Stretching Exercises For Seniors With Pictures

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How To Improve Flexibility After 60

Improving Flexibility for Seniors | Dynamic Stretches For Seniors | More Life Health

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.

Shoulder Rolls Mobility Exercise For Seniors:

  • Stand/sit with your arms relaxed hanging next to your sides.
  • Breathe in and lift your shoulders up toward the ceiling then move your shoulders back while squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  • Roll shoulders back making small circles with your shoulders.
  • Repeat for 10-20 reps then roll shoulders in the opposite direction for the same amount of reps.

Good for: Reducing tension in shoulders and can help with neck pain while improving posture.

Hamstring Stretches For Seniors:


  • Stand up straight with feet shoulder width apart.
  • Extend your right foot out in front of you while bending your left leg.
  • Slowly hinge at the hips and place hands on right upper thigh then slowly push down.
  • Hold for up to 30 seconds.
  • Switch sides then repeat.


  • Sit toward the edge of your chair then extend your right leg out in front of you keeping your heel on the floor.
  • Slowly reach forward, hinging at your hips while keeping your back straight.
  • Hold for up to 30 seconds.
  • Switch sides then repeat.

Good for: Increasing flexibility and maintaining mobility in the hips. Helps with daily tasks such as bending over or walking up stairs.

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Exercise Plan For Seniors

If youre an older adult looking to establish an exercise routine, you should, ideally, be able to incorporate 150 minutes of moderate endurance activity into your week. This can include walking, swimming, cycling, and a little bit of time every day to improve strength, flexibility, and balance.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest this amount of time for generally fit Americans aged 65 and older. Even though this sounds like a lot, the good news is that you can break it down into 10- or 15-minute chunks of exercise two or more times a day. Heres an example of what a week might look like, along with suggestions for some exercises you can do to get started:

30 minute cycling, swimming, water aerobics, Zumba, etc. Rest 30 minute walk 30 minute cycling, swimming, water aerobics, Zumba, etc. Rest

There are dozens of exercises you can do to build strength without having to set foot in a gym. Here are a few examples for people who are just getting started.

Move : Seated Hip Stretch

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  • Sit tall on a chair with your feet hip-width apart and flat on the floor.
  • Lift your right ankle and place it on your left thigh, keeping the foot flexed.
  • Hold onto the foot and gently press on the right knee until a stretch is felt.
  • Hold for a full 30 seconds before switching legs.
  • Why the Seated Hip Stretch Works

    This hip stretch is ideal for relieving tightness and tension in the hip flexors and pelvic area, Jesner says, and itâs great for beginners and older adults because you donât need much balance to perform it.

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    Morning Stretching Exercises For Seniors

    If you are wanting to incorporate stretching into your daily routine, beginning your day with a series of movements will be a positive start to your day and help your body prepare for any tasks or outings you may have planned. As long as you have no underlying conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis or hypermobile joints, beginning with basic stretches 2-3 times a week and working up to a level that is comfortable for you is recommended. The following videos demonstrate a series of stretching exercises to incorporate into your regular routine.

    Morning Stretches for Seniors

    10 Minute Morning Stretch for Seniors

    5 Minute Stretch Routine for Seniors

    Standard Pilates Warm-Up and Stretch For Seniors

    Full Body Gentle Stretch fir Seniors and Beginners

    Chair Stretching Exercises For Seniors

    If balance, strength, or injury are a factor in your ability to perform any type of exercise, chair stretching may be a viable option to allow you to work on your flexibility and movement without the risk of tripping or falling. Chair based exercises can help develop your cardio fitness, muscular strength, and flexibility. Chair exercises will keep your joints flexible, improving your range of motion and mobility. They also strengthen and stabilize your muscles, resulting in improved balance, which is key for preventing falls and injuries.

    7 Minute Good Morning! Chair Workout for Seniors, At Home

    Seated Exercises for Older Adults

    Seated Stretches For Seniors | 8 Stretches

    How Exercises Help Seniors Avoid Falls

    Fall risks are incredibly real for older adults, with a senior falling every 12 seconds.

    These falls can lead to life-threatening injuries, especially when the person is left unattended. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to ensure you avoid falls as best you can.

    Core exercises can be especially helpful in reducing your fall risk. A strong core helps promote stability and balance in your body, making it harder for something to bring you down.

    Additionally, the highly functional exercises we mentioned above help your body get used to these kinds of moves. Whether you focus on the twists and bends of the wood chops or the balance-inducing stillness of planks, either one will get your body in a better position to withstand falling.

