Arm Stretches for Seniors and the Elderly; Overhead Reach

(Scroll down for more exercise videos)
Arm stretches for seniors and the elderly will increase your flexibility and greatly help with daily functional movements using the upper body.

Think how many situations you encounter which requires good arm motions like reaching to a high shelf, picking up the Sunday paper, taking food out of the microwave.

Arm stretches like the overhead reach below will give you more range of motion and maybe even help with some of your shoulder stiffness and pain.

Purpose of this exercise

  • Increase the range of motion in your shoulder and upper back.
  • Help improve your ability to reach, as in getting a pan out of the cabinet or ice cream out of the freezer.

How to do it:

Step 1

Overhead Reach

  • Sit comfortably in your chair.
  • Inhale and interlace your hands on your lap.

Step 2

Overhead Reach end

  • Exhale as you raise your arms overhead.
  • Return to the start position and repeat 10 times.


  • Exhale during the upward movement phase.
  • Inhale during the downward movement phase.


  • Sit with your spine straight and your ribs lifted.
  • Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.
  • Only lift your arms as high as is comfortable.
  • Pause after you have extended your arms overhead.

Take it up a notch:

  • With your arms overhead, lean to the right side for a few seconds before lowering arms. Then repeat on the left side during the next lift.

Upper Body Stretches – Watch These Exercise Videos

1. Shoulder And Upper Back Stretch

  • Shoulder stretches to increases your shoulder and scapular range of motion.
  • Stretches your chest and shoulder.
  • Will make it easier to reach to that high shelf in your kitchen.

2. Shoulder Rolls

  • Improve the range of motion in your shoulder and upper back region with these stretching routines.
  • Will assist in keeping your rib muscles flexible.
  • Help in activities like reaching up to a high shelf or across the table at dinner.

3. Neck Side Stretch

  • Improve the range of motion in your neck and upper back with these good stretching exercises.
  • Helps with those everyday movements you need to do like looking under the bed for that other shoe!

4.Neck Rotation

  • Improve the range of motion in our neck with these neck stretches.
  • Help stretch the upper back and scapular muscles.

5. Shoulder Circles

  • Improve the range of motion of your shoulders and upper back with these types of stretching.
  • Helps increase flexibility in your chest and lungs.

6. Shoulder Stretch

  • Helps stretch our shoulder, scapula and supporting muscles and joints.
  • Improves our reaching ability especially across the body for these benefits of stretching.

7. Chest Stretch

  • Stretches the chest and shoulders with these chest exercises.
  • Improves posture and lung functioning.

8. Overhead Reach

  • Increase the range of motion in your shoulder and upper back with these arm stretches.
  • Help improve your ability to reach, as in getting a pan out of the cabinet or ice cream out of the freezer.

9. Reach Back

  • Improve your ability to reach behind as in reaching back to hold on to an armrest before sitting down.
  • Increase the range of motion of your shoulders and stretches your chest muscles with these arm exercises.

10. Triceps Stretch

  • Stretches the shoulder and triceps with these stretches before exercise.
  • Improves the mobility of your upper arm and shoulder.

11. Hand Stretch

  • Increase the flexibility and range of motion of your hand and fingers with these hand exercises.
  • Warms up your hand to prepare for the activity of the day.

12. Arm Raises

  • Improves the range of motion of your shoulders with these muscle stretching exercises.
  • Strengthens your arm for activities that require overhead reach like up to a shelf or pulling the light cord in the basement.


  1. Hello..I found your exercises quite satisfactory..I am 60 and my main problem is pain on the left side(on the big toe side) of my rt heel..I get the pain when I get up from a sitting position which goes when I walk for some time..more pain when I get down from a car..I am doing stretching exercise for my calf muscles..but not much improvement. Can you please help me?.I have knee pain also ..but that has reduced with exercises.I long to make a tour around the world but this problem is discouraging me..waiting eagerly for your reply

    1. Heel pain has two major sources in your foot. Heel spurs, which is a buildup of calcium deposits on your heel bone, and plantar fasciitis, which is a painful inflammation of the fascia on the underside of your foot connecting the heel bone to the ball of the foot. You will need a diagnosis from your doctor for this. Treatment for heel spurs and plantar fasciitis include exercise, custom-made orthotics, anti-inflammatory medications, and cortisone injections. If conservative treatments fail, surgery may be necessary.

Leave a Reply