These senior stretching exercises are geared towards people over the age of 50 or those with limited mobility. Of course anyone can enjoy these seated chair stretches.
Before starting your stretching exercises be sure you are properly attired. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Make sure your clothes will move with you as you stretch your body.
The instructions below for these stretches are mostly performed in a chair.
This gives you the added security of balance and stability. This helps to prevent injury from a potential fall and is easier on the joints.
However, you can perform these same stretching exercises standing up. Just remember to keep your balance and only stretch it as far as it is comfortable. You don't want to over extend your muscles. Over extending the muscles can create tiny tears and injury to the muscles.
Use the links below to go to the instructions for the specific stretch or scroll down the page to view them all. These chair stretches include the upper and lower body.
Stretching no matter what age has benefits. It helps keep the muscles toned and lengthened. Stretching is a relaxing activity that can help relieve stress and let you get a restful sleep. However stretching for seniors has added benefits. The muscles in our bodies become shorter and lose elasticity as we age.
Additionally you may experience joint pain and pain from arthritis. This causes many elderly adults to slow down and stop some normal active routines in their day.
Stretching can help improve flexibility making it easier to move about. It can help offset the decline in the joints which can help you move about easier. Stretching also improves your circulation and can reduce symptoms of certain diseases. It is especially helpful for those who have arthritis.
As with any senior exercise program, you should check with your doctor and discuss any limitations they may have for you based on your fitness level and medical condition.
In addition to stretching the chest, this exercise will also stretch the shoulders and biceps. Although this stretches 3 different primary muscles, it is just one stretching movement. Use the step by step directions below and watch the video to ensure you are doing this correctly.
You can alter this stretch that does not require you to hold the back of the chair. For this modification, sit back in your chair and simply stretch your arms behind you. Remember to breathe in and out as you do this stretch.
With this chair stretching exercise, be sure to only bend down as far as you are comfortable with. You want to maintain your balance and stability while sitting in the chair. There are two different positions for this stretch; the forward and the sides.
Now you will change the angle of this stretch to get more of the sides and side of the back.
If you start to feel any pain or stress in your lower back, don't lean over as far. Keep the stretch lighter and less stressful on the back.
Keeping your hamstring strong can help minimize risk of falling. The hamstring is the muscle located on the backside of the thigh. This muscle crosses two different joints; the hips and the knees. Because of this, keeping this muscle stretched and healthy can help support the hips and knees and minimize pain in these joints.
For this stretch you will be stretching primarily the shin muscle. This is the muscle that runs along your shin bone in the front of your lower leg. It runs from the top of the knee down to the ankle. Shin splints are the most common type of injury to this area of the leg. This is an inflammatory condition of the front part of the tibia. Stretching the shin is important to keep your leg muscles healthy. It's especially helpful if you are on your feet a good portion of the day.
You can also do a shin stretch using a theraband. This is the flat type of exercise band. The instructions for this one is below.
This second stretch is a toning and stretching exercise in one.
These senior stretching exercises are performed on a mat and not in a chair. The instructions below cover several different lower body muscles including the quadriceps, hip flexors and glutes. You may want someone in the room with you if you need assistance getting up and down from the mat.
The quadriceps are the large muscles in the front of the thigh. The hamstrings are the opposing muscles in the back of the thigh.
There is no need to get up off the mat to move to this next senior stretching exercise. Simply move into the position according to the directions below. The glutes are the muscles in your buttocks. If you have ever walked up a bunch of stairs, then you have felt the glute muscles at work.
Your hip flexors are the muscles in your hips as the name suggests. Keeping these muscles stretched can help with joint pain and minimize injury.
Here are some additional senior stretching exercises for the wrists, ankles and arms.
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