Lower Back Stretching Exercises For Seniors And The Elderly

Back Stretch

Lower back stretching for seniors and the elderly is an important daily activity for older adults. As we age our joint range of motion is reduced in our spine and trunk.

It is important to increase our spinal flexibility as well as our rib cage flexibility for activities like reaching a low cupboard or high shelf. As we age our shoulder begin to migrate forward of our ears.

This causes our thoracic and cervical spine to curve forward. This adds to the “hunch” in our backs and brings our chin and head forward also. To help minimize this poor posture position, try the back stretch exercise below.

Take a deep breath in and smile, stretching back with the shoulders opening up the chest. Feels Great!

Purpose of this exercise

Improves the range of motion in your spine and trunk. Increases your ability to bend and reach low or high.

Step 1

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Place hands on your hips with palms against your bottom.Inhale through your nose.


Step 2

Arch your spine backward. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat 3 times.



Inhale before starting the movement. Exhale during the backward movement phase.


Don’t extend your head backward excessively. Breathe normally during the 10 second hold. Lift your ribs and bring your shoulder blades together as your extend back.

Take it up a notch

Stagger your feet one in front of the other to start. Raise one or both hands as you exhale and extend the spine backward.

How to do Back Stretch

How to do Back Stretch

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.

Resources Family Caregivers https://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/STEADI-CaregiverBrochure.pdf