This exercise will stretch your calf muscles. Stretch by moving your body closer to the wall while maintaining your feet still on the exercise ball. You’re totally missing out if you don’t do upper body stretches. Why it works: People often forget about the calves when cooling down, and the best part about this stretch is that it works your calves, hip flexors, glutes and hamstrings. For one, it simply feels good to stretch a muscle you've just been contracting during exercise. Stretch by pulling your toes towards you while keeping your legs still. Pull your right-foot toes towards you and control the stretch by putting weight on your hands on the floor as required. Stretch your calf by trying to rest your left foot flat on the ground, hold for several seconds and change sides. Move your left hand towards your left ankle to increase the stretch, hold for several seconds and change sides. This exercise is also excellent at stretching your calf muscles. 6. Kneel on your left knee and extend your right leg straight out to the side. This exercise will mainly stretch your back, hamstrings, buttocks and calf muscles. Hold for 30 seconds. A great workout for your upper body from your chest, biceps and traps to your abs and lower back. Many lower-body issues occur when your ankles are restricted, for example: knee pain, lower-back pain and even shoulder issues. Extend your right leg in front of you and bend your left knee to lower yourself down as far as you can. United States Olympic Committee: "6 Moves to Loosen Up Tight Hip Flexors." Diagonal Neck Stretch Neck > Single Muscle Stand up straight with the shoulder back, the chest out and head facing forward. Stand with your feet hip- to shoulder-width apart. To help make it a little easier to squeeze stretching into your routine, we asked Callie Gullickson, a certified personal trainer and coach at Tone House in New York City, to demonstrate her favorite lower-body stretches. Stand with your feet together, hands resting on a chair for support if needed. All it takes, though, is a couple of minutes of stretching to reap the long-term benefits of increased mobility and range of motion, both of which will help you perform exercises properly and ultimately reduce your risk of injury. You should also take the time to stretch after the workout as a good cool down. 1. April 26, 2019 by Maggie Ryan. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. Here are just a selection of common stretches targeting all parts of the body. Focus on flexibility with these simple yet effective stretches. This exercise stretches your hips and your back muscles. Start by lowering into a lunge position: Take a step forward with right foot and lower your body until right thigh is parallel to the floor and knee is stacked over ankle. For more of a spinal twist, turn your head to look over your right shoulder. Sit down on the floor, legs extended and apart from each other. From a standing or seated position, interlace your fingers and press your palms up toward the ceiling. Engaging your core, back, and glutes, hinge your hips forward to lower the weights down your legs until your torso is parallel to the floor. This exercise will stretch your inner thigh muscles. Bend your left knee and grab your left foot (use a strap if you can’t reach it) with your right hand. Keeping your back flat and elbows pointed down, push your hips back and lower your body until your thighs are … Rest your right leg over your left, trying to stack your opposite knees and toes. Legs # 10 - Hip Sideways Stretch (Sitting), Legs #11 - Hands-on-Knees Leg Stretch (Sitting), Legs #12 - Stretch to Ankles (High; Sitting), Legs #13 - Stretch to Ankles (Low; Sitting), Legs #14 - Side Stretch to Ankles (Sitting), Legs #15 - Side Knee Hold (Lying on Back), Legs #16 - Front Leg Stretch (Lying on Side), Legs #19 - Hamstring Stretch (Ball) - Lying, Legs #20 - Hamstring Stretch (Ball) - Standing, Legs #23 - Calf and Hamstring Stretch (Ball). Bend your left knee and use your left hand to pull your left foot toward your butt. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. Alternate sides when done. Repeat on the other side. Amy is a freelance writer who covers health, fitness, outdoors, and travel. Sit on the floor with both legs extended out to the sides so that you're in a V. Open your legs as wide as possible and flex your feet. spinal twist. Gently press your toes against the chair or wall. Try to bring your hands towards your ankles to stretch and hold for several seconds. Make sure your leg and torso remain in a straight line as you gently bring your top shoulder blade toward the floor. You know you're supposed to do it, but still, somehow it's the thing you always "forget" to do and decide you'll get to later (and then never do). Because they engage some of the largest muscles in the body… All rights reserved. Stretches for the Lower Abdominals. The Importance of Stretching the Lower Body and Core. Very few exercises work for lower-body stability quite like the lunge. Kneeling Hip Adductor Stretch Kneel on your left knee and extend your right leg straight out to the side. The move: With hands slightly wider than your shoulders, lower your body until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle, then push up. Stretch by titling your upper body forward and bring your extended arms towards your ankles. Cooldown exercises and stretches lower your chance of injury, ... Upper body stretch . With your knees slightly bent and your arms locked out lift with your lower back, hamstrings and quads. Hold for 30 seconds. SELF may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. Make sure these highly mobile joints are loose and ready to go for your training routine with this super simple mobility drill. Stretch by tilting your feet away from each other. This