall prevention, build strength and improve balance. We will cover stretches for seniors that can be performed every morning to enhance daily life. Move it or lose it!

    Shoulder And Upper Arm Stretch

    Do These 4 Stretches EVERY Day – Stretches For Seniors | More Life Health

    Shoulder mobility is important as you age to maintain independence in activities such as getting dressed or getting items off a shelf.

  • Stretch your shoulders and arms by holding a towel in one hand over your head and letting it drape down behind your head and back.
  • Grab the other end of the towel with your other hand and gently pull down until you feel a stretch.
  • Poor posture often causes the muscles of the chest to become tight. Proper stretching can help lengthen these muscles, assisting with posture.

  • Stretch your chest by extending both arms to the side, palms facing forward.
  • Reach back with your hands until you feel a stretch across your chest and front of your arms. If you have a hard time holding your arms up, use a wall. Put your hand on a wall and step forward until you feel a gentle stretch in your chest. Switch to the other side. Do not overstretch.
  • Read Also: Temporary Assisted Living For Seniors

    Knee To Chest Stretch

    The best stretch is the kind that you can do without even getting out of bed, and the knee to chest stretch fits into that category. Doing this stretch before you go to bed at night and when you wake up in the morning can set you up for hours of lessened sciatica pain.

  • 1Lie on your back, arms resting comfortably at your sides.
  • 2Bend the knee of one leg, drawing it toward your chest. You should feel tension in the hip joint as you do this. Pull in enough to feel the stretch, but not that you feel pain. Remember to keep breathing through the stretch, even though your abdominal area may be slightly compressed due to the positioning of your leg.
  • 3Hold for 5-10 seconds, repeat on the other side. Repeat 10 times.
  • Variation: Pull both knees toward the chest, hold for 5-10 seconds, repeat 10 times.

    Why Are My Joints Stiff: Why We Lose Flexibility As We Age

    As with most of our physical capabilities, like our strength, balance and muscle size that decreases as we age, flexibility, unfortunately, is no exception.

    Our once flexible and limber bodies are going to become more rigid and stiff with age. Its inevitable, and the research shows this! .

    So, why does this happen? Why do we lose flexibility as we age?

    In simple terms, flexibility is having the full range of motion in the joints of our body.

    For a joint to be flexible and move through its full range of motion, it is dependent on the soft tissues and the joint capsule.

    Sometimes, certain factors get in the way impeding this movement, such as an abnormal condition in, or surrounding, the joint .

    Or, in the majority of cases causing lack of flexibility, the joint can be completely healthy, but our muscles and the surrounding tissues become tighter, secondary to our lack of movement. .

    In technical terms, this immobility or lack of exercise/movement leads to cross-linking of the structural proteins of our soft tissues, and a decrease in our strength and size or our muscles, which further decreases flexibility.

    As we get older, we tend to live less active lives. We substitute exercising with watching TV, outdoor excursions with indoor coffees and cakes, we can find all our entertainment within arms reach from our phone or tablet.

    Everything we need and want takes much less effort to obtain. We simply sit more and move less.

    Recommended Reading: Carlton Senior Living Elk Grove

    Iii Chair Exercises For Seniors

    Front Arm Raises

  • Begin seated, holding a ball in both hands with your palms facing each other.
  • Extend your arms forward so the ball rests on your legs, with your elbows slightly bent.
  • Slowly raise your arms to lift the ball to shoulder level, then lower back down, taking about 3 seconds to raise and lower.
  • Repeat 10-15 times.
  • Seated Shin Strengthener

  • Begin seated on the edge of a chair with legs extended, heels on the floor and knees slightly bent.
  • Point your toes downward, then flex upward.
  • Do 15 repetitions, relax, then do 15 more repetitions.
  • Pliés

  • Hold the back of a chair. Stand with legs slightly wider than shoulder-width, while pointing toes outward slightly.
  • Bend your knees slowly, using 2 full seconds to lower yourself. Adjust leg position if needed to keep legs far enough apart so the knees dont pass your toes as you bend.
  • Perform 8 times, then rest. Perform another set, doing as many as you can do in good form.
  • Tummy Twists

  • Begin seated, holding a ball with hands close to your stomach and elbows slightly bent.
  • Slowly rotate your torso to the right as much as you comfortably can, while keeping the rest of your body stable.
  • Return to the center and repeat on the left.
  • Repeat until you complete 8 twists per side.
  • When To Consider Chair Exercises For Seniors

    15 Balance Exercises for Seniors

    These chair exercises for seniors are perfect for older adults looking to get healthier and more active. Any exercise requires extensive physical strain, but doing them while seated can reduce the amount of stress you put on your body. This will make it less likely that you will injure yourself in the process.

    The seated exercises for seniors are especially helpful for older adults with specific needs or experiences.If any of the following categories describe you, you might want to consider implementing some or all of these exercises.

    • Struggle with balance
    • Recently had surgery or injury
    • Just getting into the rhythm of exercising
    • Looking for a new way to mix up your routine
    • Wanting to perform daily tasks with greater ease

    Read Also: Does Directv Offer Senior Discounts

    Benefits Of Stretching Exercises For Seniors

    Exercise and stretching for the elderly have tremendous benefits in reducing the chances of a late in life injury that is more difficult to recover from. Here are just a few benefits of stretching for the elderly.


