Flexibility Stretches For Seniors And The Elderly

Hip Rotation

Caution: If you have had a recent hip replacement, check with your surgeon before trying this stretch.

Flexibility stretches for seniors and the elderly are necessary to maintain normal functional movement. When we make our bed or take a shower, our muscles continually lengthen and shorten during the movements.

This joint movement is how we maintain our flexibility. As we age and begin to use our arms and legs less, they become tight. This is called adaptive shortening of the joints and muscles.

This tightness can usually be corrected with a program of progressive stretching.The hip rotation exercise below is an example of stretching for tightness.

Purpose of this exercise

Increase the range of motion of your hips.Improve the functional use of your legs as in getting out of a car or stepping over the side of your bathtub.

Step 1

Sit comfortably in your chair.


Step 2

Cross your right ankle onto your left knee. Gently press down on your knee until a stretch is felt. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.Repeat with your left leg.



Continue breathing normally, in through your nose and out through your mouth.


If you are unable to bring your leg onto your knee, simply cross your feet at the ankles, while pressing the knee down and to the side. If you have had recent hip surgery, check with your doctor or physical therapist for any movement precautions.

Remember that stretching should not be painful.  If hip pain is present, perform a more gentle stretch.

Take it up a notch

While performing the exercise, lean forward to increase stretch.

How to do Hip Rotation

How to do Hip Rotation

More Lower Body Stretches

1. Seated Lifts

  • Improve the range of motion in your hips and legs.
  • Help stabilize  your low back and pelvis.
  • Learn what is flexibility.

2. Standing Quadriceps Stretch

  • Will improve your hip and knee range of motion with these exercises to increase flexibility.
  • Can improve your standing posture by allowing you to stand up straighter.

3. Back Stretch

  • Improves the range of motion in your spine and trunk with lower back stretching.
  • Increases your ability to bend and reach low or high.

4. Inner Thigh  Stretch

  • Improve your hip and thigh range of motion with stretching legs exercises.
  • Increase your functional ability in standing, walking and stepping.

5. Calf Stretch

  • Targets the flexibility of your calf muscle and heel cord with calf muscle stretches.
  • Increases your ability to straighten your knee

6. Hip Side Stretch

  • This is a good stretch for the side hip area.
  • Improve the range of motion of our hips.
  • These stretching techniques also can help with balance.

7.  Hip Rotation Stretch

  • Increase the range of motion of your hips with these flexibility stretches.
  • Improve the functional use of your legs as in getting out of a car or stepping over the side of your bath tub.

8. Soleus Stretch

  • Increases the flexibility of the deep calf muscle with flexibility stretching exercises.
  • Generally improves your lower body flexibility and functional use of your legs.

9. Ankle Circles

  • Improve the range of motion of the ankle and foot with warming up stretching.
  • Can help with ankle swelling.

10. Hamstring Stretch

  • Increases your ability to lean forward and reach your feet with hamstring stretching.
  • Improves the flexibility of your low back and legs.

11. Knee To Chest

  • Stretches your knee and hip joints with flexibility importance exercises.
  • Improves low back flexibility.

12. Ankle Stretch

  • Helps maintain good ankle flexibility which will assist with walking and standing with ankle stretching exercises.
  • Also helps with knee and hip stiffness.

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