Favorite Stretches: Legs

leg-stretches-title These are just a few of my favorite stretches for the legs. Just because I like them doesn’t mean anyone else will. And if you don’t, that’s totally okay. I won’t be offended, I swear.

Also, please consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. If you experience pain, nausea, or dizziness, stop right away.

Please refer to my Rules of Stretching, which you can find here, before attempting any of these stretches.

Standing Quad Stretch. Keep your knees next to one another during this stretch. To get a deeper stretch, think of tilting your pelvis forward until you feel a stretch on the front of your thigh. If you can’t quite reach your heel or balance on one leg, while keeping good form, you can modify it by placing your foot on a bench or the arm of a couch or chair as shown below right. You can also hold on to the back of a chair to help with your balance.

Standing Adductor Stretch. This one stretches out the inner thigh muscle, and can be made more or less intense depending on how far apart you place your feet. You can see that Nikki has one leg straight (the leg that's being stretched) and the other is bent. She has her hands on her bent leg for support and balance. Keep your bent knee behind your toes to prevent stress on your knee joint.


Standing Calf Stretch. You can place your hands on the wall or on the back of a chair if you need help balancing through this stretch. Keep your back foot straight and think of pressing your back heel into the floor as you lean forward over your front leg until you feel a stretch down your back calf. Thinking about bringing your pelvis forward can help you make the stretch more intense.


Standing Wall/Weight Rack Calf Stretch. Another great calf stretch and one of Nikki's favorites. Placing your toes on the wall in front of you or on the edge of a bench, stair or weight rack, lean your body weight forward into that foot until you feel a stretch in your calf. Nikki is using the bottom of an exercise bike in the picture below. They make wedge-shaped blocks specifically designed for stretching your calf muscles too.