Static Stretching Lower Body

This is Part 1 of a 5-part blog about proper stretching!

Stretching is key to keeping your muscles functional and optimal! I am guilty of sometimes leaving it out or rushing through it as well but it makes all the difference in the world after a workout and affects how you feel later that day or the next. There has been back and forth research on stretching before and/or after workouts and I will say that for me personally, static stretching (holding the stretch) isn’t beneficial for me beforehand and I don’t do it. Dynamic stretching (large muscle movements, think leg swings and arm swings, etc.) are great to add as a part of your warm-up before an athletic workout.

We often stretch those muscles that we find to be sore and focus on what we may think is tight rather than utilizing stretching as a preventative exercise. You should stretch all muscle groups worked regardless of whether you feel it is tighter than another muscle group.

Below, I have posted a simple at-home lower body stretching protocol that is generic and can be used by most populations. Hold each stretch 20-30 seconds to the point of mild tension, not pain!

Standing Hamstring

 Reach for your toes!

 Step feet into chair, table, etc. and set hips back to feel stretch in hamstrings (you will feel in low back and shoulders as well as an added bonus!)

IT band (Hold onto something sturdy, take far leg behind the other and reach into wall, chair, etc.)
Butterfly stretch (Keep back straight and lean in, hinging from hips, towards toes)

Seated hamstring (Keep back straight and shoulder blades pinned together)

Stretch out long!

Knees to chest

One knee in to chest, opposite leg pressed into ground to stretch hip flexor

 Figure 4 stretch

 Lying Hamstring Stretch

 Calf Stretch (Press back heel down into the ground)

 Hip Flexor (Bend back knee and lift heel off of the floor, press hip forward to stretch hip flexor and quad)
Standing quad stretch (grab with hand on same side, not across body)

Stay posted for the Static Upper Body Stretching, Low Back and Trunk stretching, and advanced stretching protocol utilizing foam rollers and other toys as well as a dynamic stretching protocol/warm-up!

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