Flexibility - Lower Body 1

 

LOWER LEG STRETCHER

Purpose

To stretch the calf muscles and Achilles tendon.

Position

Stand with the toes on a thick book or lower rung of a stall bar. Keep toes pointed straight ahead or slightly inward. Hold on to a support with the hands.

Movement

Rise up on toes (contract) as far as possible and hold for three seconds. Relax and lower heels to floor as far as possible; hold.

Note

Static stretch may alleviate spasms or cramps in calf muscles.

 

SITTING STRETCHER

Purpose

To stretch muscles on inside of thighs.

Position

Sit with soles of feet together; place hands on knees or ankles and lean forearms against knees; resist (contract) by attempting to raise knees.

Movement

Hold three seconds; then relax and press the knees toward the floor as far as possible; hold.

Note

Useful for pregnant women and anyone whose thighs tend to rotate inward causing backache, knock-knees and flat feet.

 

ONE-LEG STRETCHER

Purpose

To stretch lower back and hamstring muscles.

Position

Stand with one foot on a bench, keeping both legs straight.

Movement

Contract hamstrings and gluteals by pressing down on bench with the heel for several seconds, then relax and bend the trunk forward, trying to touch the head to the knee. Hold for three seconds. Return to starting position and repeat with opposite leg. As flexibility improves, the arms can be used to pull the chest toward the legs. Do not allow either knee to lock.

Note

This is useful in relief of backache and correction of lordosis.

 

BILLIG'S EXERCISE

Purpose

To stretch pelvic fascia, hip flexors, and inside of thigh.

Position

Stand with side to a wall and place the elbow and forearm against the wall at shoulder height. Tilt the pelvis backward, tightening the gluteal and abdominal muscles.

Movement

Place opposite hand on hip and push the hips toward the wall. Push forward and sideward (45˚) with the hips. Do not twist the hips. Hold. Repeat on opposite side.

Note

Useful for preventing some cases of dysmenorrhea.

 

HIP & THIGH STRETCHER

Purpose

To stretch iliopsoas and quadriceps.

Position

Place right knee directly above right ankle and

stretch left leg backward so knee touches floor. If

necessary, place hands on floor for balance.

Movement

Press pelvis forward and downward; hold.

Repeat on opposite side. Caution: Do not bend front knee more than 90˚.

Note

Useful for those who have lordosis or lower back

problems.

 

SHIN STRETCHER

Purpose

To relieve shin muscle soreness by

stretching muscles on front of shin.

Position

Kneel on both knees, turn to right, and press down and stretch right ankle with right hand.

Movement

Move pelvis forward. Hold. Repeat on opposite side.

Note

Except when they are sore, most people need to

strengthen rather than stretch these muscles.


HAMSTRING STRETCHER

Purpose

To stretch the muscles on the back of the

hip, thigh, knee, and ankle.

Position

Start in a hook-lying position. Bring right knee to

chest and grasp toes with right hand. Place left hand on back of right thigh.

Movement

(1) Pull knee toward chest; (2) push heel toward

ceiling and pull toes toward shin; (3) attempt to straighten knee. Stretch and hold. Repeat on left side.

 

TRUNK TWIST

Purpose

To stretch the trunk muscles and muscles

on the outside of hip.

Position

Sit with right leg extended, left leg bent and

crossed over the right knee.

Movement

Place right arm on the left side of the left leg and

push against that leg while turning the trunk as far as possible to the left; place left hand on floor behind buttocks. Stretch and hold. Reverse position and repeat on opposite side.