Q:

What are some good leg-stretching exercises?

A:

Quick Answer

Effective leg stretches include the quadriceps stretch, hamstring stretch, calf stretch, hip adductor stretch, and glute stretch. These stretches hit most of the muscle groups in the legs.

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Full Answer

The quadriceps stretch is performed in a standing or a prone position. Reach behind the body, and grab the right ankle with the right hand. Pull the ankle toward the buttock, creating tension in the front of the upper part of the leg.

To perform a hamstring stretch, bend over and attempt to touch the toes. Alternatively, perform the same movement while seated with both legs extended forward. This creates tension in the back of the leg, just above the knee.

To perform a calf stretch, step back with one leg, and place the heel of the back foot flat on the ground. Shift the weight of the hips forward while keeping the heel flat on the ground. Stop when the heel begins to lift. This creates tension in the back of the lower leg, just below the knee.

For the hip adductor stretch, also called the butterfly stretch, adopt a seated position. Bring the heels together toward the pelvis. The closer the heels are to the hips, the more difficult the stretch. Grasping the fronts of the feet with both hands, lean forward and use the elbows to push the knees toward the ground. This creates tension in the muscles on the insides of the legs, near the groin.

To perform a glute stretch, lay on the ground with the right knee bent at a 45-degree angle and the foot flat on the ground. Place the left ankle on the right knee. Reach forward to grab the right shin with both hands, then lean back. This creates tension in the right buttock and the back of the right leg near the buttock.

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