Chest Exercises For Seniors And The Elderly

Chest Stretch

Chest exercises for seniors and the elderly are a great time to combine active movements of the chest wall, trunk and shoulders with your deep  breathing.

This will improve the mobility and flexibility in the upper chest and shoulders while helping the ventilation in your lungs. Stretching the chest will help maintain good rib mobility improving breathing and reducing the work of inspiration and expiration.

Make sure when you breathe, inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Your belly button should rise when air is inhaled and lower when air is exhaled.

Purpose of this exercise

Stretches the chest and shoulders. Improves posture and lung functioning.

Step 1

Sit comfortably in your chair.


Step 2

Raise arms and place hands behind your head. Breathe in while bringing your neck and shoulders back. Hold briefly, then exhale, relax  and repeat three more times.



Inhale as you bring your arms back, stretching the chest and filling your lungs. Exhale as you bring your arms down.


Keep your ribs lifted as your breathe in and bring the neck and shoulders back. Breathe deeply, all the way down to your abdomen. Tuck your chin in and bring your neck straight back.

Take it up a notch

While in the hands-behind-the-head position, lean to the right and breathe out. Then on the next stretch, lean to the left while breathing out.

How to do Chest Stretch

How to do Chest Stretch

More Upper Body Flexibility Exercises

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.

Resources Family Caregivers