Leg stretches | 5 minute routine to improve flexibility


Last updated on December 26th, 2021 at 05:42 pm

Staying flexible is important. It helps us to move easily and reduces the risk of injury from pulling muscles. It also helps us to get better results from fitness and sports training. You can get tight leg muscles for lots of reasons, including too much sitting. Doing leg stretches regularly will help to keep your muscles flexible and free from pain and injury.  Try doing this routine daily – includes stretches for the main leg muscles. See the end of the post for how to get a printable leg stretches PDF.

Leg stretches for tight leg muscles PDF

Warming up for stretching

Muscles should always be warm before you stretch them.  Cold muscles are less pliable and stretching them could lead to injury.  Make sure your muscles are warm either from:

  • Any kind of exercise that raises your heart rate, including walking
  • General daily activities like house cleaning, car washing or gardening
  • A warm-up routine – you can use this one

Leg stretches

Do each stretch for 30 seconds on each leg.

The hamstring and glute stretches involve lying on your back, so a cushioned surface will be more comfortable for you. Either use an exercise mat, or a folded blanket.

#1 Calf stretch

Leg stretches Calf stretch

  1. Stand with feet pointing forwards, about hip distance apart, front knee bent and back leg straight.
  2. Press the back heel into the floor to feel the stretch on the back calf.

#2 Hip flexor stretch

Leg stretches PDF - hip flexor stretch

  1. Get into the position shown, back knee on the floor, front knee bent and directly over the heel.
  2. Ease the back leg out behind until you feel a stretch on the muscles at the top of the back thigh.

#3 Hamstring stretch

Stretches for tight leg muscles - hamstring stretch

  1. Lie on the floor with one leg bent, foot flat on the floor.  Gently pull the other leg towards you, holding onto it with both hands either on the calf or above the knee.
  2. Hold the position when you feel the stretch along the back of the leg

#4 Glute stretch

glute stretch for tight thigh muscles

  1. From the hamstring stretch position, bend the top leg and rest the foot on the knee of the other leg.  Hold onto the underneath leg and gently pull it towards you to feel the stretch in the top leg.

#5 Inner thigh stretch

Inner thigh stretch for tight thigh muscles

  1. Sit with your legs as wide as is comfortable for you
  2. Rotate your upper body towards one of your legs
  3. Hold onto the leg with your hands
  4. Slowly lean over the leg until you feel the stretch in your inner thigh and at the back of your leg

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Related to stretches for tight leg muscles – read now or pin for later

Hamstring stretch challengeHip flexor stretches for runners

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