Improve lower body flexibility and mobility with these 11 leg stretches.
In this article:
- Quad Stretch
- Lying Quad Stretch
- Calf and Hamstring Stretch
- Inner Thigh Stretch
- Standing Hamstring Stretch
- Frog Stretch
- Side Bend Stretch
- Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch
- Knee-to-Chest Stretch
- Reclining Bound Stretch
- Knees-to-Chest Stretch
11 Leg Stretches for Bodybuilders to Improve Flexibility
1. Quad Stretch
Quad stretches increase flexibility in your quads which is essential in preventing muscle cramps and strains. It’s a great addition to your pre-workout stretching routine.
Stand next to a wall with your left side facing it. Place your left hand on it for balance. Bend your right knee and use your right hand to pull your heel toward your butt. Hold for 30 seconds before releasing. Do the same with your other leg.
2. Lying Quad Stretch
— Phish Phitness (@PhishPhit) July 31, 2017
If you can’t perform the quad stretch standing up, don’t worry. You can still stretch your quads even if you’re lying down. In fact, it allows you to get a deeper stretch because you don’t have to worry about your balance.
Lie down on your left side with your feet stacked on top of each other. Bend your right leg back and use your right hand to pull your heel toward your glutes. Hold this position for 30 seconds before releasing then do the same with the other side.
3. Calf and Hamstring Stretch
— Kaci Bacher (@kacibacher) May 22, 2014
Whether you’re going for a quick sprint or busting out some Romanian deadlifts, it’s important to stretch out your calves and hamstrings beforehand. This simple calf and hamstring stretch is a great way to prevent sprains, cramps, and injuries throughout your leg day.
Stand upright then place your right foot in front of your left. Place your hands on your waist then slowly lean forward keeping your back straight. Continue to lean forward while keeping your right leg straight while slightly bending your left knee. Hold for one count then go back up. This counts as one rep. Do 12 reps then do the same with your other leg.
4. Inner Thigh Stretch
The inner thigh stretch improves hip mobility and stabilizes knee joints. Doing these types of stretches allows you to bust out heavier, deeper squats.
Stand upright with your back straight, hands at the sides, and feet much wider than shoulder-width. Gently lean to the right while bending your right knee. You should feel your left thigh stretch. Hold for 30 seconds before releasing then do the same with your other leg.
5. Standing Hamstring Stretch
Before you start breaking your deadlift PR, it’s very important to stretch out your lower back first. In fact, a lot of lower back injuries come from doing deadlifts without a proper warm-up.
Stand upright with your knees slightly bent, feet hip-width apart, and arms at the sides. Next, take a deep breath, exhale, then bend down pushing your head toward your knees. Remember to relax your head, shoulders, and neck. Wrap your arms around your legs as tight as you can. Hold for 30 seconds before releasing.
6. Frog Stretch
View this post on Instagram
This movement looks wrong but it definitely opens up the hips. . 1. Place the inside of your knees, legs and foot on the ground along with your forearms. . 2. Deep breathe in move forward and the slowly breathe out as you sit back. . 3. Slowly try to go further and further with each rep. Look like you're making sweet love to the ground. . 2 or 3 X 7 before Leg Day helps your hips become more mobile.🎥: @adrianricalde . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #hscsquad #mobility #shedfat #fatloss #sanjosegym #nerdoutworkout #mobility #weightloss #groin #kettlebell #lunge #squat #conditioning #cpps #glutes #legday #lowerbody #fitnessbeginner #uspa #weightlossjourney #hipflexors #technique #muscletightness #tutorial #fitnesstips #strength #frogstretch #gymlife #coach
To prevent getting tight hips and lower back pain, you need to stretch them out on a daily basis. The frog stretch is a very easy stretching exercise you can do both before and after a workout.
First, get down on all fours. Next, pull your knees apart placing the inner sides of your calves flat on the floor. Point your toes away from your body. Then, lean forward and place your hands on the floor for balance. Bend forward as far as you can. Hold for 30 seconds before releasing.
7. Side Bend Stretch
View this post on Instagram
I was playing with this move today and wanted to share. It's a great core exercise as well as a stretch. I used to do this one all the time in my Barre Burn class @equinox NYC. Missing you guys. #abs #coreexercise #sidebendstretch #barre #barreburn #equinox #missmybabies (fitness crew from NYC)
The side bend stretch targets your groin, hips, inner thigh, and obliques. It’s a great stretching exercise to do before an intense full body workout.
Kneel on the floor with your back straight and arms at the sides. Straighten your left leg out to the side until it fully extends perpendicular to your body. Lift your right arm over your head, rest your left hand on your left thigh, and then slightly lean to the left. Hold this position for 30 seconds before releasing. Repeat the same process with the other side.
8. Lunging Hip Flexor Stretch
Our hip flexors are responsible for lower body mobility and flexibility. Not stretching them enough may lead to back pain and tight muscles. That’s why you should do exercises such as the lunging hip flexor stretch which loosens tight hips. Opt to include this exercise in your daily stretching routine.
Kneel your right leg on the floor and place your left foot on the floor. Your left knee should bend at a 90-degree angle and your left thigh should be parallel to the floor. Next, lean forward as far you can. Hold this position for 30 seconds before releasing. Do the same with your other leg.
9. Knee-to-Chest Stretch
The knee-to-chest stretch is one of the most common exercises to relieve lower back and hip flexor pain. You can opt to do this exercise any time you feel discomfort in these areas.
First, lie on the ground with your arms at the sides and legs extended. Next, bend your left knee then pull it toward your chest using your left hand. Keep your right leg straight while pulling your left leg. Hold for 30 seconds then do the same with your other leg.
Those who are more advanced and have greater flexibility can do this standing up to further improve balance and core strength. Just remember to keep your body upright by pulling your knees close to your chest and not bending your torso towards your knees.
10. Reclining Bound Stretch
The reclining bound stretch targets the inner thighs, groin, and hips. It’s a great stretching exercise to improve lower body flexibility.
Lie down on your back with your arms at the sides and legs extended. Next, bring your feet together by bending your legs. Your knees should point away from the center of your body. Hold for 30 seconds before releasing.
11. Knees-to-Chest Stretch
The knees-to-chest stretch is one of the best ways to relax your legs and hips. It’ll allow you to deadlift heavier weights without straining your back.
Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms at the sides. Keeping your legs together, bend your knees then use your hands to pull them toward your chest. Hold the position for 30 seconds before releasing.
Find out more about leg stretches in this video from Alivia D’Andrea:
If you want to make the most of your workouts, then you need to incorporate these leg stretches into your routine. Improving lower body flexibility is important to prevent injuries and relieve pain. Plus, a flexible and fluid body allows gym-goers to go heavier and harder on leg days. Try out these leg stretches today to see how they will improve your workouts.
What are your favorite leg stretches? Share them with us in the comments section below!
Up Next: Easy At Home Inner Thigh Workout