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Lower Body Stretch

Stretching is an important part of any workout routine.  It helps increase your flexibility and reduce your chances of injury.  Do these stretches at the end of your workout, holding each for 15-30 seconds.  For best results, repeat each stretch 2-3 times. 

Precautions

See your doctor if you have any injuries, illnesses or other medical conditions.

Equipment Needed

An exercise mat

How to

Perform each exercise as shown, holding each one for 15-30 seconds, repeating 1-3 times.  Avoid any movements that cause pain or discomfort.

Instructions

Example
Hip/Glute Stretch
Cross left  foot over right knee.  Clasp hands behind right thigh and gently pull the leg in towards you, keeping upper body relaxed.  Switch Legs
hipflex.jpg (76128 bytes)
Hamstring Stretch
Lie on floor with knees bent.  Straighten one leg and slowly pull it towards you, clasping the thigh, calf or ankle.  Keep knee slightly bent. Switch legs.
hamstringstretch.jpg (105830 bytes)
Inner Thigh Stretch
Sit on floor with feet pressed together.  Keeping abs in, lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in your inner thighs.  
innerthighstretch.jpg (108968 bytes)
Lunge Stretch
In lunge position, rest back knee on the floor, with front knee at 90 degree angle, abs in.  Gently press forward until you feel a stretch in the front of the leg/hip. Switch legs.
lungestretch.jpg (103603 bytes)
Kneeling Hamstring Stretch
From above lunge position, slowly move backward until leg is slightly bent. Bend forward at the hip, keeping back flat until you feel gentle pull in the back of the leg. Switch legs.
kneelinghamstring.jpg (93397 bytes)
Piriformis Stretch
Begin on the hands and knees and bring the left knee in, resting it on the floor between your hands (you should be on the outside of the knee).  Straighten the right leg out behind you and, if you can, bend forward and rest the forearms on the floor.
piriformisstretch.jpg (61949 bytes)
Knees to Chest
Lying on the floor, pull your knees into your chest and clasp your hands under your knees.  Gently press your hips to the floor.
kneestochest.jpg (65847 bytes)
Knee to Chest
From above position, straighten one leg and pull the other knee into your chest until you feel a stretch in your hip.  Switch legs.
kneetochest.jpg (56726 bytes)
Calf Stretch
On hands and knees, straighten your legs, but keep them slightly bent.  Gently press one or both feet towards the floor, keeping back flat and abs in.
calfstretch.jpg (89168 bytes)
Kneeling Calf Stretch
On hands and knees, bring the left foot in between the hands and gently press the knee forward while pressing the heel towards the floor. 
kneelingcalfstretch.jpg (81809 bytes)
Spine Twist
Lying on the floor, place right foot on the left knee.  Using your left hand, gently pull your right knee towards the floor, twisting your spine and keeping left arm straight out, hips and shoulders on the floor.  Switch sides.
Quad Stretch
Lie down on your side using elbow for balance.  Using other arm, slowly pull your foot towards your glutes, keeping both knees together and bent knee pointing down.  Switch legs.
quadstretch.jpg (53806 bytes)

More Flexibility Workouts

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Related Video
How to Stretch Your Lower Body

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