exercise is very effective at stretching your hamstrings and your calf muscles. Hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat with the other leg. Stretch by pushing your right knee down towards the ball with your hands and alternate sides after several seconds. Like many people, the only way I'll actually remember to stretch is if I do it immediately after I'm done exercising. Since tight muscles are common, stretching can be important for many people to prevent posture problems. To target different muscles, rock your hips slightly forward and backward. Tight hips, hamstrings and beyond can be irritating in a yoga practice and even more so in day-to-day life. Stretch by rolling slightly forwards while keeping your feet flat on the ground. Feel free to do them right after a lower-body workout if that's what you prefer, or save them for whenever you can fit some flexibility work into your day. Squeeze your butt to increase the stretch in the front of your legs. Stretching improves flexibility, speeds up recovery, lowers the risk of injury and improves posture. Thankfully, you can tone up and strengthen your lower body with the right exercises , , . UC Riverside Wellness Program: "Stretching Exercises for the Lower Body." Hold a dumbbell vertically in front of your chest, cupping the top end in both hands. This is a great way to warm up the body and prepare it for the exercises ahead. Here are a few reasons why: 1. Stand on your left foot and put your right foot on top of an exercise ball in front of you, both legs fully extended. Flexibility in the lower body is not always the easiest to target. Crouch down, feet wide apart, with your right knee flexed but your right leg fully extended. Stretch exercises are organized by the body region each stretch exercise targets the most. knees to chest. Stand on your right leg and hold your left foot with your left hand behind your buttocks. in journalism from the SI Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, a personal trainer certification from the American Council on Exercise (ACE), and a CPR certification from the American Red Cross. This exercise is excellent at stretching your quadriceps, located in front of your thighs. 15 At-Home Leg And Hip Exercises For Women Extend and lift your right … During any lower body training, terms such as “glutes”, “quads” and “calves” tend to refer to the areas of the body trained, rather than specific muscles. Cheerleading Flexibility Stretches. Lift your butt toward the ceiling and press through your palms. Stretch by tilting your feet towards each other. Plus, stretching is an essential part of a cooldown session, which you should do after any cardiovascular workout because it helps your heart rate return to normal in a slow and controlled way. This exercise will stretch the muscles located in your inner thighs. Hamstring stretch: 30 seconds + 30 seconds. Alternate sides when done. Pull your right-foot toes towards you and move your hands towards them to stretch. This exercise stretches your back, hamstrings, buttocks and calf muscles. Obliques stretch: 30 seconds + 30 seconds. Extend your right leg in front of you and bend your left knee to lower yourself down a little. Lower back stretch: 30 seconds. Major variants: chin-up or pullup (using the body weight while hanging from a high bar), close grip ~ (more emphasis on the lower lats), reverse grip ~ (more emphasis on the biceps). Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. Stand up, knees slightly bent and bend your hips to lower your upper body down in front of your knees. The Star Stretch with Quad Stretch is a great move for after your workout or even after a long day of sitting. 5. Keep your knees together. This exercise stretches your hamstrings and your calf muscles. These are the best stretches for every body part. Lift the chin and move it towards your right shoulder, then bring it across the chest and to your left shoulder in a diagonal movement. Lie on your back on the floor, cross your right leg over your left, knee bent. This exercise also requires balance to activate the stabilizer muscles in … Lie on your back on the floor and prop your right leg up against your chest. Dumbbell goblet squat. Spread your legs apart from one another and move your weight on your left leg, flexing your left knee while keeping your right leg fully extended. Jump lunges are another great plyometric exercise for warming up the lower body. Discover new workout ideas, healthy-eating recipes, makeup looks, skin-care advice, the best beauty products and tips, trends, and more from SELF. Sit up straight with both legs bent in front of you. Stretch by pulling on the back of your right thigh and alternate sides when done. You can also do this in front of a wall. Hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other leg. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side. Stand on your right foot, knee flexed and extend your left leg back, both feet pointing forward. SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Sit down on the floor, legs extended in front of you, knees slightly bent. Lie on your left side with your head resting on your arm. © 2020 Condé Nast. This exercise will again stretch your inner thigh muscles. Cheerleading Flexibility Stretches Back Yoga Stretches Lower Body Stretches Stretching Exercises For Flexibility Daily Stretching Routine Yoga Stretches For Beginners Stretch Routine Workout For Beginners Dynamic Stretching. Stopping exercise abruptly can interfere with your circulation, and you may end up feeling lightheaded or even pass out. Here are 15 best at-home exercises you can do to get toned and strong legs and hips. Try to keep your back knee straight. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. 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