4 simple stretches over-60s should do each morning

Stretching should be an important part of any exercise you do. Even if you’re not making yourself workout daily, taking a few minutes each morning to gently stretch will loosen the muscles that become stiff as we age. Doing this can help reduce pain and inflammation in your body, which is particularly helpful if you suffer from osteoarthritis. If you keep them up regularly, you should find that your everyday activities – such as cooking, tying your shoes, and hanging out the washing – become easier.

Here are 4 easy stretches, with teaching points and alternatives if you cannot achieve some of the positions.

Important! please consult with myself or another suitable health practitioner before attempting these stretches.

Always stretch to the point of mild discomfort and not pain, progressive stretching is key!

Always attempt the stretch while breathing out as this helps to relax the muscles, do not strain!

 

No.1 Calf stretch (back of the lower leg)

  • Lean forwards against a table, chair or wall in a lunge position keeping your back straight.
  • The rear foot should be flat on the floor.
  • If you cannot get the foot flat then shorten the length of the stance, the length of the stance will vary from person to person.
  • The mid line (inside border) of the rear foot should be pointing in a straight line forward.
  • Now lean through with the hips until you can feel a stretch in the back of the lower leg.
  • Hold for 10-20 secs and repeat 2-3 times on both legs.

No.2 Quadriceps  (front of thigh)

  • Use a wall or back of a chair for support
  • Stand on one leg
  • lift your heel towards your bottom trying to keep the knees close to each other (if you cannot reach your ankle then grab your trouser leg or use a strap or belt to help you)
  • you should now feel a stretch in the front thigh.
  • Hold for 10-20 secs and repeat 2-3 times on both legs.

No.3 The all rounder No1 (Glutes, adductors, lateral lower back, under the arm and shoulders)

  • Sit on the floor cross legged if you can, if not just sit on a chair.
  • Keep a straight back.
  • Place one hand on the hip.
  • With the other arm raise it above your head, reaching over until the hand is above the opposite shoulder. Please do not reach further than this as there may be too much stress on the lower back. Remember Reach, Not Lean!
  • Hold for 10-20 secs and repeat 2-3 times on both sides.

No.4 The all rounder No.2 (Glutes, back of thigh, mid & upper back, ribs and shoulders )

  • Sit on the floor (if you are unable to, then sit on a chair and skip the next two steps)
  • Have one leg straight,( if you cant straighten the leg then place a cushion under the knee)
  • Bend the other leg with the knee pointing upwards keeping this foot on the floor and close to the inside of the other knee.
  • Place both hands behind the head with the elbows pointing outwards.
  • Slowly rotate your torso towards the knee that is raised.
  • Hold for 10-20 secs and repeat 2-3 times on both sides.