Doing the full lower body stretches the right way
In this short post, we will see all the basic lower stretching. These stretches will open up your hips, groin, and legs, making your tomorrow a little bit easier. Because let's be honest, there's nothing like the day-after sore that follows a killer day in the gym.
It is very important that you perform the general warm-up before you stretch. It is not a good idea to attempt to stretch before your muscles are warm (something which the general warm-up accomplishes). Ideally, a particular stretch should work only the muscles you are trying to stretch. Isolating the muscles worked by a given stretch means that you do not have to worry about having to overcome the resistance offered by more than one group of muscles. In general, the fewer muscles you try to stretch at once, the better.
- Lie on the back, supporting the thigh with the hand or with a towel wrapped around it.
- Slowly straighten the knee until a stretch is felt in the back of the thigh, trying to get the bottom of the foot to face the ceiling, one leg at a time.
- Hold the position initially for 20 seconds, and gradually work up to 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat the same with the other leg for 20 seconds or so.
- Lie on floor or mat. Bend knees with feet on floor.
- Cross lower leg over thigh of other leg. Grasp back of thigh of lower leg with both hands.
- Repeat the same with the other leg for 20 seconds or so.
The butterfly stretch exercise stretches your inner thighs, groin, hips, and lower back. If you are prone to lower-back discomfort, take extra care to lean forward from your hips rather than rounding your lower back. This exercise may also cause some knee discomfort. This procedure demonstrates the butterfly stretch that most fitness experts recommend. Hold the position for 20 seconds.
- Sit up tall with the soles of your feet pressed together and your knees dropped to the sides as far as they will comfortably go.
- Pull your abdominals gently inward and lean forward from your hips.
- Grasp your feet with your hands and carefully pull yourself a small way farther forward.
You should feel the stretch spread throughout your inner thighs, the outermost part of your hips, and lower back.
Outer Thigh Stretch:
- To stretch your outer thighs, start in a seated position with your legs extended in front of you.
- Bend your right leg and cross it over your left leg.
- Place your right foot flat on the floor. Contract your abs and rotate your head and torso to the right, placing your right elbow behind your right knee.
- Keep your left hand on the floor for support. Gently push with your elbow against your knee to feel a deeper stretch in your right outer thigh.
- Hold the stretch for 20 seconds before switching legs. Repeat the stretch three times.
- Stand and touch wall or stationary object for balance.
- Grasp top ankle or forefoot behind. Pull ankle or forefoot to rear end.
- Now, straighten hip by moving knee backward. Hold stretch. Repeat with opposite side.
Hip Flexor Stretch:
- Kneel on the right knee with toes down and left foot in front (knee bent and aligned with the ankle at 90-degrees).
- Place hands on left thigh and press hips forward until there's tension in the front right hip.
- Hold for 20 seconds and switch legs. Repeat the same with the left knee for 20 seconds.
- Stand away from a wall and put your right foot behind you and be sure your toes are facing forward.
- Lean forward at the ankle while bending the right knee and keeping your heel on the ground.
- Because the knee is flexed, tension is taken off the gastrocnemius and placed on the soleus.
- Hold this for 20 seconds.
- Repeat the same for the left foot and hold the position for another 20 seconds.
P.S.: Do consult your physician before doing these stretches. Any past injury or something may bring about pain.