5 Best Moves For Men Over 60 To Improve Flexibility
If you're a male who's over 60 and looking to improve flexibility, we have just the right tips, tricks, and moves for you. Whether you're new to yoga or a longtime fan of the practice, you can easily replicate these yoga moves in the comfort of your own home. We spoke with Thara Prashad, certified yoga teacher and health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to get the scoop on the very best yoga moves for men over 60 to improve flexibility.
According to Prashad, some of the most common problems among her male clientele include spinal rounding (which can be a result of sitting at a desk for a solid chunk of time), in addition to hip and hamstring tightness and shoulder flexibility. When utilizing yoga to improve flexibility and address these issues, Prashad notes, "As you start to explore this topic, you are reminded of the beauty of a well-rounded yoga practice and the multitude of benefits of all of the postures. As you go through a sequence, each pose complements the next, bringing balance, flexibility, and healing to the whole body."
Here are a few great yoga poses to help improve flexibility, demonstrated below so you can easily do them at home. Check them out, and next, be sure to read The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
Thread The Needle
Prashad tells us the thread the needle pose can help give the shoulders and spine a solid stretch. "It's also a deeply calming pose that you can hold for 4 to 8 breaths to allow the body to open and soften," she adds.
Related: Bad Exercise Habits Everyone Over 60 Should Quit, Trainer Says
Easy Seat With Arms Overhead
"If sitting cross-legged isn't possible," Prashad says, "you can try with some blankets under the pelvis to give the knees space to release. If that still doesn't feel comfortable, you can sit in a kneel-down position. And if you need support behind the knees, you could place a blanket behind the knees."
When you get all situated and comfortable, you'll interlace your fingers, press them forward, and then bring them above your head. Hold this position for a few breaths, then lower your arms, swap the interlace, and do this move again. Repeating a few times will help relieve tight shoulders and elongate your spine.
Seated Forward Fold
Prashad says one of the top mistakes she notices with this pose is when someone forces their legs to be straight. "We have to meet our bodies where they are instead of forcing them into poses that they're not open to yet," she explains, adding, "You can always wrap a towel or a strap around the balls of your feet to stretch more as well. But I always like to focus my students on starting with knees bent and focusing on lengthening the spine first. Always lead with the heart. Then, over time, the hamstrings, hips, and [lower] back will soften, allowing you to stretch the hamstrings further."
Related: The Top 3 Yoga Moves For Relieving Lower Back Pain, Expert Says
Reclined Pigeon Pose
This pose is a major fan favorite among Prashad's male students. "They are able to go a little deeper into the hip stretch while on their backs," she says. "If your head is lifting up, be sure to place a pillow or a block underneath so you're not straining your neck. Hold for at least 4 to 8 breaths as you stretch out the hips and knees." Don't forget to breathe! And make sure you're not holding and straining, as your body won't open to its full potential.
Many of us spend a good chunk of time in the forward bend position while sitting at a desk, driving, or texting. Prashad says this can result in "rounded shoulders and upper back, also known as kyphosis." She continues to explain, "Backward bends are a crucial part of undoing the constant rounding we are doing throughout our days."