Improve Flexibility – 4 Sitting Stretches

Part 2 of 4

flexibility, improve flexibility, seniors, 50 plus, older adults, mature adults, stretching safety tips, stretching dos, stretching donts, avoid injury, stretching repetitions, flexibility sitting manThis man’s flexibility and stretching ability may be your end goal, but for beginner’s (of any age), it’s a great illustration of what not to attempt when you first start stretching exercises. (Photo: fizkes / Shutterstock)

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that we take for granted – like being able to sit comfortably in a car and check side mirrors for traffic – that are the most frustrating when we have difficulty doing them. 

Senior City is sharing stretching tips and exercises to improve flexibility for mature or older adults and seniors.

As we age, keeping our flexibility through exercises and stretching should be an important part of our daily routine.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – National Institute on Aging provides these stretching techniques to improve flexibility through 4 sitting stretching exercises

4 Sitting Stretches to Improve Flexibility

Do each stretching exercise 3-5 times per session. Slowly stretch into the desired position as far as possible without pain, then hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. Relax and breathe in between each repetition. As you become more flexible in between stretches and sessions, try reaching a bit farther, but don’t over-reach so that it hurts. 

These 4 stretches can be done while sitting in a chair. 

1. Neck Stretch (can also be done standing)

This easy stretch can help relieve tension in your neck. Stretch after strength training and during any activity that makes you feel stiff, such as sitting at a desk or working on a computer.

  1. flexibility, improve flexibility, seniors, 50 plus, older adults, mature adults, stretching safety tips, stretching dos, stretching donts, avoid injury, stretching repetitions, neck stretchYou can do this stretch while standing or sitting in a sturdy chair.
  2. Keep your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  3. Slowly turn your head to the right until you feel a slight stretch. Be careful not to tip or tilt your head forward or backward, but hold it in a comfortable position.
  4. Hold the position for 10-30 seconds.
  5. Turn your head to the left and hold the position for 10-30 seconds.
  6. Repeat at least 3-5 times.

2. Chest Stretch (can also be done standing)

This exercise stretches the chest muscles and is also good for your posture.

  1. flexibility, improve flexibility, seniors, 50 plus, older adults, mature adults, stretching safety tips, stretching dos, stretching donts, avoid injury, stretching repetitions, chest stretchYou can do this stretch while standing or sitting in a sturdy, armless chair.
  2. Keep your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  3. Hold arms to your sides at shoulder height, with palms facing forward.
  4. Slowly move your arms back, while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Stop when you feel a stretch or slight discomfort.
  5. Hold the position for 10-30 seconds.
  6. Repeat at least 3-5 times

3. Shoulders & Back Stretchs

Back Stretch – Note: If you’ve had hip or back surgery, talk with your doctor before trying any of this stretch.

  1. flexibility, improve flexibility, seniors, 50 plus, older adults, mature adults, stretching safety tips, stretching dos, stretching donts, avoid injury, stretching repetitions, back stretchSit securely toward the front of a sturdy, armless chair with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  2. Slowly bend forward from your hips. Keep your back and neck straight.
  3. Slightly relax your neck and lower your chin. Slowly bend farther forward and slide your hands down your legs toward your shins. Stop when you feel a stretch or slight discomfort.
  4. Hold for 10-30 seconds.
  5. Straighten up slowly all the way to the starting position.
  6. Repeat at least 3-5 times.
  7. As you progress, bend as far forward as you can and eventually touch your heels.

Shoulders & Upper Back Stretch

  1. flexibility, improve flexibility, seniors, 50 plus, older adults, mature adults, stretching safety tips, stretching dos, stretching donts, avoid injury, stretching repetitions, shoulders stretch, upper back stretchSit in a sturdy, armless chair with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hold arms in front of you at shoulder height with palms facing outward.
  3. Relax your shoulders, keep your upper body still, and reach forward with your hands. Stop when you feel a stretch or slight discomfort.
  4. Hold position for 10-30 seconds.
  5. Sit back up.
  6. Repeat at least 3-5 times.
  7. As you progress, cross your arms and interlace fingers (inset)

4. Ankle Stretch

flexibility, improve flexibility, seniors, 50 plus, older adults, mature adults, stretching safety tips, stretching dos, stretching donts, avoid injury, stretching repetitions, ankle stretchYou can stretch both ankles at once or one at a time.

  • Sit securely toward the edge of a sturdy, armless chair.
  • Stretch your legs out in front of you.
  • With your heels on the floor, bend your ankles to point toes toward you.
  • Hold the position for 10-30 seconds.
  • Bend ankles to point toes away from you and hold for 10-30 seconds.
  • Repeat at least 3-5 times.

More Improve Flexibility Through Stretching? 

Improve Flexibility – Stretching Safety Tips – Part 1 of 4

Improve Flexibility – 4 Standing Stretches – Part 3 of 4

Improve Flexibility – 4 Floor Stretches – Part 4 of 4

anita hamilton, senior city, copywriter, creative writer, research, hamilton ontario, sales, marketing, copy writing, elderly parents, local housing, local products, local servicesAbout The Author

Baby boomer Anita Hamilton lives in Hamilton, Ontario with her family and 3 mini-dachshund minions. She’s a lifelong voracious reader who enjoys researching and has extensive experience in sales, marketing and copy writing. Senior City was inspired when she had difficulty finding local housing, products and services online for her elderly parents.

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