Flexibility Stretching Exercises For Seniors And The Elderly; Soleus Stretch

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Flexibility stretching exercises for seniors and the elderly for the lower body are important in maintaining our functional mobility as we age.

Stiffness comes with aging and must be countered by a program of stretching and range of motion.

With age, our muscles and connective tissue lose their elasticity resulting in difficulty reaching to high shelves or bending over to pick up the paper in the front lawn.

I like to call the calf muscle which includes the gastrocnemius and the soleus, the “heart of our legs”.

This is because when they are used in walking or standing on our toes, they assist in pumping blood our of our lower body.

Purpose of this exercise

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

How to do it:

Step 1

Flexibility stretching exercise start

  • Stand facing a wall.
  • Place your right foot in front of the left.
  • Place hands on wall for support.

Step 2

Flexibility stretching exercise end

  • Slowly bend your knees until a stretch is felt.
  • Keep your heels on the floor.
  • Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Repeat with the left leg in front of right.

Breathing:

  • Breathe normally, in through the nose and out through the mouth..

Tips:

  • Keep your body erect as you lower yourself.
  • Go down only as far as comfortable.
  • If you feel pain in your knees, stop the exercise.

Take it up a notch:

  • Try holding the position for 30 seconds.
  • Use a chair for support and hold on with one hand.


Lower Body Stretches – Watch These Exercise Videos

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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