12 Best Upper Body Stretches For Seniors And The Elderly

I created Eldergym® to help YOU! If you are looking for one of the best FREE online resources for senior and elderly upper body stretching exercises, you found it!Elderly and senior upper body stretches will increase your range of motion in your shoulders, shoulder blades, neck and ribs.

Watch these upper body flexibility exercise videos

Make sure to download my FREE ebook to begin your 4 week senior exercise program using all these great exercises!

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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.

Make sure to download my FREE ebook to begin your 4 week senior exercise program using all these great exercises!

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Maintain your motion

It is vital to maintain shoulder range of motion as we age. So much of our daily activities rely on reaching, lifting and pushing motions.

These motions are more effective and easier when we are able to use more of our available movement in our upper back, shoulders, elbows and hands.

For example, in upper body dressing and grooming. This includes putting on shirts, bras, jackets, hats and also combing or fixing your hair.

When these shirts and jackets have buttons, zippers, snaps and other fasteners, good shoulder, elbow and hand function is extremely important.

Have you ever tried to tie your shoe when your hands were freezing cold?

You’ve got the picture.

  • Stretching can greatly help back pain
  • Stretching can improve your posture
  • Try one or two stretches for each body region
  • Stretching is beneficial for arthritis

Leave a Comment:

Glyn Stewart says April 3, 2017

I am 74 years old. A couple of years ago while taking a statin drug I developed lat pain–mostly on the right side. This is a burning pain from about 2″ right of my spine continuing around to my side. This pain starts if I stand for longer than 5 minutes which limits much enthusiasm for exercise, which I need. I went off statins but the pain stayed. Can you think of anything that would help? I control it with 2 extra strength acetomeniphen with 2 ibuprophen about every 6 hours, but frequently have to sit down before the end of the 6 hours. I’d like not to need these pain medicines and I’d like this not to progress any further. Any ideas?

Necy says December 9, 2016

Love the exercises wish they were taped for vice. Thanka

Cynthia Sjoblom says June 6, 2016

It really looks like you are offering a tremendous service to people. My dad is 90 and still walking. He doesn’t seem to like to exercise much unless he is listening to music! Something I discovered as I started working with him myself.
I would love to have a chat about an idea if you would be open to talking with me. Thank you.

    Doug Schrift says June 11, 2016

    I can only answer general fitness/health questions here due legal restrictions, but you can also connect with me on the contact link above.

Merle N. Savedow says January 4, 2016

Thank you so much for all your wonderful exercises! I have chronic pain in my glutes, having been diagnosed with chronic muscle spasms in several muscles after an injury. I am starting PT soon, but they always focus on my lower body. I also have osteoporosis. My question is this: when I work with free weights, should I slightly bend my knees and hold my core in? I only work with 2 and 3 pound weights. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question.

    Doug Schrift says January 8, 2016

    Yes, in exercise class we call it keeping your knees “soft”, so they are not really bent, but not tight or hyper-extended. It is a good idea to ” tuck your butt”, or tilt your pelvis back also during your exercise to stabilize your back and set your form.

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