End Your Pain!
Arthritis is something that many older adults deal with as they move through their golden years. Unfortunately, as arthritis and joint pain persists, many older adults believe that sitting and doing nothing will actually help get rid of arthritis pain. This is a common error, that can lead to much worse joint problems over the years. This article, in addition to the video above, will detail 10 great gentle chair exercises for seniors with arthritis to help manage joint pain, and get them back to a life without agony!
The Big Picture
When it comes to managing arthritis pain, many of the older adults that I work with, struggle with a few common pain point areas. These areas are your hips, lower back, neck, fingers/hands, knees, and shoulders. Because of this, I wanted to make sure to highlight exercises for each of the areas in this article and the video above. For the best results, and to achieve the most resilient body, I would highly recommend following every single exercise in the article so you have no missing links. If you would like to see a video demonstration of the exercise, check out the video above.
TOP 10 Gentle Chair Exercises for Seniors with Arthritis
[EXERCISE 1: Knee to Chest Stretch] Our first exercise is the Knee to Chest Stretch. This exercise helps to stretch your lower back and hip muscles. To perform this exercise, sit up straight in your chair with both feet flat on the ground. Slowly lift your right knee towards your chest, using your hands to gently pull it closer. I like to tell my clients to think about pulling “up” and “in” at the same time. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then release and repeat with the left leg. Do this 3 times on each side.
[EXERCISE 2: Chair Warrior Pose] Next up is the Chair Warrior Pose. This exercise strengthens your legs and improves balance. Sit on the edge of your chair with your feet hip-width apart. Extend your right leg back, keeping your left knee bent and aligned with your ankle. Imagine keeping both knees at 90 degree angles. Holding this position is incredibly challenging on your entire body, but not too tough that it will aggravate your arthritis. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then switch sides. Repeat 3 times on each side.
[EXERCISE 3: Leg Extensions] Now, let’s move on to Leg Extensions. This exercise targets your quadriceps and helps to stabilize your knees. Sit up straight in your chair with your feet flat on the ground. Slowly extend your right leg, keeping your foot flexed. Hold for 5 seconds, then lower your leg. Repeat with the left leg. Do 10 repetitions on each side. Make sure you are straightening your leg as much as possible, trying to make it a “straight line.”
[EXERCISE 4: Hamstring Stretch] Our fourth exercise is the Hamstring Stretch. This stretch helps to relieve tightness in the back of your thighs. Sit on the edge of your chair with your right leg extended and your left foot flat on the ground. Reach forward towards your right foot, keeping your knee straight. Many people will cheat this exercise by bending their leg they are stretching slightly. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then switch sides. Repeat 3 times on each side.
[EXERCISE 5: Shoulder Opener Stretch] Moving on to the Shoulder Opener Stretch. This exercise helps to release tension in your shoulders and upper back. Sit up straight in your chair with your feet flat on the ground. Put your hands behind your lower back, pinch your shoulder blades back, and lift your chest out in front of you. Gently lift your head as well, feeling a stretch in your shoulders and chest. Hold for 15-20 seconds, then release. Repeat 3 times.
[EXERCISE 8: Chair Twist Stretch] Now, let’s try the Chair Twist Stretch. This exercise helps to improve spinal flexibility and helps relieve tension in your back. Sit up straight in your chair with your feet flat on the ground. Place your right hand on your left knee and your left hand on the back of the chair. Gently twist your upper body to the left, looking over your left shoulder. Make sure when you are doing this, your hips stay pointed center the entire time. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then switch sides. Repeat 3 times on each side.
[EXERCISE 9: Finger Spreads] Our ninth exercise is Finger Spreads. This exercise helps to improve hand flexibility and reduce stiffness in your fingers. Sit up straight in your chair with your feet flat on the ground. Hold your hands in front of you, palms facing up towards the sky. Slowly spread your fingers apart as wide as possible, then bring them back together creating a tight fist. Repeat this movement 10 times or as much as you would like.
[EXERCISE 10: Neck Rolls] Finally, we have Neck Rolls. This exercise helps to release tension in your neck and shoulders. Sit up straight in your chair with your feet flat on the ground. Gently lower your right ear towards your right shoulder, then slowly roll your head forward and to the left. Continue rolling your head in a circular motion, completing a full circle. Do this 5 times clockwise, then switch directions and do 5 times counterclockwise. Remember to keep the movements slow and controlled to avoid straining your neck. If there is any arthritis pain and agitation, make your circles smaller and do what you can.
And there you have it! The TOP 10 Gentle Chair Exercises for Seniors with Arthritis to help you STOP Joint Pain. Incorporate these exercises into your daily routine to improve your mobility, flexibility, and overall well-being. Remember to always listen to your body and consult with your healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program. If you enjoyed this article, please consider subscribe to our blog if you want to continue to improve your health and knowledge of the gym, regardless of your current abilities in life. Otherwise, I am going to link another article below, giving you a few more more great ways to workout with chronic pain.
Stop Chronic Pain: 6 Low-Impact Strength Exercises for Shoulders, Knees, Low Back
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