Limber up! 10 of the best daily stretches for over-60s

Jun 25, 2020
These stretches will dramatically improve your quality of wellbeing! Source: Getty.

Stiff joints and tight muscles tend to come hand in hand with getting older, but it doesn’t have to be that way! In fact, a few daily stretches might be the only thing you need to achieve a whole new level of flexibility, improve your balance and even strengthen your muscles.

As the days get cooler, it’s super important to warm up before stretching to make sure you don’t pull too hard on any of your muscles. You should also avoid bouncing or holding your breath, and always remember that stretching should be gentle and if you feel any kind of pain, listen to your body and stop right away!

Lower back stretch

  1. Lie on your back with your legs together, knees bent and arms in a T-shape flat on the floor.
  2. Keep knees together and bent as you slowly lower to one side as far as you comfortably can while keeping your head still. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  3. Continue alternating sides for at least three times on each side.

Hamstring stretch

  1. Sit sideways on a bench or on two chairs pushed together with your back straight and one leg stretched out with your toes pointing up. Keep the other foot flat on the ground.
  2. If you don’t feel a stretch yet, lean forward from the hips and slide your arms down towards your foot until you feel it. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  3. Repeat on other side and alternate at least three times.

Neck stretch

  1. Stand or sit in a sturdy chair with your back straight. Keep your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart with your hands clasped behind your back.
  2. Slowly turn your head to the right until you feel a slight stretch. Don’t tilt your head forwards or backwards but hold it in a comfortable position. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  3. Turn head to the left and repeat at least three times.

Upper body stretch

  1. Face a wall standing slightly further than an arms length away with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lean your body forwards and put your palms flat against the wall at shoulder height and shoulder-width apart. Keep back straight and slowly walk your hands up the wall until your arms are above your head. Hold there for 1o to 30 seconds.
  3. Slowly walk back down and repeat at least three times.

Back stretch

  1. Sit securely in a sturdy, armless chair with your feet flat on the ground shoulder-width apart.
  2. Slowly bend forward from your hips while keeping your back and neck straight and looking down at the floor. Start to relax your neck and lower your chin as you get lower. Slowly bend further, without overdoing it, while sliding your hands down the backs of your legs. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds if there’s no discomfort and stop immediately if there’s pain.
  3. Straighten up slowly and repeat at least three times.

Shoulder stretch

  1. Stand shoulder-width apart. Hold one end of a towel in your right hand. Raise and bend your right arm to drape the towel down your back. Keep your right arm in this position while holding the towel. Reach behind your lower back and grab the bottom of the towel with your left hand.
  2. To stretch the right shoulder, pull the towel gently with your left hand and stop when you feel a comfortable stretch.
  3. Alternate positions and repeat on each side at least three times.

Chest stretch

  1. Stand with your back against a wall and feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend your elbows so your fingertips point towards the ceiling and touch the wall behind you. Stop when you feel a stretch and hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  3. Let your arms roll forward while elbows remain bent until your fingertips point to the floor and touch the wall again if possible. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  4. Alternate these two positions for at least three times.

Upper back stretch

  1. Sit in a study chair with feel flat and shoulder-width apart. Hold your arms in front of you at shoulder height with palms facing down and hands touching.
  2. Relax shoulders, keep upper body still and reach forward with your hands. Stop when you feel a stretch and hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  3. Sit back up and repeat at least three times.

Back twist

  1. Sit up as straight as possible in a sturdy chair with armrests. Keep feet flat on the floor shoulder-width apart.
  2. Slowly twist to the left from your waist without moving hips. Turn head to the left and lift your left hand to hold onto the left arm of the chair. Place right hand on outside of left thigh and twist further if there’s no discomfort. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  3. Repeat on right side. Alternate sides at least three times.

Thigh stretch

  1. Lie on side with legs straight and knees together. Rest your head on your arm.
  2. Bend your top knee and reach back and grab the top of your foot. If you can’t reach your foot, loop a resistance band, belt or towel over your foot and hold both ends. Gently pull your leg until you feel a stretch in your thigh. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.
  3. Repeat at least three to five times, alternating between sides.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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Do you do daily stretches? Which are your favourites?

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