Maintenance of flexibility, especially as we age, is important to reduce the risk of injury, such as hip fractures, which can have a high mortality rate in the elderly. As we advance in years over 60, there is a tendency to diminish leg strength, as measured by the sit-to-stand or sit-to-go test. Assisted lower extremity flexibility exercises, using a TheraBand – a thin, elastic rubber cord of varying intensities (thickness) – can facilitate an effective upper & lower flexibility strategy by most individuals, while practicing the sit-to-stand and Up & Go variatioins can help with improving balance and leg strength.
TheraBand Assisted Lower Extremity Stretch
Lay on your back with the TheraBand around the sole of the left foot just behind the toes – grabbing the ends of the band in each hand. Extend the left leg overhead – with the other foot flat on the ground in close proximity to the butt – knee bent. Using the left hand – with the right hand following – pull the left leg close to the ground off to the side. Then flex and extend the foot – working the ankle. Try ten flex/extend motions. Then return to the starting position. With the ankle locked, pull the left leg across the body, stretching the left buttocks. Again, flex and extend the left foot. Repeat with the right leg – with the right hand as the guide.