How often during the day to you think about your legs? Usually when your feet are tired, and your knees are sore. Then we think of sitting down, plopping an ice bag on our knees, or soaking our feet in warm epsom salts and sit in front of the TV. Well, that is what I do anyway.
On this page I will show you how to go a step further and purposefully increase the range of motion in your hips, quadriceps, calves, knees, and ankles. We tend to overlook these important leg stretches and think more of our back and shoulders, especially after a long day working.
Well, take off your shoes, put on some shorts or sweatpants and try some of our leg stretches below.
Daily activities require good leg motion
Performing many of your daily activities requires an unrestricted and pain-free range of motion in your arms, back, and legs. Having adequate motion in your low back, hips, knees and ankles is an important factor in preventing injury or reinjury around these joints.
What happens as we age? Well, our mobility may become restricted due to decreased activity levels, prolonged bed rest and extended wheelchair use. This can lead to long term poor positioning of your joints with resulting stiffness and pain.
Over time, your muscle strength is less, because your tissues naturally shorten and lose its normal elasticity. As the muscle shortens it is no longer able to produce adequate strength to perform daily activities.
Unfortunately this leads to increased stiffness and pain in your joints. That is why it is so important to maintain a good range of motion program for not only your upper body, but your lower body also.
Lower Body Stretches
1. Seated Lifts
- Improve the range of motion in your hips and legs.
- Help stabilize your low back and pelvis.
- Learn what is flexibility.
- Will improve your hip and knee range of motion with these exercises to increase flexibility.
- Can improve your standing posture by allowing you to stand up straighter.
3. Back Stretch
- Improves the range of motion in your spine and trunk with lower back stretching.
- Increases your ability to bend and reach low or high.
- Improve your hip and thigh range of motion with stretching legs exercises.
- Increase your functional ability in standing, walking and stepping.
5. Calf Stretch
- Targets the flexibility of your calf muscle and heel cord with calf muscle stretches.
- Increases your ability to straighten your knee
- This is a good stretch for the side hip area.
- Improve the range of motion of our hips.
- These stretching techniques also can help with balance.
- Increase the range of motion of your hips with these flexibility stretches.
- Improve the functional use of your legs as in getting out of a car or stepping over the side of your bath tub.
- Increases the flexibility of the deep calf muscle with flexibility stretching exercises.
- Generally improves your lower body flexibility and functional use of your legs.
- Improve the range of motion of the ankle and foot with warming up stretching.
- Can help with ankle swelling.
- Increases your ability to lean forward and reach your feet with hamstring stretching.
- Improves the flexibility of your low back and legs.
11. Knee To Chest
- Stretches your knee and hip joints with flexibility importance exercises.
- Improves low back flexibility.
12. Ankle Stretch
- Helps maintain good ankle flexibility which will assist with walking and standing with ankle stretching exercises.
- Also helps with knee and hip stiffness.