Exercise

Flexibility exercises

These flexibility exercises can be done at home to help improve your health and mobility.

Don't worry if you haven't done much for a while – the exercises are gentle and easy to follow.

Wear loose, comfortable clothing and keep some water handy. Build up slowly and aim to gradually increase the repetitions of each exercise over time.

Try to do these exercises at least twice a week and combine them with the other routines in this series:

Neck rotation

Improves neck mobility and flexibility.

Picture of a man doing a neck rotation

A. Sit upright with shoulders down. Look straight ahead.

B. Slowly turn your head towards your left shoulder as far as is comfortable. Hold for 5 seconds and return to the starting position.

C. Repeat on the right.

Do 3 rotations on each side.

Neck stretch

Good for loosening tight neck muscles.

Picture of a man doing a neck stretch

A. Sitting upright, look straight ahead and hold your left shoulder down with your right hand.

B. Slowly tilt your head to the right while holding your shoulder down.

C. Repeat on the opposite side.

Hold each stretch for 5 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side.

Sideways bend

Helps restore flexibility to the lower back.

Picture of a man doing a sideways bend

A. Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart and arms by your sides.

B. Slide your left arm down your side as far as is comfortable. As you lower your arm, you should feel a stretch on the opposite hip.

C. Repeat with your right arm.

Hold each stretch for 2 seconds and perform 3 on each side.

Calf stretch

Good for loosening tight calf muscles.

Picture of a man doing a calf stretch

A. Place your hands against a wall for stability. Bend the right leg and step the left leg back at least a foot's distance, keeping it straight. Both feet should be flat on the floor.

B. The left calf muscle is stretched by keeping the left leg as straight as possible and the left heel on the floor.

C. Repeat with the opposite leg.

Perform 3 on each side.

Download this exercise routine as a PDF (772kb)

Page last reviewed: 26/11/2017
Next review due: 26/11/2020