Chair Stretches for Seniors
- October 24, 2023
- Brian Johnson
Chair stretches are a fun, easy way for older adults to build strength and flexibility. And you can do it anytime! All you need is a chair, a resistance band and enough room to move your arms and legs around.
If gripping the resistance band is a challenge, you can tie a knot at each end to make it easier to hold on to. Or just wrap the ends around each hand so you don't need to grip as hard.
Now you're ready to begin. These exercises should take you 10 to 15 minutes to complete.
Stretch 1: Front Chest Stretch
Loop the resistance band behind your upper back and hold the ends in front of you. (The ends should pass under your underarms.) Sit up tall on your chair and keep your shoulders relaxed. Now take a deep breath. As you exhale, push your arms straight out in front of you while holding the resistance band.
Inhale and gently bring your arms back to the starting position, moving slowly and with focus, repeat this stretch 10 to 12 times.
Stretch 2: Chest Fly
From the same seated position as Stretch One, inhale, and open your arms so that they extend outward at both sides. Exhale and bring your arms together in front of you, keeping them straight.
Open and close your arms in slow, controlled movements, focusing on your breath. Repeat 10 to 12 times.
Stretch 3: Upper Back Stretch
Start with your arms stretched out in front of you, holding the resistance band between your hands.
As you exhale, slowly bend your elbows and pull your arms back, stretching the band. Inhale and return to the starting position. Repeat 10 to 12 times.
Stretch 4: Rotator Cuff Strengthening
Holding the band in front of you with both hands, bring your elbows to your sides. They’ll stay there through this whole stretch.
Now exhale while slowly moving your hands outward, keeping your elbows pinned to your sides. As you inhale, gently return to the starting position. Repeat 10 to 12 times.
Stretch 5: Hip and Outer Thigh Stretch
Place the band across your lap. Now loop the ends underneath to wrap the band around your legs (not too tightly) and hold the ends on your lap.
Sitting up tall with your feet close together on the floor, exhale and use your outer thigh muscles to move your knees apart. Gently bring them back together as you inhale. Repeat 10 to 12 times.
Stretch 6: Quadriceps Strengthening Stretch
Keeping the band in the same position from Stretch 5, move your feet apart slightly. Slowly lift your left leg off the floor for a second, then lower it to the floor.
Now do the same with your right leg. Repeat this cycle 5 to 6 times with controlled movements, remembering to breathe.
Don’t use the band in any way that may cause it to snap towards the head and cause injury to the eyes. Don’t let go of the resistance band when it’s under tension. Don’t over-stretch the band. Perform all exercises in a slow controlled manner. Keep the band out of the reach of children.
Don’t get discouraged if you struggle at first. Be consistent and stick with it. If you do, you’ll be pleased with the results and motivated to continue.
Disclaimer: The article provides information designed to complement your personal health management. It does not provide medical advice and not meant to replace professional medical advice. Linking to other websites does not imply any endorsement of the material on such websites.
About the Author
Brian Johnson, Center Manager
Kansas City native Brian Johnson manages ArchWell Health's Independence center. With 27 years of experience in the healthcare industry, as a center manager, Brian supports his care team and ensures members have the resources they need. He is passionate about improving healthcare for older adults and writes about the exciting activities happening at ArchWell Health centers, healthy living tips he knows work for his members and much more.