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Stretching Exercises

Regular stretching is an important part of your exercise program, and it can be one of the most enjoyable. Stretching helps you fight the muscle rigidity that comes with PD. It also helps your muscles and joints stay flexible. People who are more flexible tend to have an easier time with everyday movements.

Keep these tips in mind while stretching:

  • Perform active/dynamic stretching (shifting body positions) prior to exercise

  • Perform stretches at least 2-3 days per week; daily is better

  • Perform static stretching, where you hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds

  • Perform 2-4 repetitions of each chest

The muscles that tend to become tight in PD are those that bend and rotate the joints. At a minimum, a flexibility program should focus on the following body areas:

  • Chest wall

  • Shoulders and elbows

  • Back of the thighs (hamstrings) and knees

  • Front of thighs, especially front of hips

  • Calves

  • Fronts of wrists and palms

  • Low back and neck


  • Your stretch should feel like a gentle pull. Do not stretch to the point of pain

  • Remain motionless while holding your stretch. Do not bounce while stretching.  Bouncing can cause small tears in muscle fibers, and this can actually lead to less flexibility

  • Breathe evenly in and out during each stretch. Do not hold your breath.

Additional Stretching Exercises Resources:
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