Stretching for Seniors: The Hips, Glutes and Legs
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It may be interesting to note that back pain could be due to tight muscles in the hip, while knee pain could be due to tight muscles in the leg. The body works synergistically, and everything affects everything else.
In this article, we’ll look at how you can stretch your hips, buttocks and legs. There is a plethora of stretches out there and the ones below are just a few to get you started. Do your research online or get a book on stretching and learn new stretches.
You need stretches for your upper legs and lower legs. You can even use a resistance band to stretch your feet. You’ll only know these moves if you do your research.
* Hips and glutes stretches
Hip rotations are one good way to warm you up. Place your hands on your hips and rotate in circles – first clockwise, then anti-clockwise.
Another good stretch is the butterfly. Sit on the floor and place both soles of your feet against each other. Now hold your feet together and lean forward till you can feel the stretch.
The figure 4 stretch is another fantastic stretch that’s very versatile and can be done by seniors in a seated position too. If you’re doing it lying down – lie on your back and place your left foot across your right thigh.
This should look like a figure 4. Now, lift your right leg up and place your hand under your right thigh and pull it towards you to further stretch the hips. Repeat on the other side too.
* Leg stretches
The stretches shown here will stretch both your upper and lower legs.
Assume a standing position and place your left foot outstretched on a chair. Now bend over forwards till you feel your hamstrings stretch. Hold the stretch for about 30 to 60 seconds. Then repeat on the other side. Do this stretch 3 to 4 times.
Most people have tight hamstrings, and this is an excellent move for them to do regularly.
Another stretch that you can do is to lie on the floor and pull your left knee up towards your chest. Hug your knee for about 30 seconds and now repeat on the other side. This will stretch your hamstrings too.
The wide-legged forward bend is a stretch done by almost all gymnasts, martial artists and ballet dancers. It is the foundation for achieving the splits.
Stand with both your legs as wide apart as they can go. Now lean forward and place your palms on the ground. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds to a minute. Over time, you’ll find that your legs can spread further and further apart. Who knows? You may even do the splits someday.
Now that we’ve stretched the hamstrings, it’s time for the quadriceps. The best way to stretch them is to stand and bend your left leg behind with your knee pointing down. Grip your left foot with your left hand and pull it towards your buttocks. Repeat on the other side.
For the lower legs, you can do ankle rotations which is straightforward move. Another stretch you can do is to place your left foot against the bottom of a wall and move closer to the wall. You should be able feel the stretch in your calf muscles. Now repeat with the other leg.
By doing these stretches, you should be able to stretch quite a few muscles in your lower body. Of course, if you wish to do more, you can always get a book to guide you here… or just surf online where all the information is at your fingertips