What Is Flexibility For Seniors And The Elderly

Seated Lifts

What is flexibility. You probably remember that as a child you could kneel down on a hard floor or hang from a tree with your arms at your ears. Not any more?  Well that is most importantly likely due to a lot of factors.

As we age our connective tissue changes creating adhesions, and we lose some of our smooth cartilage in our joints developing osteoarthritis. This leads to pain and stiffness.

Certainly we can’t reverse the effects of arthritis with stretching, but we can improve our current functional motion. Try some of these stretches every day and you will notice an improvement in your ability to do certain things around the house.

Reaching for that high jar on the shelf or bending over to tie your shoe.

Purpose of this exercise

Improve the range of motion in your hips and legs. Help stabilize  your low back and pelvis.

Step 1

Sitting in a chair, place your hands on either side for support.


Step 2

Slowly raise your right hip off the chair. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds. Then lift your left hip off the chair.



Continue to breathe normally, in through the nose and out through the mouth.


If you have a recent hip replacement, ask your doctor or physical therapist if this movement will be tolerated. Make sure your back is comfortably against the chair. Use your hands to hold your knee up if you are unable to maintain this position.

Take it up a notch

Sit more toward the front of the chair to generate more of a twist. Cross your leg over the other for more of a stretch.

How to do Seated Hip Lifts

How to do Seated Hip Lifts

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

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