Flexibility and stretching exercises – part 2
Due to increasing rigidity or stiffness, individuals living with Parkinson’s will benefit from frequent stretching and flexibility exercises. Stretching activities assist in keeping a good range of movement. These types of exercises require you to hold the position and relax. Allow the muscle to gently stretch and feel lengthened. Hold each stretch for 20 to 60 seconds. You don’t have to do all the exercises every day. Choose the ones that are right for you.
For each exercise :
- Stretch Slowly
- Hold each stretch 20-60 seconds
- No bouncing or jerking the muscles
- Feel stretch, but no pain
- Breath deeply
Flexibility / stretching exercises
- Leg Hang
Lying on your back on the edge of a firm flat surface. Let one leg hang over the edge. A gentle stretch should be felt in the front of hip of the hanging leg. Let the muscles relax and hold. Repeat for the other leg.
2. Hip flexors and quads
Start in a lunge position with one leg stretched out behind you, resting on the floor. Keep hips level and squared. Place a towel or pillow under your knee if needed. Ensure the knee angle on the front leg is over 90o and you can see your toes. Drop the hip of the back leg down. The stretch should be felt in the hip of the rear leg.
3. Hamstring Stretch
From a standing position, place one foot on a step. Keeping your knee and back straight, tilt your body forward from the hips until you feel a stretch in the back of your knee and thigh. If you only feel the stretch behind the knee, bend the knee slightly and lean further forward until you feel the stretch in the back of the thigh.
This stretch can also be done lying on the floor or seated in a chair.
If you have difficulty keeping your back straight or feel unsteady, use a lower step and have a chair or wall nearby to assist with balance.
4. Wall Calf Stretch
Stand facing a wall.
Place hands comfortably on the wall.
Put one leg behind the other. Keeping the back leg straight, gently bend the front knee and lean into the wall.
A stretch will be felt in the heel and calf of the back leg. Hold. Repeat for the other leg.
Source: Parkinson’s Canada