Stretching Exercises For The Lower Limbs
Stretching is important not only when exercising, but also throughout the day. Stretching ensures the muscles are more flexible and injury may be prevented. When stretching the lower limbs, it is important to stretch all the muscles, with emphasis on the tighter ones. The following are a few different stretches for the lower limbs.
With the knee slightly bent, rest the foot on the edge of a step or wall, lean gently forward.
GASTROCNEMIUS (on floor)
Similar to the last stretch, except that you need to keep the knee straight.
GASTROCNEMIUS (on step)
Use the step to angle your foot and “drop” your heel from the step. Again, the knee should be straight.
Lie down on a mat and lift one leg up. Support the leg by cupping your hands behind the thighs.
You are stretching the leg that is up in the air.
This stretch can also be done standing. Make sure to bend from the hips forward, keeping both the hips facing forward.
Stand on one foot, holding the other behind you. Keep the knees together and don't arch the back. Push your hips forward. For balance, stand close to a wall.
ITB (iliotibial band)
Lying on a mat, place your ankle on your knee and thread your hand through the gap. Cup the back of the thigh with both hands and pull the leg towards you.
While standing, place the ankle on the knee and bend forward from the hips. Keep the back straight.
Stand with legs as far as is comfortable apart, resting your hands lightly on the floor. Bend the one knee, keeping the other knee of the leg you are stretching straight. This will stretch the inside of the straight leg.
While sitting, bend from the hips forward, keeping the back straight.
In the same position, pull the feet together and gently push the knees towards the ground.
Sitting on a mat, place your foot over the one knee, hugging it with the opposing arm. Put your other arm behind you for support. Sit straight.
ROTATION STRETCH FOR LUMBAR SPINE
Lying on the mat, bend your knees and let them fall to one side. Keep your arms spread and your upper body facing up (shoulder blades on the floor), twisting the lower body away.
In a half kneeling position, gently lean forward with a straight back so you can stretch the front of the hip. Make sure not to arch your back.
For a variation, you can lift the back knee off the floor and try and keep it as straight as possible. This will stretch the front of the hip.
When stretching, it is important to hold the stretch and not bounce. You need to be aware of posture and push into the move, so you feel resistance but not pain. For assistance on how to stretch correctly, talk to Physio on Brunswick today.