LOWER BODY STRETCHES

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ABDUCTOR STRETCHES

HIP CIRCLES

Main Muscle Worked: Abductors

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Position yourself on your hands and knees on the ground. Maintaining good posture, raise one bent knee off of the ground. This will be your starting position.
  2. Keeping the knee in a bent position, rotate the femur in an arc, attempting to make a big circle with your knee.
  3. Perform this slowly for a number of repetitions, and repeat on the other side.
STEP 1:  ham1
STEP 2:  ham2
STEP 3:  ham3
VIDEO:
 
STANDING HIP CIRCLES

Main Muscle Worked: Abductors

Other Muscles: Adductors

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Begin standing on one leg, holding to a vertical support.
  2. Raise the unsupported knee to 90 degrees. This will be your starting position.
  3. Open the hip as far as possible, attempting to make a big circle with your knee.
  4. Perform this movement slowly for a number of repetitions, and repeat on the other side.
STEP 1: ham4
STEP 2: ham5
STEP 3: ham6
VIDEO:

ADDUCTOR STRETCHES

SIDE LEG RAISES

Main Muscle Worked: Adductors

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Stand next to a chair, which you may hold onto as a support. Stand on one leg. This will be your starting position.
  2. Keeping your leg straight, raise it as far out to the side as possible, and swing it back down, allowing it to cross the opposite leg.
  3. Repeat this swinging motion 5-10 times, increasing the range of motion as you do so.
STEP 1: add1
STEP 2: add2
VIDEO:
SIDE LYING GROIN STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Adductors

Other Muscles: Hamstrings

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Start off by lying on your right side and bend your right knee in front of you to stabilize the torso.
  2. Rest your head on your right hand or shoulder. Lift your left leg upward and hold it by the back of the knee (easier) or the foot (harder).
  3. Pull your left knee in toward your left shoulder and simultaneously press your foot or knee down to the floor. To intensify this stretch, straighten your left leg. Switch sides.
STEP 1: add3
STEP 2: add4
VIDEO:

HAMSTRING STRETCHES

90/90 HAMSTRING

Main Muscle Worked: Hamstrings

Other Muscles: Calves

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Lie on your back, with one leg extended straight out.
  2. With the other leg, bend the hip and knee to 90 degrees. You may brace your leg with your hands if necessary. This will be your starting position.
  3. Extend your leg straight into the air, pausing briefly at the top. Return the leg to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for 10-20 repetitions, and then switch to the other leg.
STEP 1: hamstring1
STEP 2: hamstring2
VIDEO:
FRONT LEG RAISES

Main Muscle Worked: Hamstrings

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Stand next to a chair or other support, holding on with one hand.
  2. Swing your leg forward, keeping the leg straight. Continue with a downward swing, bringing the leg as far back as your flexibility allows. Repeat 5-10 times, and then switch legs.
STEP 1: hamstring3
STEP 2: hamstring4
VIDEO:
HAMSTRING STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Hamstrings

Equipment: Belt, rope or band

Guide: 

  1. Lie on your back with one leg extended above you, with the hip at ninety degrees. Keep the other leg flat on the floor.
  2. Loop a belt, band, or rope over the ball of your foot. This will be your starting position.
  3. Pull on the belt to create tension in the calves and hamstrings. Hold this stretch for 10-30 seconds, and repeat with the other leg.
STEP 1: hamstring5
STEP 2: hamstring6
VIDEO:
FOAM ROLL HAMSTRINGS

Main Muscle Worked: Hamstrings

Equipment: Foam Roller

Guide: 

  1. In a seated position, extend your legs over a foam roll so that it is position on the back of the upper legs. Place your hands to the side or behind you to help support your weight. This will be your starting position.
  2. Using your hands, lift your hips off of the floor and shift your weight on the foam roll to one leg. Relax the hamstrings of the leg you are stretching.
  3. Roll over the foam from below the hip to above the back of the knee, pausing at points of tension for 10-30 seconds. Repeat for the other leg.
STEP 1: hamstring7
STEP 2: hamstring8
VIDEO:
LEG-UP HAMSTRING STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Hamstrings

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Lie flat on your back, bend one knee, and put that foot flat on the floor to stabilize your spine.
  2. Extend the other leg in the air. If you’re tight, you wont be able to straighten it. That’s okay. Extend the knee so that the sole of the lifted foot faces the ceiling (or as close as you can get it).
  3. Slowly straighten the legs as much as possible and then pull the leg toward your nose. Switch sides.
STEP 1: hamstrings9
STEP 2: hamstrings10
VIDEO:
RUNNER'S STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Hamstrings

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. It’s easiest to get into this stretch if you start standing up, put one leg behind you, and slowly lower your torso down to the floor.
  2. Keep the front heel on the floor (if it lifts up, scoot your other leg further back).
  3. Place your hands on either side of your front leg. To get more out of this stretch, push your butt up toward the ceiling, and then gradually lower it back toward the floor. You’ll Stretch the hip flexor of the back leg and the hamstring and buttocks of the front.
STEP 1: hamstring11
STEP 2: hamstring12
VIDEO:
SEATED FLOOR HAMSTRING STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Hamstrings

