Some people would say it’s a good idea to warm up your muscles as part of your exercise routine, but I would say it’s a must, reasons being muscles that are not properly warmed up are at higher risk of injury. This can easily be accomplished with a light, active warmup such as dynamic stretching or jogging depending the individual.
While professionals, such as personal trainers will disagree over whether it’s better to stretch before or after a workout, most doctors recommend stretching as part of an exercise routine, particularly if you’re doing activities such as running or biking.
Flexibility doesn’t happen overnight, however. Some people are naturally less flexible than others, so it may take weeks of regular stretching to improve joint mobility.
Here are four leg stretches she recommends improving flexibility and reduce the risk of injury. Try to hold each stretch for about 30 seconds.
The quadriceps, or quads for short, is the muscle group in the front of your thigh. You use these muscles when you walk, run, or do lunges.
To stretch your quads:
The hamstrings are the muscles along the back of your upper leg, running from the thigh to the knee. They help you to bend your knee and move your hip. These muscles are used when you’re playing sports or running.
Your calf muscles are along the back of your lower leg. They help move your heel during activities such as walking, running, jumping or doing certain types of workouts.
To stretch both muscle groups together:
Inner thigh stretch
The inner thigh muscles help to stabilize your hip and knee joints. Exercises that focus on working inner thighs are often recommended to tone and strengthen the legs.
To stretch your inner thighs:
Supine leg stretch
This stretch works your lower back, hamstring, calf, and ankle. All of these areas are used in your daily activities, and while running or biking.
To perform this stretch:
This blog is updated by Tranquillity 360 fitness personal trainers, as well as other guest bloggers.