    Lastly, having a strong core helps prepare you if you do happen to have a fall. Your muscles play an active part in the movements that will help you get up and get help should you find yourself on the ground.

    There are a number of benefits when it comes to strengthening your core. Weve outlined some of the best core exercises for seniors so you can become stronger, more balanced, and more active in your daily life.

    Dont let a weak core get in the way of your happiness. Try out a few of these core strengthening exercises and rediscover the joy that comes when you can live life without fear of injury.

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    The Best Leg Stretches For Seniors


    HOW TO:

  • Sitting up tall in your chair, shuffle to the front of your chair

  • Keeping your hands on the opposite leg, place one leg out in front of you

  • Now keep your leg straight and point your toes towards the ceiling

  • Ensure you remain upright with a straight back and lean forward at the hips

  • Hold for the set time and change legs.

  • HOLD FOR: 30-60 seconds

    For Video Demonstration of This Exercise: .

    For Video Demonstration of This Exercise in Standing Position: .


    HOW TO:

  • Sitting up tall in your chair, shuffle to the front of your chair

  • Place one leg out straight to the side, keeping your toes, on both feet firmly on the ground and facing towards the front.

  • You will feel a stretch on the inner thigh of your straight leg, to increase the stretch you can lean forward slightly

  • Ensure you remain upright with a straight back throughout the exercise.

  • Hold for the set time and change legs.

  • For Video Demonstration of This Exercise: .

    For Video Demonstration of This Exercise in Standing Position: .


    HOW TO:

  • Sitting up tall, shuffle forward to the front of your chair.

  • Whilst continuing to hold onto the chair, extend your legs out and cross one leg over the other leg.

  • In a slow and controlled way, slide your heel up your shin until over the knee cap.

  • Now bend your opposite leg up, keeping your back straight and placing your hands on your shins.

  • Hold for the set time and change legs.

  • What To Do After Stretching

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

    After completing your stretching exercises, its important to address other ways you can improve your health. Proper hydration, exercise and diet all work in tandem with stretching exercises to help seniors maintain overall health.

    A healthy diet is just as important for seniors as stretching. After stretching, think about reaching for one of these nutrient packed smoothies to make the most of your workout.

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    Strengthening Your Core Will Rev Up Your Balance And Stability

    After a long winter with lots of isolating and maybe too little physical activity, it might be time to give your core muscles more attention.

    These muscles, located throughout much of your trunk, are the key to supporting your lower back and helping you stand, get out of a chair, bend, lift, and maintain your balance. So regular maintenance and tune-ups of the core muscles are important.

    “Your core muscles provide stability for the moving parts above and below them the mid-back, or thoracic, spine that helps you twist and turn, and the hips that move you up, down, back, or forward,” explains Marty Boehm, a physical therapist with Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

    Core And Lower Body Dynamic Stretches

    Walking lunge. Step forward with one of your legs, keeping your weight balanced. Lower your opposite knee until the kneecap nearly touches the floor. Raise back up by unbending your knees. Bring your first foot up to meet your opposite foot as you return to an upright stance.

    Repeat and alternate until youâve completed the desired number of reps and sets.

    See a video demonstration of this exercise here.

    Hula-hoop hip stretch. Stand up straight with your feet together. Place your hands on your hips. Rotate your hips as if you were spinning a hula hoop around your waist.

    Air squat. Stand up straight with your feet apart at the width of your shoulders. Squat by lowering your hips, as if you were moving to sit in a chair. If you can, lower your hips until theyâre at the same height as your knees. Hold the squat a moment and then raise back up to an upright stance.

    When youâre squatting, make sure to keep your feet flat on the floor — you shouldnât be rocking or leaning. Also, try to keep your back stationary with the same curve to it.

    See a video demonstration of this exercise here.

    âStanding quad stretch. Stand up straight with your feet apart at the width of your shoulders. Shift your balance to one leg. Using your opposite hand, grasp your opposite ankle and pull it toward your butt. If you canât balance properly, stand near a wall or other solid object for support.

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    Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

    One of my top stretches for seniors is the hip flexor stretch because most of us spend a lot of time sitting down either in an office or at home, says Rob Jackson, a personal trainer at London-based Minimal FIT. This shortens the hip flexor muscles. Stretching out this area helps with posture, spine alignment, and maintenance of a good walking or running stride.

