Stretching is an important part of any workout routine. It helps increase your flexibility and reduce your chances of injury. It's best to stretch the muscles you've used after your cool down although, if you have any chronically tight muscles, you may want to stretch those after your warm up as well. Below are some common stretches for your lower body including your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves and hips. Do each stretch at least once and hold for at least 15 seconds (more if you have time). Each stretch should feel good. If you feel any pain, ease up and go slower.


Instructions

Hip/Glute Stretch

Cross left foot over right knee. Clasp hands behind right thigh and gently pull the leg in towards you, keeping upper body relaxed. Switch Legs

Hamstring Stretch

Lie on floor with knees bent. Straighten one leg and slowly pull it towards you, clasping the thigh, calf or ankle. Keep knee slightly bent. Switch legs.

Inner Thigh Stretch

Sit on floor with feet pressed together. Keeping abs in, lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in your inner thighs.

Lunge Stretch

In lunge position, rest back knee on the floor, with front knee at 90 degree angle, abs in. Gently press forward until you feel a stretch in the front of the leg/hip. Switch legs.

Kneeling Hamstring Stretch

From above lunge position, slowly move backward until leg is slightly bent. Bend forward at the hip, keeping back flat until you feel gentle pull in the back of the leg. Switch legs.

Piriformis Stretch

Begin on the hands and knees and bring the left knee in, resting it on the floor between your hands (you should be on the outside of the knee). Straighten the right leg out behind you and, if you can, bend forward and rest the forearms on the floor.

Knees to Chest

Lying on the floor, pull your knees into your chest and clasp your hands under your knees. Gently press your hips to the floor.

Knee to Chest

From above position, straighten one leg and pull the other knee into your chest until you feel a stretch in your hip. Switch legs.

Calf Stretch

On hands and knees, straighten your legs, but keep them slightly bent. Gently press one or both feet towards the floor, keeping back flat and abs in.

Kneeling Calf Stretch

On hands and knees, bring the left foot in between the hands and gently press the knee forward while pressing the heel towards the floor.

Spine Twist

Lying on the floor, place right foot on the left knee. Using your left hand, gently pull your right knee towards the floor, twisting your spine and keeping left arm straight out, hips and shoulders on the floor. Switch sides.

Quad Stretch

Lie down on your side using elbow for balance. Using other arm, slowly pull your foot towards your glutes, keeping both knees together and bent knee pointing down. Switch legs.

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Edited by Cord (09/23/10 12:07 PM)
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