Muscle Stretching Exercises For Seniors And The Elderly; Arm Raises

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!

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!

Arm Raises

Muscle stretching exercises for seniors and the elderly are vitally important especially in the arms and upper back.

As we age our chest and arms loose elasticity and our range of motion begins to decline.

This amounts to a reduction in the available motion our joints have.

Often there is an accompanying element of pain.

For this reason, overhead arm limbering exercises like the overhead raise below are powerful tools to keep stiffness at bay and even improve our existing range of motion in our shoulders and back.

Try these exercises below today and incorporate abdominal breathing at the same time to expand the chest and back.

Purpose of this exercise

  • Improves the range of motion of your shoulders.
  • Strengthens your arm for activities that require overhead reach like up to a shelf or pulling the light cord in the basement.

How to do it

Step 1

Overhead raise start

  • Begin standing with arms comfortably at sides.
  • Relax your shoulders and lift your ribs.

Step 2

Overhead raise end

  • Inhale while you lift both arms overhead.
  • Return to the start position and repeat 10 times.

Breathing

  • Inhale during the upward movement phase.
  • Exhale during the downward movement phase.

Tips

  • Try not to arch your back when raising your arms.
  • Keep your hands loose and fingers open.
  • Every time you reach, try a little harder to raise your hands toward the ceiling.

Take it up a notch

  • Add 1 pound wrist weights for an added challenge.
  • Bring your arms out to the side on the odd numbers.
  • Try this exercise against a wall for proper posture and alignment when raising arms.

  • Carol says:

    I have be diagnosed with early stage Primary Lateral Sclerosis. I am doing a lot of the lower extremity exercises laying down and sitting. I like the the ones standing. Could I do those without over stressing my muscles. I am not doing upper extremity ones. Could I do them as well?

    • Doug Schrift says:

      Yes, PLS is a muscle nerve disease which causes your muscles to gradually weaken. Like the other motor neuron diseases as multiple sclerosis, too much exercise may aggravate your condition. The exercises on this site are gentle and should be tolerated by people with these conditions. It is a good thing to try as much as possible to maintain your strength and joint mobility with light stretching and strengthening exercises.

  • Suzanne says:

    Do you have lower extremity stretches?

  • Joyce Chambers says:

    Your stretches are awesome! I’m in a wheelchair and I need to stretch. I get down on the floor for my leg stretching but I needed a good upper body stretch. I marked your site as one of my favorites and hopefully will do it every day.

    • Doug Schrift says:

      Yes, you can do most of the upper body stretches in a chair, and the lower body exercises lying on a bed. Start slowly and try to get in at least 3 exercises every day.

  • Rick Koselke says:

    Just tried your stretches and can feel it already. I’ve had both rotator cuffs operated on and this feels great. Should also help me get ready for the golf season. Thanks.

  • Hope Murray says:

    excellent for my seniors at Creekside village apt

  • Carol Lee says:

    You are a Blessing for me!!! I am feeling so much better with the exercises you have shared. Your directions are clear and easy to follow, and you voice soothing. Thank you!!

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