    How to do this stretch:

    • Kneel down on the floor on both knees.
    • Step your right foot forward and keep it flat on the floor.
    • Your right knee will be at a 90-degree angle, while your left shin is on the floor behind you with your foot stretched out.
    • Sink your body down while keeping both hands on your right knee.
    • Move your right foot farther forward to increase the stretch, and continue to sink down.
    • Maintain an upright body position, and engage your ab muscles.
    • Feel the stretch on your left hip, left quad , and maybe your right hamstring .

    Hold this stretch for 15-30 seconds, and then switch legs. To deepen the stretch, take deep breaths and relax on every exhalation.

    For more stretching workouts, . Our trainers will get your mobility in top notch shape.

    Why Do We Lose Flexibility As We Age

    12 Best Stretching Exercises for Seniors

    As the body ages, the system loses a fraction of its flexibility. This is a normal part of the aging process and can occur for a number of different reasons. Such as loss of water in the spine and tissues, a decline in muscle-tendon elasticity, and increased joint pain and stiffness.

    The older we get, the bigger the impact this loss of flexibility can have on our everyday life. In many cases, reduced flexibility can prevent people from doing their daily chores and function properly. Thats why there is a tendency among seniors to stretch less, walk less, and sit more.

    Just because your body loses flexibility doesnt mean you cant do anything to fix it. The truth is, seniors can be flexible. They can regain and maintain their flexibility. There are many renowned yoga teachers and fitness enthusiasts in their 60s, 70s, and 80s who remain highly flexible. All you need to do is work on improving your range of motion.

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    How Often Should A Senior Stretch

    If over the age 65, stretching should be done anywhere from 2-5 times per week, depending on tension and mobility needs.

    Stretching doesnt necessarily have to do with periods of time compared to the frequency of stretching throughout the day. Set about 10-15 minutes aside per day to perform the stretches. They should have patience and take deep breaths during stretching to relax both the body and mind.

    Why Is Stretching So Important

    There are tons of benefits of stretching. For one, stretching boosts flexibility, which can improve both your short-term and your long-term range of motion. Thats important, since a better range of motion can mean better muscle recruitment during your workouts, as SELF reported previously. For example, greater range of motion in your hips and knees will allow you to sink deeper into a squat. Ultimately, having a greater ROM will make it so you’re able to do more exercisesand do them properly.

    Charlee Atkins, CSCS, creator of Le Stretch class, tells SELF that she likes to use the word mobility instead of flexibility to hammer home how important stretching is for everyday life. “For me, it’s about daily things that become harder the older you get, like bending down to tie a shoe, walking up stairs, picking your kid up from the floor, or even just getting up off the couch.” Improving your mobility makes these daily activities easier”you can move more freely,” Atkins says.

    Stretching can also improve achiness, which can result from the tightening that occurs during workouts or when were hunched over our desks for hours on end. It can also alert you to muscle imbalancessay, if one side is tighter than the other when you’re going into one of your favorite hip flexor stretches.

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    Arm Across Chest Reach

    Being able to twist from your trunk not only helps you with dance moves but also increases the ease with the following functional movements: rolling over in bed, grabbing your seat belt, reaching across the table, and swinging arms as you walk, Dr. Jiang explains.

    How to do this stretch:

    • Sit tall in a chair or stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and knees slightly bent.
    • Reach horizontally across your chest while twisting from the upper trunk.
    • While maintaining good balance, reach until you feel a stretch through the upper back.

    Hold for five seconds, and then return to starting position and repeat with the opposite arm. Do two rounds of ten sets per side.

    Looking for more stretches you can do to increase your mobility? Check out the stretching or yoga classes in the Aaptiv app for more!

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    Benefits Of Performing Chair Exercises

    Gentle Stretching for Seniors, Beginner Exercisers

    Exercising on a regular basis will not only keep an aging adults heart healthy, but can also prevent strokes, heart attacks, falling, high blood pressure, and chronic diseases such as dementia.

    Not everyone over the age of 65 is able to move agilely or even out of their seat, but this shouldnt mean that they cant exercise. So many regular exercises can be done while using a chair as a mobility device.

    All of the above benefits can still be reached when a senior uses even a regular chair. They dont have to go out and get something brand new just so they can start moving around, a completely ordinary chair will do. This chair should be stable with four legs, no wheels or rollers, and for most exercises, without arms.

    Weve got a great list of exercises that seniors can do in the comfort of their own home with equipment that they can use by themselves. Well explain exactly how to do each exercise and provide examples for a step-by-step process.

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