Stretching Exercises While Seated

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Learn some stretching exercises that you can practice while seated to cool down and avoid injury after an exercise session

You may also like to take a look at another video in this programme, Learn Some Dynamic Stretching Exercises, which will give you some stretches to practice standing up

Follow the examples in this video to pick up some stretching exercises that you can practice while seated to make sure that your muscles are not put under too much strain

Voice-over by volunteer Lizzie Da Costa

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In this video, you'll learn how to do a complete sequence of gentle stretches which you can do while sitting on a chair

You can do this after doing some cardio or muscle-strengthening exercises to relax the muscles you've used

Sit down on a chair

Shift a little if need be so that you're on the edge of the seat

Keep your back straight and put your hands on your knees

Hold out your right leg, keeping the heel on the floor. Take a breath in. Then breathe out whilst sliding your right hand towards your right foot

Straighten back up

Breathe in again and slide your hand back down. This time, touch your toes

Straighten back up

Move your right leg back, and now hold out your other leg

Take a breathe in. Then breathe out whilst sliding your left hand down to your left foot

Straighten back up

Breathe in again and slide your hand back down. This time, touch your toes

Move your left leg back

Hold out both your legs in front of you and hold onto both sides of your seat

Gently lean back so that your torso is supported by the back of the chair

Then let go with both hands

Keep your back straight

Simultaneously, bring up your right knee and catch hold of it with both your hands

Whilst breathing out, gradually pull your knee in towards your chest

Gently let go and resume your original position

Repeat the exercise once more. Breathe in, then out as you pull towards your chest

Then let go

Now for the other side: breathe in and bring up your left knee

Breathe out and pull it towards your chest with both arms

Then let go

One last time; breathe in, bring your knee up. Then breathe out whilst pulling it to your chest

Then let go

Hold onto the edge of your seat with both hands

Put your feet flat on the floor. Then gently straighten up, pushing down with your hands

Slide your right hand beneath your right thigh and bring up your knee

Place your left hand behind your ankle and place your foot on your left leg

Move your hands to your knee and ankle

Whilst breathing out, push your knee in the direction of the floor with your right hand

Breathe in and let go

Then breathe out whilst pushing down

Put your foot back on the floor

Do the same stretch on the other side

Slide your right hand beneath your left thigh. Bring up your knee. Place one hand behind your ankle and rest your foot on your right leg

Reposition your hands on your knee and your ankle

Breathe in, and then breathe out whilst pushing downwards

Gently let go

Breathe in, and then breathe out whilst pushing downwards

Then let go

Resume your original position with your feet on the ground and your hands on your thighs

As you breathe in, lace your fingers together at shoulder height

Then breathe out whilst stretching your arms up over your head, palms facing towards the ceiling

Take another breath in, then breathe out whilst leaning to the left

Breathe in and resume your original position

Breathe out to the right

To the left

Then to the right one last time

Go back to your original position

Breathe in. Then breathe out, letting go with your hands and stretching your arms down to your sides

Rest your hands back on your knees

Hold your right arm out in front of you

With your opposite hand, hold onto the bottom of your right elbow

Breathe out, pulling your elbow towards you and keeping your right arm stretched out

As you breathe in, bend your right arm

Then breathe out whilst gradually pulling your elbow towards you

Resume your previous position with your arms held out in front of you

Hold out your other arm

Then take hold of your left elbow with your right hand

Breathe in. Then breathe out whilst pulling your elbow towards you and keeping your arm held out

As you breathe in, bend your left arm so that you hand is behind your neck

Then breathe out whilst gradually pulling your elbow towards you

Go back to your previous position with your arms out in front of you

Then rest your hands on your knees

Last exercise

Hold your arms out in front of you with your palms facing each other

Then breathe in, pulling your arms behind you

Bring your hands back in front of you to lace your fingers together

Breathe out, extending your arms in front of you, your palms facing outwards, and your head falling forward

One more time

Unlace your fingers, then breathe in whilst pulling your arms behind you

Bring your hands back in front of you to interlock your fingers together

Then, breathe out and stretch your arms out in front of you, your palms facing outwards, letting your head fall forwards

Resume your original position

Well done!

The sequence of stretches is finished

For future exercise sessions, don't hesitate to vary the exercises proposed in our Gentle Exercise for Older Adults program. Over to you!

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