Easy core stretches for arthritis

It's always important to cool down your muscles with some basic stretches after any exercise to avoid injury. You can also use these stretches throughout the day to relieve aches and stiffness.

Easy core stretches for arthritis

Seated torso twist

  1. Sit in a straight-backed chair, preferably one with arms, with feet flat on the floor and legs bent 90 degrees.
  2. Turn your upper body at the waist to the right so that you're looking over your right shoulder. Relax and hold, breathing normally. Come back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Tips:

  • To get an even better stretch, grab the arm of the chair to pull your body comfortably around using the hand on the side toward which you're twisting.
  • If you're especially tight, do a second twist on each side after you finish your first complete set.

Ball stretch

For this exercise, you'll need a fitness ball (scaled to your size) to provide a cushioned arch to your back that stretches the latticework of muscles throughout your abdomen.

  1. Lie on your back with the ball positioned under your upper back, your hips lowered toward the floor and your knees bent about 90 degrees.
  2. Slowly straighten your knees so that you roll on your back along the ball, keeping your feet on the floor and your hands over your stomach — or wherever they feel most comfortable — until you feel a stretch in your abdominal area.

Tips:

  • If you feel you need greater stability, place your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • As you become more confident using the ball, try putting your arms over your head, which enhances the stretch and challenges your balance, providing a mild workout for leg muscles.

Lying total body stretch

  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended and feet together or about hip-width apart.
  2. Extend your arms straight over your head and stretch your legs and toes, making your entire body as long as comfortably possible. Hold.

Tip:

  • Take a deep breath before you begin the stretch and exhale as you extend your hands and feet, then breathe normally as you hold, which enhances the stretch. Don't hold your breath, which prevents the abdominal muscles from relaxing.
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