    As always you should consult your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen. In this case if you have a physical therapist, they might be able to recommend some specific stretches that can better treat muscle or joint pain youre suffering from. As a general rule of thumb never stretch to the point where it is too painful and make sure to breathe while stretching.

    How To Improve Flexibility After 60

    No matter our age, we all want to be flexible!

    Flexibility is an essential component of good health and fitness and is especially vital for seniors.

    I dont mean the kind of flexibility of being able to do the splits or turning oneself into a human-like-pretzel.

    I mean the type of flexibility of being unrestricted in your movements. Being able to move all your joints fluidly and getting about with ease in your daily life. All without feeling any painful niggles that come with tight muscles and stiff joints.

    You may think back to your earlier days when you could touch your toes with ease. Maybe you were capable of doing the splits. Or, perhaps you even were a human-like-pretzel.

    Nowadays, you might be noticing youre just not as flexible as you once were.

    The tasks in your daily life may be getting more difficult to do, like bending down to the floor. Or, reaching high above, or behind your head.

    Or maybe youre just noticing your joints arent straightening or moving, in the way they once did.

    Our bodies are going to age its inevitable.

    With an ageing body comes decreased flexibility, especially if we forget whats necessary to keep ourselves flexible and moving well.

    However, just like all components of fitness, regardless of our age and current physical capabilities, you CAN make BIG improvements. You CAN regain your flexibility at ANY age!

    Youll have improved posture, improved balance and also decrease your chances of picking up a future injury.

    Also Check: Free Medical Alert Systems For Seniors

    When To See A Doctor

    If a person performs stretches correctly, they should not cause excessive discomfort. A person should see a doctor or physical therapist if stretching or exercising is causing pain.

    For people with conditions that cause chronic pain, a doctor or physical therapist may help devise a personal exercise program to reduce discomfort.

    Anyone who is unsure about what stretches to include in a routine, or how to perform them, can check with a professional.

    How To Get Started Chair Exercises For Seniors

    Seated Sciatica Stretching Workout For Seniors | Beginner Level |12Min

    To start chair exercise seniors, you can try to discuss it with seniors about the activities that will be done. Give a simple understanding of what will be done with chair exercise. After getting a positive response from seniors, you can prepare the equipment in the form of a comfortable chair to sit on. Also, prepare water for seniors so they do not get dehydrated when doing activities that require extra energy. Do not force seniors to reach the target you made, but you can help him to do the best from this chair exercise session.

    Read Also: Restoration Senior Living Naples Fl

    Follow Along With The 12 Seated Stretching Exercises For Seniors

    1. Begin by sitting with good posture in a sturdy, non-slip chair The ideal posture is to sit upright, engaging abdominal muscles, with feet on the ground, knees over toes, thighs parallel to floor, and hips aligned with legs.

    Not everyone will be able to use this ideal position due to physical conditions, surgery, or injuries.

    To prevent pain or injury, just do the best possible and focus on keeping the body aligned and comfortable.

    2. Overhead stretch Take a deep breath in and stretch arms up toward ceiling. Exhale and bring arms back down.

    3. Upper back stretch Make a circle with the arms and drop the chin down toward the chest. Push toward the opposite hand and focus on spreading the shoulder blades apart.

    4. Chest stretch With arms at sides, focus on pulling the shoulder blades together and down toward the ground.

    5. Side stretch Slowly lean over to one side without collapsing the upper torso, keeping abdominal muscles engaged. Repeat on the other side.

    6. Deeper side stretch Reach one arm up and over while leaning the body to the side to get a deeper stretch. Keep the arm by the ear. Repeat on the other side.

    7. Spine twist Cross arms over chest and slowly twist upper body to one side. Try not to move the rest of the body. Repeat, twisting to the other side.

    8. Back of thigh stretch Scoot forward on the chair and sit a bit closer to the edge. Extend one leg straight out in front with heel of the foot on the ground, foot flexed.

    Can Only Sitting On A Chair Become An Exercise For Seniors

    There is no definite barometer for an exercise that must be performed by seniors. That is because seniors have been unable to do heavy things even those who are able to sweat like when doing exercise. Doing sitting on a chair activity is a good start to ensure what kind of exercise can be done by seniors when sitting on a chair. Then you can discuss it with seniors.

    Read Also: Free Computer Classes For Seniors

    Why Can’t I Stay Consistent With My Stretching

    Have you noticed that every time you make a habit of stretching regularly, somehow you end up slacking off until you eventually stop stretching altogether?

    Or, do you know its a good idea to stretch regularly to avoid injury, but you rarely do it?

    We are aware that if we focus mainly on cardio routines that well burn more calories, lose weight and increase our endurance. In the same way, we know that if our exercises consist of mostly strength exercises, well tone up and become stronger.

    But what do we know about flexibility?

    We have learned, throughout the years, that flexibility, like a good nights sleep and a plate full of veggies, is good for us.

    We have also learned that maintaining good flexibility is an essential part of life and that we should implement different stretches into our daily routines.

    But how many of us do this? How many of us prioritise stretching over other forms of exercise?

    The truth is that we dont put a big emphasis on flexibility as we dont see immediate results from it.

    Its here where a paradigm shift is necessary.

    We have to start thinking about flexibility in a much broader sense. We have to start thinking about our health in the long run.

    No, flexibility wont show on your body with stronger arms or a toned stomach. And no, youre not going to get that feeling like youve had a really good workout.

    So know the importance of good flexibility and start by putting improving your flexibility up your list of priorities.

    Popular Articles