Top 5 Leg Flexibility Exercises
Leg flexibility is an important component of overall health and fitness. Having strong, flexible legs can help improve your balance, coordination, and mobility, while also reducing your risk of injury. To help maintain and improve your leg flexibility, it’s important to incorporate leg flexibility exercises into your daily routine.
We see a lot of patients coming to us at Surrey Physio with leg stiffness. This is often post-injury, but can also be due to medical conditions such as osteoarthritis. Leg stiffness is a real problem, because if you do not mobilise or get more mobility, stiffness typically gets worse and your movement will deteriorate.
These techniques may include stretching, massage, and joint mobilization. Stretching is a key component of treatment and is used to improve flexibility, reduce muscle tension, and relieve pain. Massage can be used to improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and promote relaxation. Joint mobilisation is used to improve range of motion and decrease pain.
Here are the top five leg flexibility exercises to help you get started:
1. Calf Stretch: Stand facing a wall, with your feet together and your hands flat against the wall. Both your feet should be facing forwards and your back heels resting on the ground and your knees straight. You should feel a stretch to the leg at the back, in the calf muscles (known as the gastrocnemius). Hold for 15-30 seconds and then switch legs.
2. Hamstring and Calf Stretch: Standing up, place your foot on a chair. Keep your leg straight. You should feel a stretch behind your knee and into the back of your thigh. Pull your toes towards you. To make the stretch stronger, push your leg downwards into the chair, or rest your foot on something higher. This exercise will stretch your hamstring muscle group. Hold for 15-30 seconds and then switch legs.
3. Hip Flexor and Quad Stretch: Stand up with good posture, and bend your knee so your foot goes towards your butt. Extend your hip behind you, to create a stretch to the front and top of your thigh. You may need to hold on to a table for support. This exercise will help to stretch your hip flexor (psoas and rectus femoris muscles), and quadricep muscle group. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Repeat with the both legs.
4. Glute Stretch: Lie on your back, and bring your knee towards your opposite shoulder to feel a stretch in your bottom. Tip: changing the angle you take the leg will change the position of the stretch and you can play around with the position to find the stretch that feels most effective for you. Hold for 15-30 seconds and then switch legs.
5. Adductor Stretch: Lie on your back, bend your knees, and drop your legs out to the side. You will feel a stretch on the inside of your thighs, known as the adductor muscle group. Hold for 15-30 seconds.
Incorporating these five leg stretches into your daily routine will help to improve your leg flexibility and overall mobility. It’s important to remember to be gentle with yourself and take your time as you progress through the exercises. With dedication and consistency, you’ll soon be able to enjoy the benefits of increased leg flexibility.
(Therapists reading this page, these videos are provided by Rehab My Patient – the best exercise prescription software for therapists to prescribe exercises www.rehabmypatient.com. If you are a patient needing advice, call Surrey Physio to book a telephone/video consultation with one of our expert physios or osteopaths, or book in face-to-face for an appointment. You can call us on 0208 685 6930 or book online by clicking the link at the top of the page).