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Seated Exercises for Seniors

March 23, 2020 Harmony Wellness

10 Minute Seated Stretching Routine

During this time of practicing social distancing, Parkland’s wellness team is busy looking for creative ways to stay active from home. These seated exercises are among one of the seniors favourite exercises you can do at home. This seated stretch routine is designed to help reduce stress and tension and increase circulation. It’s important to take time every day to focus on self-care and overall health.

Approximate time to complete: 10 Minutes


Always consult a doctor before starting a new exercise routine. If you have any muscle or joint injuries or previous surgeries, be sure to ask your doctor or physical therapist what stretches are best for you.

Never stretch to the point of pain or discomfort and do not hold your breath during stretches.

Stretching tips

  • Take a deep breath and slowly exhale as your stretch.
  • Hold each stretch for 30 seconds to give the muscle ample time to relax.
  • Don’t bounce while you stretch, as this increases your risk of injury.
  • Only stretch until you feel tension in the muscle, not to the point of pain or discomfort.
  • Always warm up before stretching by moving around for 5 to 10 minutes, such as going for a walk.

Neck stretch

  1. Looking forward, stretch the neck by slowly bringing your chin toward your chest and turning your head side to side.
  2. Hold each position for 15 seconds.

Shoulder and upper arm stretch

  1. Stretch your shoulders and arms by holding a towel in one hand over your head and letting it drape down behind your head and back.
  2. Grab the other end of the towel with your other hand and gently pull down until you feel a stretch.


  1. Rotate your arms in circles, to the extent of your mobility, and repeat 8-10 times.

Chest stretch

  1. Stretch your chest by extending both arms to the side, palms facing forward.
  2. Reach back with your hands until you feel a stretch across your chest and front of your arms. If you have a hard time holding your arms up, use a wall. Put your hand on a wall and step forward until you feel a gentle stretch in your chest. Switch to the other side. Do not overstretch.

Ankle stretch

  1. Stretch your ankles by sitting in a chair and slowly moving your foot up and down and side to side.
  2. Hold each position 30 seconds and repeat on other foot.


  1. Seated in a chair, raise your knee up close to your chest, and roll the ankle 8-10 times. Then switch legs.

Hamstring stretch

  1. Lie on your back and extend one leg perpendicular to your body.
  2. Grasping around the back of your thigh, slowly pull the leg towards you, keeping your other leg and hip on the ground. Do not pull on your knee when stretching.

Hip stretch

  1. Rest your foot against your opposite leg and gently push down on the bent knee until you feel a stretch.

Lower back stretch

  1. Stretch your lower back by lying on your back, knees bent and feet together. Keep feet flat on the floor.
  2. Keeping knees together, lower your legs to one side, twisting your torso until you feel a stretch. Hold and repeat on other side.

Visit our blog regularly for more healthy living tips!

This seated exercise routine is just one activity for our seniors. Learn more about the health and wellness programs Parkland offers at all locations.