Exercises: Stretching

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Stretching exercises help keep your joints and muscles from tightening up. Your exercise program is planned for your specific needs because not all your muscles have the same degree of strength or weakness. The goal of active exercise is to keep your muscles flexible. Do only the exercises that have a check mark in the box.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Place your hand under the small of your back. Tighten your abdominal (stomach) muscles and flatten the small of your back against the floor. Hold this position, count to five then release. Do not hold your breath.

    Do this motion ________ times.

    This exercise should be done________ times a day.

  2. Stretching on Back

  3. Sit with your knees bent.  Bend your body toward your knees.  Then bend your body to each side of your knees.

    Do this motion ________ times.

    This exercise should be done________ times a day.

  4. Knee Bend Exercise

  5. Lie on a bed face-down with your elbows out to the sides. Tuck your chin in. Extend your back, shoulders, and head off the bed as you breathe in. Hold this position for ten seconds (breathe!), and return to the starting position as you breath out.

    Do this motion ________ times.

    This exercise should be done________ times a day.

  6. Exercise on Stomach

  7. Sit with your legs together.  Bend one leg slightly and keep the other one straight.  Bend forward and reach toward your toes as far as possible. Return to the starting position.  Bend the other leg and keep the other straight.

    Do this motion ________ times.

    This exercise should be done _______ times a day.

  8. Stretching your Knees

  9. Lie on your back keeping the small of your back flat. Bend your knees. Bring both knees toward your chest. Hold your legs with your hands and pull toward your chest. Lower your legs to the starting position.

    Do this motion ________ times.

    This exercise should be done ________ times a day.

    Stretching on Your Back

  10. Lie on a table with your knees off the end.  Pull your left knee up to your chest and let the other leg relax. Hold behind your thigh to prevent pressure on your knee.  Count to 5. Return your leg to the starting position.  Repeat with your other leg.

    Do this motion ________ times.

    This exercise should be done________ times a day.

  11. Stretching on a Table

  12. Stand with your feet away from the wall and your hands placed on the wall at shoulder height.  Move your right foot forward and bend your knee. Keep your left leg straight and the foot flat on the floor. Lean your body toward the wall until you feel a "pull" in back of your left leg.  Return to the starting position. Then repeat, putting your left leg forward.

    Do this motion ________ times.

    This exercise should be done________ times a day.

  13. Stretching Against Wall 1Stretching Against Wall 2

  14. Stand with your feet about 12 inches apart and your arms stretched out to the sides. Bend sideways to the right as you breathe out. Return to your starting position as you breathe in.  Bend sideways to the left as you breathe out and return to your starting position as you breathe in.

    Do this motion ________ times.

    This exercise should be done________ times a day.

  15. Bending 1Bending 2

  16. Keep your shoulders and neck erect. Sit with your arms and your elbows bent. Twist to the right as you breathe out. Breathe in as you return to the original position. Then twist to your left as you breathe out. Return to the starting position as you breathe in.

    Do this motion ________ times.

    This exercise should be done________ times a day.

  17. Stretching Your Back

If you have any questions, be sure to ask your doctor, physical therapist or nurse, or call _____________________________________.

Exercises: Stretching (PDF)

HH-II-94 5/85, Revised 3/05 Copyright 1985-2005, Nationwide Children’s Hospital