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Flexibility Exercises from the National Institute on Aging

Yoga and Stretching Exercises

Do each stretching exercise 3 to 5 times at each session. Slowly and smoothly stretch into the desired position, as far as possible without pain. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. Relax, breathe, then repeat, trying to stretch farther.

2 older women doing a buddy stretch

Buddy Stretch

older woman doing calf stretch

Calf

older man doing hip stretch

Hip

older woman doing standing thigh stretch with a chair

Thigh (Standing)

thigh exercise on the floor

Thigh (Floor)

older woman doing a back of leg stretch on a bench

Back of Leg

woman doing back of leg stretch on the floor

Back of Leg (Floor)

older woman doing ankle stretch

Ankle

older woman doing back exercise in a chair

Back 2

older man doing a back stretch

Back 1

older woman doing a chest stretch

Chest

older woman doing a shoulder and upper arm stretch with towel

Shoulder and Upper Arm

older man doing a shoulder stretch

Shoulder

woman doing a next stretch

Neck

older woman getting up from the floor

Getting Up from the Floor

woman getting down on the floor

Getting Down on the Floor

Icon: Safety

SAFETY

If you’ve had hip or back surgery, talk with your doctor before doing lower-back flexibility exercises.

Progressing

As you become more flexible, try reaching farther in each exercise. But don’t go so far that it hurts.