Stretches: low back and legs
If you are in spring training, or doing a spring sport, be sure to use these stretches after your workout to help relax tight muscles. It should take you around five minutes, and it’ll do a lot of good!
- Piriformis stretch: Lying down face up with knees bent, place your right ankle on your left knee. Grasp behind your left thigh and bring it toward your chest. Hold when you feel a stretch in your right buttock muscles. Be sure your head and shoulders are relaxed. Repeat with other leg.
- Floor quadriceps stretch: Lie down on your right side. Have your head rested on you right arm comfortably. With your left hand reach and grasp your left ankle. Begin to slowly pull your leg back while keeping your foot close to your buttocks. You should feel a stretch along the front of your thigh. Repeat with other leg.
- Seated Hamstring stretch- While seated on the floor, place one leg out in front of you and place the foot of other leg on the medial part of the knee (making a figure four). Reach forward, bending at the waist, and grasp your hands around the toes of your outstretched leg and bring them towards your body. You should feel a stretch along your low back, through your glutes, along your posterior thigh, and into your ankle. Repeat for the opposite leg.
- Hollywoods: Sitting on the floor with legs outstretched, place your right ankle on the outside of your left knee. Put your left elbow on the outside of your right knee, and twist your torso to tension. Be sure your neck and shoulders are relaxed. Repeat with other leg.
- Butterflys- While seated on the floor, place the soles of your feet together, and bring them into your body as much as possible. Begin to lean forward from the hips. Clasp your hands around your feet and bring your body toward them until you feel a stretch. You should feel the stretch along the inner thighs. You can push your elbows down into your knees/thighs to increase the stretching if needed.
- Hip flexor lunge: Standing up, place one foot in front of you. Be sure to bend the knee no more than 90 degrees. Place your other leg behind you as far as possible and be sure the heel is off the ground. Slowly begin to lean forward until you feel a stretch along the front of the thigh on the leg that is behind you. Be sure to keep your head and chest up, relaxed, and looking forward. Put your hands on your bent knee for support. Repeat for other leg.
Remember to hold stretches at tension for 30 seconds. This is the time needed for the muscle and tissue to relax and lengthen. Do not stretch into a painful range, this can cause injury. Hold the stretches where you start to feel the muscle tension (mild discomfort).
Check out the following links for more stretching ideas and routines: