Gentle Stretching Exercises for Seniors

You do simple stretches every day, like when you turn your head to check for traffic, or reach to hang the clothes on the line (who does that anymore?) We might be in better physical shape if we still did hang out the wash! Gentle stretching exercises do to make a tremendous impact on seniors, maybe even on your golf swing!

It seems we spend too much of our time sitting looking at a screen, whether it be a computer screen, the TV, or our phone.

Stretching Exercises for Flexibility

The more flexible our joints are, the easier it is for us to move. To be flexible you need to move. What better way to move than to do some stretches.

Anytime of the day, you can stretch those muscles and get the blood flowing to all parts of your body. The results would be unbelievable, that you never thought possible!

Always check with your doctor or healthcare provider before starting a new exercise routine to see if it is right for you.

Stretching will help to work the stiffness out of your joints. Where do you feel it most? In your neck, shoulders, back, hips? Any joint that moves can get stiff. What that means is that we need to move more!

Gentle Stretching Exercises for Seniors

  1. Increase circulation to get the blood to all parts of the body. Exercise gets blood to the muscles. This in turn reduces any soreness and stiffness you may have.
  2. Flexibility exercises make it easier to do everyday chores around the house.
  3. Gentle stretches improve your posture.
  4. They help make you feel good, reduces stress, and calm your mind.

When is a Good Time to Stretch?

You can set up a gentle stretching routine.

  • Before you get out of bed.
  • When you get out of bed.
  • After you workout.
  • When your muscles are warm after taking a shower.
  • Stretch before bedtime to help you relax.
  • Any time is a good time to stretch.

You Can Stretch While Sitting or Standing

As a senior, you can begin stretching. It is never too early or too late to begin. You can stretch from your head and go all the way down to your toes.

What are Good Stretching Exercises for Seniors?

Stretch Your Neck

Begin by stretching your neck. Look to the left. Count to 4. Look to the right and count to 4. Look up and count to 4. And look down and count to 4.


Roll your shoulders forward then roll them backwards.

Stretching at the Waist

Stand at a counter or the kitchen sink. Hold on for support. Look up toward the ceiling and bend backward over the kitchen sink. Bend forward at the waist, bend to the right side, then bend to the left side. Repeat 4 times each.

Hamstring Stretch


Place your right heel elevated in front of you. Keep your leg straight and your toes pointing up. Gently lower yourself forward from the hips, keeping your back straight. When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold it for 10 to 30 seconds. Release your stretch and repeat with the other leg.

The seated hamstring stretch is done from a seated position. Stretch your leg out in front of you with the heel on the floor and your toes pointed up. Keep your leg straight and your back straight. Lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold to the count of 20 than release and repeat with the other leg.

Child’s Pose


This gentle stretch is an excellent way to release tension in the back, shoulders, and chest. It helps strengthen the back, hips, thighs, and ankles and is a wonderfully relaxing stretch when you are feeling stressed.

Cobra Pose


The cobra pose is an incredible way to decrease symptoms of low back pain. It helps with stiffness and sciatica and is an extraordinary stretch for those who spend a lot of time sitting behind a computer or driving.

Cross Body Shoulder Stretch

This stretch effortlessly helps stretch out tight muscles in your back.

Stand with feet hip-width apart. Stretch the right arm across the body, with the hand pointing downward toward the floor. Hook the left are under the right arm, supporting the right arm above the elbow.

Pull the right arm in and across the body, stretching the back of the right shoulder. Hold the stretch 15 to 20 seconds and repeat it on the other side.

Cross-body Shoulder Stretch

Side Bend Stretch

An amazing way to stretch your back when spending extended time sitting at your desk, is to do the side bend stretch.

Lift you right arm overhead, with your back straight, and your core tight, gently bend your body and arm to the right. Hold. Repeat on the other side.

Side Bend Stretch

Ankle Stretches, Strengthening and Flexibility

If you deal with ankle stiffness or pain, a good stretch may be just the thing to help. Point and flex foot. Do ankle circles. From a seated position, begin by crossing your foot over your opposite knee and slowly turn your ankle to the left and then to the right. Then go from right to left. Reverse to the opposite foot and repeat. You could also try drawing a circle in the air with your big toe. Count to 10.

Strengthen Your Feet

Standing on tip-toe is an awesome exercise for flexibility. Move up and down on tip-toe. This will help you with your balance and strengthen your feet and your ankles. If necessary, hold onto a counter for stability.

In Conclusion

Gentle stretching exercises for seniors are great for beginners or senior alike. Whether you spend most of your time sitting or standing, you may experience times of back pain or tightness. Giving your body a good stretch will improve how you feel and your performance as well.

Please Leave a Comment

I would love to hear from you. Do you find stretching as an aid to your exercise routine. Do you stretch to relieve tense muscles? What stretches do you find most beneficial?

Disclaimer: If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. No content on this site should be substituted for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioner. The information contained here is for informational purposes only. It is from my research and personal experience.

4 thoughts on “Gentle Stretching Exercises for Seniors”

  1. Thank you so much for the Gentle stretching exercises for seniors. I will be 70 years old in February and have been researching what type of exercises would be good for me, a beginner and senior. I spend most of my time straightening up my house and walking around during the day and sitting in the evening watching TV. I experience back pain and tightness. I am going to follow your suggestions in your article. Thank you for taking the time to write this blog.

    • Hi Carol, 
      Being active is one of the best things to remain mobile.I understand that with inactivity, our tendons, muscles, and ligaments can become tight. Adding stretches is good to add to our daily routine, as well. Give stretching a try and see what results you have. All the best.

  2. Great article, I absolutely loved it. While I am not necessarily a senior, but I recently started stretching and found your stretching routine.

    Also, do you have any more stretches for the actual feet and ankle area? I work in a restaurant and spend a lot of time on my feet. I feel cramped a lot after work, specifically in my feet and legs and would find it really beneficial to have some stretches for that area.

    Thank you,


    • Hi Chris, Thanks for stopping by. Stretching of the feet and legs is important to keep flexibility and mobility as we age.

      Here are some simple stretches of the feet and legs.

      Sitting in a chair, raise leg – working one leg at a time:

      use your big toe to make circles in the air – 15 to 20 rotations in each direction.

      bring your foot up toward your knee and hold to the count of 10, feel a good pull in your calf.

      point your foot downward and again count to ten.

      You can take a look at this YouTube for some more stretches for your feet. (toe walking, heel walking, etc.)

      Glad you enjoyed the post. All the best.


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