General leg stretches

General leg stretches

To do effective stretching exercises, hold each stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds. Don't bounce while you stretch. Just relax and breathe freely.

Calf stretch

Calf stretch
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slide 1 of 4, Calf stretch,
  1. Place your hands on a wall for balance. You can also do this with your hands on the back of a chair, a countertop, or a tree.
  2. Step back with your left leg. Keep the leg straight, and press your left heel into the floor.
  3. Press your hips forward, bending your right leg slightly. You will feel the stretch in your left calf.
  4. Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times for each leg.

Quadriceps stretch

Quadriceps stretch
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slide 2 of 4, Quadriceps stretch,
  1. Lie on your side with one hand supporting your head.
  2. Bend back your upper leg, and grab your ankle with your hand.
  3. Stretch your leg back by pulling your foot toward your buttock. You will feel the stretch in the front of your thigh. If this causes stress on your knees, do not do this stretch.
  4. Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times on each leg.

You can get more out of this exercise by pushing your hip forward as you bend your knee.

Groin stretch

Groin stretch
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slide 3 of 4, Groin stretch,
  1. Sit on the floor, and put the soles of your feet together.
  2. Grab your ankles and gently pull your legs toward you.
  3. Use your elbows to press your knees toward the floor. You will feel the stretch in your inner thighs.
  4. Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Hamstring stretch

Hamstring stretch
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slide 4 of 4, Hamstring stretch,
  1. Lie on the floor. Extend your left leg out straight with your toes pointing up. If your back is uncomfortable, use a rolled face cloth or small towel for support.
  2. Bend your right knee. And gently pull your leg toward you as you straighten your knee. You should feel a gentle stretch down the back of your leg.
  3. Hold the stretch 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times for each leg.

Current as of: July 1, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Brian D. O'Brien MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Joan Rigg PT, OCS - Physical Therapy