4 Flexibility and Cool Down Exercises for Older Adults from Go4Life

MS. SANDY MAGRATH: I want you to grab your towel from underneath your chair. Go ahead and stand up. What you’re going to do is you’re going to take your towel, put in your right hand. I’d like you to throw it over your right shoulder, grabbing the back on the bottom of the towel with your left hand and what I’d like you to do is keep the elbow nice and tight to the side of your head and pull down. Now your gonna hold each stretch- 15 to 30 seconds, so that’s a good amount of time. Don’t cheat on it, okay? GROUP: [LAUGHTER] MS SANDY MAGRATH: It’s so easy everybody, everybody finishes their workouts and then they just walk away. But stretching and flexibility is so, so, so important. So what I’d like you to do- once again pull down and relax it just one more time. Let’s do it one more time. Now this we’re going to hold it for that 15 seconds. So hold, you at home, too. Keep the elbows tight to the side of your head. That way you’re really stretching out those the shoulder, the triceps, and– let’s go ahead and switch sides. Now what I’d like you to do- hold the towel in your left hand, throw it over your left shoulder. Grab the towel with your right hand, down low. Okay, you guys got it all? Okay, here we go-now, elbows close to the side. Once again holding 15 to 30 seconds and you can do 3 to 5 of these, OK? So we’re going to do 3. And take it down. Now remember, stretching is to slight tension, no pain. And let’s just go ahead and relax it for a second and then pull it back down. A lot of times with the stretching, each time you do it, you might get a little bit more stretch out of it- not always, but sometimes. But it’s something that you need to work on, on a daily basis. Stretching you can do everyday. And relax it. And let’s do one more time. We’re going to hold this one for a long time, okay, guys? And take it down and hold. Once again, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. That allows you to relax your body and allows maybe just a little bit more stretch. Okay and done, beautiful. What we’re going to do now, take the towels put them back under your chairs. Have a seat. We’re going to stretch out the ankles. Now we did stretching the ankles in our warm-up, but, once again, we’ve done a lot of exercises between now and then. And what we want to do is we want to stretch those calf muscles and ankles back out. So what we’re going to do, is everybody good? Point the toes and hold it. And let’s go ahead- we’re going to go ahead point the toes back up toward the ceiling, or towards your midsection. And relax the shoulders. Sometimes I find myself tensing up a little bit, too. So if you’re at home and you feel your shoulders tightening up, go ahead and relax. Give yourself a little bobble head there and point the toes. And let’s point them up toward the ceiling. Okay, this time we’re going to hold it for a little bit longer and point. And hold it for 5, 4, 3, 2, and back up to the ceiling. Okay, can you guys feel that working? GROUP: Yes. MS. SANDY MAGRATH: Good job, good job. OK, hold it for 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. Okay, now what we’re going to do next is we’re going to go ahead we’re going to get down on the floor. Now this is important for you at home to remember. When you’re getting up and down off the floor you have to make sure that you do it safely, and you guys, too. So what I’m going to do, go ahead and stand up. I’m gonna give them verbal cues and while I’m doing it I’m going to turn around- I’ll have my back to you- but I want you to watch and see how I do it maybe first before you do it. So you’re going to turn around, you’re going to make sure that you have just a sturdy chair. So that way you have something to hold onto. So let’s turn around. You’re gonna grab the arms of the chair. You’re going to take your right knee down, and then you’re going to take your left knee down. You’re going to take your left hand down, then you take your left hip down. Rolling over. You’ve got both arms down. And you’re going to take it down to your right elbow, left elbow, and then you’re going to turn to your side and you’re gonna go ahead and position yourself like you’re, like you be watching TV. Now, you can take your head and cradle it in your hand or if you have problems with your shoulder, you can take it out- and I believe Grisel and Mitter- I mean, Grisel and Jerry- are doing a modified version. You can take your head down to where it’s lying flat on the floor with on top of your shoulder. So let’s bring the leg back. If you have problems with flexibility you can wrap a towel around your ankle and and stretch the front of the leg and this is called the front of the leg stretch or your quad. And once again holding 15 to 30 seconds and then releasing. So we’re gonna hold it, and take it out, And when doing this if you have trouble balancing, you always want to be holding your abs in, but you can bend this bottom leg just a little bit and it’ll help stabilize you. Now I’m gonna straighten my leg back out. And let’s release. And take it back. Now if your leg is up like this, what I’d like you to do is take the leg so it’s nice and close to the other leg- right on top of it- because that way you’re gonna get the most out of the stretch. And let’s take it out. Now we’re going to flip over the other side so I’m going to turn my backside toward you and once again roll over. If you have shoulder issues, once again, you can take that arm straight out and if not, you can cradle your head in your hand. Now I want a nice straight line with the body. If you need to bend that bottom leg, and thank you, Jerry, for being our modifier. Take the leg back- and you want to grasp it maybe right above the ankle. And hold it. Can you guys feel that from the leg stretch? GROUP: Oh yes. MS. SANDY MAGRATH: Good, good we worked them hard, those chairs stands. That was good work. That was a lot of work. Okay, extend the leg or release and let’s pull it back again. And hold it. Now remember- breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth. Just relax your body, allow the stretch to happen. And let’s go ahead, release, and let’s do it one more time. Okay, here we go- hold it back. And sometimes you get in a hurry, you want to avoid the stretching. Don’t do it, it’s important. Okay, here we go. We’re going to release the leg. Now what we’re going to do is we’re going to roll over to our back and we’re going to stretch the back of the leg. And once again, we’re going to start with the right foot. And if you start with your right foot, you’ll always remember where you’re at. So start right, then go left. Now Jerry, that is a great idea. If you have any issues or your your neck just feels like it needs a little extra support, just go ahead and throw a towel behind it. And then that way it allows you to relax more into that stretch. And take it down. Now we’re going to just stay on the right leg, so let’s go ahead take it back up. And each time holding it 15 to 30 seconds. And breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth, and let’s take it down. Now, if you have a little bit of a problem with flexibility, you can keep this leg at a bent knee which is going to allow you a little bit more stretch. And if you can’t reach all the way up to your calf, maybe grab behind your thigh or grab your hamstring. So, I’m going to grab back up here- I’m going to straighten this leg back out. Okay, and let’s go ahead, let’s take the right leg down. Now, we’re going to switch over to that left leg. So remember, position yourself for what works for you, what feels good to your body, because remember this is your workout. And hold it. And take it down. Now, how does that feel, Jerry, with a little bit of support for your neck? JERRY:It’s good having that support. MS SANDY MAGRATH: Good, because you know if you’re not relaxed, you’re not as you’re not going to get as much out of that stretch. Okay and hold it, now remember breathe. So let’s go ahead- breathe in through your nose- nice big one- and blow out through your mouth. And let’s take that leg down. We’ve got one more stretch of the hamstring. So let’s bring it back in and hold it, and relax. Now if you want to add a little bit more intensity, you can point your toe down and that’s going to give you a little bit more intensity in that stretch. Adds a little bit more of a calf stretch, also. And let’s take it down. Now here’s what we need to do next- we need to get back up off the floor. So, everybody, you guys ready? This is pretty comfortable down here. Let’s go up to our elbows. We’re going to turn over, we’re going to go up to our left hand. We’re going to turn our body, go up to your knees. Now, okay. Down on your knees, Mitter. Okay, right hand is on the arm of the chair, left hand, take your right knee up, take your left knee up, come up, roll the shoulders back, dust yourself off and give yourself a good hand. You guys did a great job. You guys at home I hope you enjoyed the workout. Thank you so much.

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