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Improve your flexibility and reduce muscle stiffness with this hamstring stretch led by our Registered Massage Therapist (RMT), Allana Khoury.

As the chill of winter fades and the warmth of spring begins to take over, it’s the perfect time for seniors to focus on loosening up stiff muscles and joints that may have tightened up during the colder months.  The colder temperatures and the tendency to more sedentary activities during the winter months can result in significant muscle and joint stiffness, especially for seniors.

Stretching is a fantastic way for seniors to increase flexibility, decrease pain, and improve overall mobility. As a physiotherapist, I highly recommend incorporating a gentle daily stretching routine to ensure our body can keep up with the demands of our spring and summer activities. Here’s a simple set of exercises that seniors can use to help ease into spring with more mobility and be better prepared for more vigorous spring activities like gardening, walking, and other outdoor fun.

Simple Stretching Exercises for Seniors


  • Sit comfortably in a chair with your feet flat on the ground.
  • Slowly turn your head towards one side until a stretch is felt on the opposite side of your neck.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds, then repeat on the other side.


  • Sit to stand in an upright posture with your arms at your sides.
  • Roll the shoulders gently in a circular motion, forward and backward, 10 times each.

Upper Back

  • Sit to stand in an upright posture with your arms at your sides.
  • Gently squeeze the shoulder blades together in the back to feel a stretch in the muscles in the front of your chest.
  • Hold this active stretch for 5-10 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.

Hamstring Stretch

  • Sit at the edge of a chair and extend one leg forward.
  • Straighten your leg and lean forward gently from the hips (without rounding the back!) until you feel a stretch at the back of your thigh.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.

There are many other stretches that might be helpful for seniors to incorporate into their routine, but these four are a good starter set for most seniors.  If possible, it is helpful to warm up with a few minutes of walking or light activity before stretching.  Breathe normally as you hold each stretch; avoid holding your breath.  Stretch to the point of tension but not pain. If a stretch hurts during or afterwards, ease up to a comfortable level and seek professional guidance to learn the modifications best suited for your body.

Incorporating these simple stretches into the daily routine this spring can significantly improve your flexibility, reduce discomfort, and enhance your ability to participate in the activities you love!  Some seniors find stretching in the morning is a good kickstart to the day while others find it beneficial to use them in the evening to literally and figuratively “unwind”.

Remember, regular stretching can be integral to maintaining your mobility and enjoying all the beautiful opportunities spring has to offer. Here’s to a flexible, fun-filled spring season!

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