If you have tightness in your calves, thighs, hips, glutes or back then the below exercises are the best exercises to do.
The list of exercises below have been selected for people who do a running sport.
Select which exercises release your tight areas. Do these after exercise or at least every second day. Hold each stretch for up to one minute or for the roller do 60-90 seconds of rolling over the area.
Iron cross for low back, gluteals, and hamstrings.
Lay on back with legs straight, feet together, toes pointing upwards and arms in
cross position (90 degrees to the body).
Keeping knees straight and shoulders down against floor, bring your right foot up
and across body to touch left hand, The right hip can lift off the floor.
Return slowly to starting position.
Pidgeon stretch for tight glutes and back of hip muscles
Start on all fours.
Cross the free leg over the leg to stretch, then slide the free leg away from you, lowering yourself onto the stretched side until you feel a stretch in the gluteal area.
Hold the position for the prescribed time.
You can lower your head down to the floor if comfortable.
Lay down on your side with the leg to be stretched on top.
Flex the knee and wrap a rubberband around the foot.
Extend the knee and bring the leg toward you, pulling on the band.
You should feel the stretch behind the leg in the hamstring.
Do not round the back.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart, rotate your shoulder, extending your right arm upwards overhead and across the body towards your left side. Return arm to side and lunge laterally to your left. Repeat bilaterally.
Hip flexor stretch
On one knee begin, to transfer or push your pelvis forward with your upper body upright
Hold for 30 seconds then repeat.
Lie on your side and grab your top ankle with one hand to pull your foot towards your buttock keeping your lower back neutral.
Place your bottom foot on the knee of the top leg pulling your knee down until you feel a gentle stretch on the lateral side and the front of the elevated leg.
Hold the stretch and return to initial position.
Foam rolling ITB and outer thigh muscles
Place your foam roller on the floor. Take a side plank position with the outside of one hip over the foam roller and your other leg in front for support.
Roll the entire outside of your leg from your pelvis to your knee in an up and down motion.
Maintain your abs tight and proper low back posture during the exercise.
Calf stretch off edge of step
– Keep your leg straight and your head over your foot – Lengthen the calf as much as you can
For more foam rolling exercises, click here
Also see our video on best stretches for football, click here
If you are unsure which of your leg muscles are tight and need to be stretched, then that’s where we can help.
Our Physios are highly trained in testing for muscle tightness that might lead to injury and limit your sports performance.
Best of luck with the stretching!
All images courtesy of Physiotec, exercise software.