Increase flexibility and decrease injury by keeping muscles long and lean.
Stretching lengthens muscles, increases flexibility, decreases injury and soreness, and aids in joint range of motion. Stretching your legs and glutes will also help decrease lower back pain. Stretching after your warm up, workout, or a warm shower or bath is best so that your muscles are warm, tender and more flexible. Here are some of my favourite stretches for leaner, sexier legs.
Lying Hamstring Stretch
Lie on your back and bend your right knee towards your chest, keeping your left leg extended on the floor. Place your hands, towel, or strap behind your right thigh close to your knee. While keeping both hips on the floor, slowly pull your leg towards you while pushing your leg toward the floor. Hold this stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
Leg to Chest Stretch
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Bring one knee to your chest, holding your leg behind the knee, and keeping the other foot flat on the floor or the other leg straight—whichever feels better on your lower back. Keep your lower back pressed to the floor. Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
Standing with your feet hip-width apart, pull your abdominals in, and relax your shoulders. Bring your left heel toward your butt, and hold your left foot with your left hand. Press your foot into your hand while pulling your hand back, keeping your knee pointed to the floor. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Seated Torso Twist Stretch
Sit on a mat or the floor with one leg extended straight out in front of you and the other leg up, crossed over the top of that outstretched leg. Twist your torso in the direction of the crossed leg, place your back hand on the ground behind you, hold your knee with the front hand, and try to look back behind you. Press your knee into your hand and hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat with the opposite side.
About the Author
Noreen Lange has a BS in kinesiology with a minor in fitness, nutrition and health. With over 10 years combined experience as a certified group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and nutrition and wellness consultant, Noreen has worked with celebrities, high profile athletes, and professional sports teams including Tony Gwynn and the San Diego Padres. CommentsRead Bio Read Posts