Ways To Condition Your Body For Better Mobility, Strength, And Flexibility

Flexibility, Mobility, Strength Tips

We have a lot of customers who require assistance with mobility and/or flexibility issues. Often, they rent a lift chair or other orthopedic products to assist mobility. But did you know there are gentle, easy things you can do around the house as you go about your daily business to help your body condition itself for better mobility, strength, and flexibility?

Strength in the spine and the core is imperative for performing many everyday activities. Strengthening the lower lumbar region and abdominal muscles is the best way to support most of the movement in the spine and is so essential for decreasing back pain, increasing flexibility, and improving range of motion.

Here are a few of our favorite exercises for stretching and strengthening the spine and abdominal muscles. They’re easy, gentle, and they can all be done right in your chair while you watch TV!

Spine Rotation

  1. Begin sitting comfortably upright on a chair, feet flat on the floor.

  2. Using the arm of the chair or your upper thigh for support if needed, twist the upper body, rotating shoulders to the left.

  3. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds, or as long as is comfortable for you.

  4. Return to starting position, shoulders facing forward.

  5. Repeat the motions, rotating shoulders to the right this time.

Shoulder Stretch

  1. Begin by sitting comfortably upright in a chair, feet flat on the floor.

  2. With upper arms parallel to the floor, bend the elbows at a 90-degree angle, palms facing toward each other.

  3. Bring the forearms together, touching the elbows in front of your face.

  4. Return to starting position, upper arms parallel to the floor and elbows at a 90-degree angle, while returning, squeeze the shoulder blades together gently.

  5. You can hold a canned good in each hand while doing this exercise to add a little weight to make it a little more challenging. Lightweight hand weights will do as well.

Abdominal Presses

  1. Begin by sitting comfortably upright in a chair, feet flat on the floor.

  2. Extend your arms and place your hands on your knees.

  3. Lock your elbows and press the palms into your knees. Be sure to be mindful of engaging your core muscles.

  4. Hold a few seconds, listen to your body; this exercise shouldn’t be painful to the back.

  5. Repeat

Side Bends

  1. Begin by sitting comfortably upright in a chair, feet flat on the floor.

  2. Stretch one arm toward the floor while placing the other hand behind your head. Be mindful not to put too much pressure on the back of your head.

  3. Bend over, reaching toward the floor with your outstretched arm.

  4. Pull the belly inward, and engage your core muscles gently.

  5. Return to the start, switch sides. Be sure to avoid leaning forward; keep your back as straight as possible.

Stretching Exercises

Stretching is so beneficial to the body, if possible it should be done daily. Many of these stretching exercises can be done standing in the kitchen while making dinner, or right after getting out of bed in the morning. You can expect not only an increase in range of motion and mobility but increased blood flow. Stretching is also a mood booster and stress reliever!

Hula Hoops

  1. Stand feet together, hands on your hips.

  2. Circle the hips three to five times, whatever is comfortable.

  3. CIrcle clockwise three to five times, then counterclockwise three to five times.

  4. Be sure to keep shoulders as still as possible and your core muscles tight.

Upper Body Stretcher

  1. Stand tall, feet comfortably apart.

  2. Interlace your fingers behind your back.

  3. Let the arms fall behind the back; knuckles pointed downward.

  4. Lift the arms as high as you can comfortably away from the back.

  5. Be sure to stand as tall as possible, keeping the arms soft and looking straight ahead.

Neck and Shoulder Stretches

  1. Stand or sit upright, arms hanging naturally to the sides.

  2. Place one hand very gently on top of your head.

  3. Drop your chin naturally.

  4. The weight of your hand on your head will place just enough gentle pressure (don’t push) to stretch the neck and shoulders.

  5. Repeat with the other hand.

Of course, you should consult your doctor before beginning any kind of exercise routine, and the exercises we’ve listed may not be for everybody. It’s important to stay in tune with how you’re body is feeling and don’t overdo it!

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