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Flexibility

Important Stretching Exercises

Image shows a person stretching which supports the post title
Flexibility supports good health

Stretching why is it Important?

Important Stretching Exercises. Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon (or muscle group) is deliberately flexed or stretched. And in order to improve the muscle’s felt elasticity and achieve comfortable muscle tone. So then, the result is a feeling of increased muscle control, flexibility, and range of motion. Also, stretching is used therapeutically to alleviate cramps and to improve function in daily activities by increasing range of motion.

There are plenty of benefits to stretching for seniors. Hence, stretching can loosen the joints, which helps reduce damage created by friction. As a result it also helps lengthen muscles. However, stretching is not something that is strictly performed by athletes. By the way, ageing creates a need to stretch if we want to remain mobile and independent.

Stretching Research For Seniors

Reasearch
Research

Important Stretching Exercises. Tight muscles, stiff joints, and aches and pains aging can take a toll on your body. However, the good news is that stretching can help you feel better.

Research indicates that stretching improves flexibilitypromotes balance, and has the power to reduce pain or stress. Additionally, stretches that focus on posture and mobility can support daily activities and limit your risk of falling or injury.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

Important Stretching Exercises. “One of the 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.” “This shortens the hip flexor muscles. Stretching out this area helps with posture, spine alignment. Also, maintenance of a good walking or running stride.”

Kneeling Hip Flexor
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

Important Stretching Exercises. “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. As 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. ( Tip: You can kneel on a rolled-up blanket or towel if the floor hurts your knees or you’re recovering from a knee injury.)
  • 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 abdominal muscles.
  • Feel the stretch on your left hip, left quad (front of upper leg), and maybe your right hamstring (back of the upper leg and glute area).

Hold this stretch for 15-30 seconds, and then switch legs. To deepen the stretch, take deep breaths and relax on every exhalation. Use a folded towel or a small cushion to support your knee if needed

Calf Stretch

Important Stretching Exercises. “Ever feel like the back of your ankle is so tight that it becomes hard for you to squat down without losing your balance?”

Standing Calf Stretch
Standing Calf Stretch

How to do this stretch:

  • Begin in a standing position facing a wall, and place your hands on the wall.
  • Put one leg behind you with the knee straight, and keep the other leg in front with the knee bent.
  • Keep your hips and feet pointing straight forward, with both heels down.
  • Lean toward the wall until you feel a stretch in your back lower leg and front of the hip.

Hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat three times per side.

Seated Hamstring Stretch

One of the culprits of sitting too much is the development of tight hamstrings. And which can cause lower back pain with bending forward and poor posture with standing. However, the good news is that stretching the hamstrings is simple and can be done just about anywhere.

Seated Hamstring Stretch
Seated Hamstring Stretch

How to do this stretch:

  • Begin by sitting on a chair or bench.
  • Bring one leg straight in front, resting on a second chair.
  • keeping your other foot on the ground.
  • Maintain hips facing forward.
  • With a straight back, slowly lean forward from the hips until you feel a stretch in the back of the leg.

Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat three times per side.

Seated Shoulder Stretch

Important Stretching Exercises. According to personal trainer, shoulders are easily injured with age, and older adults often experience tight, weak muscles in the front of the chest and the back. So then, stretching this part of the body, offers an exercise that can be done from a chair or seated position.

Seated Shoulder Stretch
Seated Shoulder Stretch

How to do this stretch, from a chair:

  • Scoot to the front edge of your seat, and reach your hands behind to hook your fingers around the chair.
  • Use your hands to anchor this stretch—the more you move forward (away from your hands), the more intense the stretch. If your shoulders are very stiff and/or injured, this can be done one side at a time.
  • To challenge the stretch, slide your hands higher on the chair edges. Depending on shoulder mobility and height of the back of the chair, it may be possible to bring your hands to the top of the chair.

Repeat movements 5 times times, taking care to avoid pain in the shoulder area.

Chest Stretch

If your chest or front shoulder muscles often feel tight, or your shoulders or upper back frequently feel rounded forward, then try this stretch from a seated or standing position, 

Chest Stretch
Chest Stretch

How to do this stretch:

  • From a seated or standing posture.
  • Put your fingertips close to your ears.
  • attempt to gently force elbows to the rear.
  • Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 5 times

Alternating Arm Reaches

“Having good posture not only makes you look better but also improves your balance and decreases neck pain.” And according to doctors, “Poor posture is often the result of chest muscle tightness and upper back weakness 

Alternate Arm Reach
Alternate Arm Reach

How to do this stretch:

  • Sit tall in a chair or stand with your hips and upper back against the wall.
  • Slightly tuck your chin, and reach the top of your head toward the ceiling.
  • With straight elbows, reach up with one arm, attempting to bring it back past the ears.
  • Reach up until you feel a stretch in the front of your chest and upper back.

Hold for five seconds, and then put down your arm and repeat with the opposite arm. Do ten reps per side.

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,” 

Arm Across Chest Stretch
Arm Across Chest Stretch

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 ten reps per side.

Video

In Conclusion

Stretching to increase range of motion is important if you are serious about improving your fitness. So then, these stretches will help you to become more flexible and help to fight the results of ageing. Do these stretching exercises every day for two weeks.

Important Note *

Remember that everyone is different, and it is ultimately YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to find what your body responds to. So please do your due diligence before trying anything new, including getting Medical Advice to ensure your safety and peace of mind.

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4 replies on “Important Stretching Exercises”

Hi Ian,

I’m replying from Vancouver, B.C in Canada at the the ripe young age of 61 yrs old. Just wanted to say Thank you for your time, efforts and sharing wisdom on Wellness for seniors as well anyone who would like positive & encouraging support on how too and why do in regards to the benefits of exercise,mobility and its importance to getting through physically and emotionally in life!

I’m a very active senior as x4 weekly weight lifter , runner and participating athlete in many sports including ex professional soccer player testifying how fitness even a little a day and weekly is as needed as food is consumed on a daily bases.

You continue to inspire me and others to help others ,community service as well grateful to We get to do , Not have to do thinking. Mind over Matter .

My Very Best to you mate 🙂

Hi Tedd, Thanks for your encouraging comment, I try my best to post items that help all older adults, I research the subjects that I post to ensure all is correct, Take care Tedd, all the very best Ian

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