Fitness > The Best Stretching & Flexibility Exercises for Seniors
15th Mar 2022

The Best Stretching & Flexibility Exercises for Seniors

Flexibility exercises are a great approach to get your body’s engines running. If you have ever felt your body work hard for you without ever becoming weary, well, it’s about time you reciprocate the favour. Get started by giving your body the extra flexibility and stability to continue working wonderfully.  As a senior citizen, one might want to try out some stretching exercises that will help open up muscles and provide strength to smoothly carry out everyday chores. Here are the best stretching and flexibility exercises for seniors: 

Morning Yoga Stretches For Seniors 

Recommended by doctors globally, yoga is an easy-going health management tool for seniors with comprehensive benefits for their minds and body. No matter if you are starting in your late 70s or doing it since you were seventeen, yoga bestows seniors with complete wellbeing to live a longer, healthier life. 

One of the greatest advantages of yoga is that individuals of any age group can practice it. It is a tool to transform your inner and outer wellbeing. Recently, it has gained popularity among baby boomers. Morning yoga can revitalize your body flexibility with the regular practice of the following postures:   

  1. Mountain Pose – It aids in balance and grounding by using the feet. 
  2. Tree Pose – It is a very effective pose for seniors to develop leg and core abdominal strength. It also helps seniors improve their ability to balance during daily life. 
  3. Bird Dog Pose – It is very beneficial to strengthen your abdominal muscle groups and hind support. As we age, our spine suffers the most problems in the entire skeletal structure, and the bird dog pose helps keep it healthy. 
  4. Downward-facing Dog Pose – This is highly recommended by physiotherapists across the globe, to maintain great joint health, flexibility, and general body agility. 
  5. Sphinx Pose – Best for reinforcing the upper back and preventing forward head syndrome. 

Gentle Arthritis Stretching Exercises For Seniors  

Stretching workouts targeted to reduce specific arthritis pains are given below: 

Hand or Wrist Arthritis 

  • Fist Close: This simple exercise helps when it is difficult to maintain flexibility in fingers while suffering from hand arthritis. Make a fist with your hand, slowly at first if necessary. Hold your fist for five to seven seconds at a stretch, or as long as you can. Repeat with a different release. 
  • Wrist Bends: Arthritis patients find their wrists become less flexible and often gets stuck or cannot bend beyond a limit. Place your elbow on a stool with your hand pointing to the ceiling. When this exercise is performed daily, it is beneficial. 

Hip or Knee Arthritis 

  • Sitting Stretch: To do this exercise, sit on the floor, and stretch your legs out in front. Don’t push yourself to stretch beyond a point; go slowly in the beginning, you will become more adaptable with time. 
  • Step-Ups: Try to bend your knee gently to relieve pain. You will not need any special equipment when doing these flexibility exercises. Locate the nearest stairwell instead and step up. Repeat by taking a step back. 

Arthritis in the Ankles Or Feet 

  • Ankle Circles: Seniors may wish to get a support of a chair for maintaining balance when attempting this exercise initially. Stand up erect and lift one of your feet. Draw a circle with your toes. This allows your ankle to move through its entire range of motion. Draw five circles, and then switch directions. Make sure to do the opposite ankle as well. 

 Arthritis in Several Areas 

  • Swimming: Exercising can be especially difficult when you have arthritis in multiple joints. Swimming is one method for relieving pain and practicing a full-body stretch. 

Ideal Stretching Exercises For Seniors 

#1 Seated Knee  

This lower body stretch is an essential exercise for seniors because it affects more than just the legs. The knee to chest stretching exercise improves hip and knee mobility by stretching the joints, while simultaneously improving lower back flexibility. 

#2 Hamstring Stretch  

This stretching workout focuses on your lower back and legs, which is important for maintaining flexibility in seniors. This stretch will help reduce stiffness and keep your legs and back mobile and loose. 

#3 Standing Quadriceps Stretch 

The standing quadriceps stretching exercise is one of the best stretching exercises for seniors; it is a vital exercise for mobility and flexibility. 

#4 Shoulder Stretch  

For our next stretch, we’ll stick with the upper body and concentrate on the shoulders. Take up this simple stretching exercise to relieve your shoulder joint, which reduces muscle pain and prevents further deterioration.  

#5 Triceps Stretch  

Triceps stretch is a great exercise to enhance shoulder mobility while stretching your arms. The triceps stretch, like the rest of our upper body exercises, can be done while standing or sitting. Just remember to sit tall and use a chair to keep your back straight. 

A combination of exercise, a balanced diet, and hydration will help seniors in maintaining overall health. Mobility exercises for seniors, regardless of activity levels, are an important part of daily routine. Stretching exercises provide numerous health benefits for seniors, ranging from injury prevention to maintaining mobility. However, as with any exercise, make sure to listen to your body, because our body in the golden years is much more sensitive than it was in our younger days. The goal is not to “feel the heat” but to gently wake up your muscles. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I improve my flexibility after 70?  

Stretches for the neck, arms, back, hips, and legs will help you maintain flexibility as you age and keep you limber for everything life has to offer.

What are 5 exercises for flexibility?  

Hamstring stretch, Hip opener, Glute stretch, side bend, hip flexor, and quad stretch.   

How can seniors improve flexibility?

Swimming, or simply getting into a pool and moving around while doing exercises and stretching, is a great way to improve flexibility. Swimming, while not as effective as doing set stretches, yoga, or pilates, is a great way to stretch the muscles. 

What type of stretching is best for seniors?  

here are many stretching exercises that can help seniors become more flexible, such as Standing Quadriceps Stretch,  Lunge in a Chai, and Soleus Stretch.     

How can senior citizens stretch their hip flexors?  

The below-mentioned process of hip flexor stretches can help seniors –   
• Stand with your feet apart and keep your hands on your hips.  
• Move your left foot forward about a foot and a half.  
• Slowly and steadily bend your left knee and lift your right heel off the floor.  
• Lean forward and press your right glute in this position. Hold this position for 30-90 seconds.  
• Rep on the other side. 

Why do seniors get stiff?  

With age the amount of lubricating liquid inside your joints reduces, ligaments get shortened and the cartilages thin out, hence the joint movement becomes stiffer and less flexible.