Other Muscles: CalvesSave

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Sit on a mat with your right leg extended in front of you and your left leg bent with your foot against your right inner thigh.
  2. Lean forward from your hips and reach for your ankle until you feel a stretch in your hamstring. Hold for 15 seconds, then repeat for your other side.
STEP 1: hamstring13
STEP 2: hamstring14
VIDEO:
STANDING TOE TOUCHES

Main Muscle Worked: Hamstrings

Other Muscles: Calves

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Stand with some space in front and behind you.
  2. Bend at the waist, keeping your legs straight, until you can relax and let your upper body hang down in front of you. Let your arms and hands hang down naturally. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.
STEP 1: hamstring15
STEP 2: hamstring16
VIDEO:
UPPER BACK LEG GRAB

Main Muscle Worked: Hamstrings

Other Muscles: Upper Back, Lower Back

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. While seated, bend forward to hug your thighs from underneath with both arms.
  2. Keep your knees together and your legs extended out as you bring your chest down to your knees. You can also stretch your middle back by pulling your back away from your knees as your hugging them.
STEP 1: hamstring17
STEP 2: hamstring18
VIDEO:

QUADRICEP STRETCHES

KNEELING HIP FLEXOR

Main Muscle Worked: Quadriceps

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Kneel on a mat and bring your right knee up so the bottom of your foot is on the floor and extend your left leg out behind you so the top of your foot is on the floor.
  2. Shift your weight forward until you feel a stretch in your hip. Hold for 15 seconds, then repeat for your other side.
STEP 1: quad2
STEP 2: quad1
VIDEO:
LOOKING AT CEILING

Main Muscle Worked: Quadriceps

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Kneel on the floor, holding your heels with both hands.
  2. Lift your buttocks up and forward while bringing your head back to look up at the ceiling, to give an arch in your back.
STEP 1: quad3
STEP 2: quad4
VIDEO:
ON YOUR SIDE QUAD STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Quadriceps

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Start off by lying on your right side, with your right knee bent at a 90-degree angle resting on the floor in front of you (this stabilizes the torso).
  2. Bend your left knee behind you and hold your left foot with your left hand. To stretch your hip flexor, press your left hip forward as you push your left foot back into your hand. Switch sides.
STEP 1: quad5
STEP 2: quad6
VIDEO:
ONE HALF LOCUST

Main Muscle Worked: Quadriceps

Other Muscles: Abdominals, Biceps, Chest

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Lie facedown on the floor.
  2. Put your left hand under your left hipbone to pad your hip and pubic bone.
  3. Bend your right knee so you can hold the foot in your right hand.
  4. Lift the foot in the air and simultaneously lift your shoulders off the floor. This also stretches the right hip flexor and the chest and shoulders. Switch sides. If it doesn’t bother your back, you can try it with both arms and legs at the same time.
STEP 1: quad7
STEP 2: quad8
VIDEO:
REAR LEG RAISES

Main Muscle Worked: Quadriceps

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Place yourself on your hands knees on an exercise mat. Your head should be looking forward and the bend of the knees should create a 90-degree angle between the hamstrings and the calves. This will be your starting position.
  2. Extend one leg up and behind you. The knee and hip should both extend. Repeat for 5-10 repetitions, and then switch sides.
STEP 1: quad9
STEP 2: quad10
VIDEO:
SIT SQUATS

Main Muscle Worked: Quadriceps

Other Muscles: Abductors, Glutes

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. This will be your starting position.
  2. Begin the movement by flexing your knees and hips, sitting back with your hips.
  3. Continue until you have squatted a portion of the way down, but are above parallel, and quickly reverse the motion until you return to the starting position. Repeat for 5-10 repetitions.
STEP 1: quad11
STEP 2: quad12
VIDEO:
STANDING ELEVATED QUAD STRETCH

Main Muscle Worked: Quadriceps

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Start by standing with your back about two to three feet away from a bench or step.
  2. Lift one leg behind you and rest your foot on the step,either on your instep or the ball of your foot, whichever you find most comfortable.
  3. Keep your supporting knee slightly bent and avoid letting that knee extend out beyond your toes. Switch sides.
STEP 1: quad13
STEP 2: quad14
VIDEO:
STANDING HIP FLEXORS

Main Muscle Worked: Quadriceps

Equipment: None

Guide: 

  1. Stand up straight with the spine vertical, the left foot slightly in front of the right.
  2. Bend both knees and lift the back heel off the floor as you press the right hip forward. You can’t get a thorough, deep stretch in this position, however, because it’s hard to relax the hip flexor and stand on it at the same time. Switch sides.

STEP 1: quad15

STEP 2: quad16

VIDEO:

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