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 :
1. Body Twist
Sit on the edge of a seat. Sit tall. Turn your shoulders to the right. Place your right hand behind you. Twist your body and head to the right as far as you can go without any pain, only a stretched feeling. Hold. Try to relax and breathe.
2. Wall Hang
Face a wall and stand with your feet about 30cm from the wall. Lift your hands straight above your head and place palms on wall, as high as possible. Lean forward without arching your back. The stretch should be felt under the arms and in your chest. If this is too easy, take the feet further back from the wall.
If you can reach, rest your hands on the frame at the top of the door. Keeping your arms straight, slowly lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold. Do not over-stretch.
3. Doorway Bend
Stand near a doorway. Lift your arm to the side, up to shoulder height. Bend your elbow to 90 degrees and place the entire forearm on the door frame. Gently turn your body away from the arm and feel a stretch in the shoulder and chest. Hold. Repeat on the other arm.
4. Side Bend
Sit tall in a chair that doesn’t have arms.
Lift one arm over your head and curve your body to the side.
Keep your buttock firmly on the seat so you don’t tip the body.
A stretch should be felt on the side of the body. Hold. Repeat for the other side. Do not lean forward or backwards.
Source: Parkinson’s Canada