Lower Body Stretch Routine

Happy Friday/Weekend friends!

I hope all of you had a great week. We had some rainy days, but it looks like the sun will be here for the weekend! 🙂

I thought I’d end out this week by sharing with you a lower body stretch routine you can do anywhere, even from the comfort of your own home.

Stretching is one of those things many of us overlook or slack on…I know I do often. Many times, when a workout is done, we just leave and go about our day, and for others, they may just not have a lot of extra time for it. Stretching, though, is SO important and necessary for our bodies.

 Stretching helps keep our muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. To maintain a good range of motion in our joints, we need good flexibility, otherwise, our muscles will shorten and become tighter. 
When our muscle are tight and lack range of motion, when the time comes for an activity or exercise, we can’t move as well (extend or flex as much).

Even just stretching a few minutes every day can benefit us and our bodies. Whether you do it before or after a workout, when you wake up, or before you go to bed.

Here is a good lower body routine you can do anytime and any day.

**Do/hold each stretch 15-30 seconds, going through this 1-2 times.**

1.Downward Dog

This is a very common yoga post, but such a great stretch. This targets your hamstrings, calves, the arches of your feet, and even your shoulders. Be sure on this stretch, you keep your shoulders away from your ears, and really drive your hips and butt in the air.

2.Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

All too often, I hear people talk about having tight hips. Most Americans have a desk job, and when you sit for prolonged hours of the day (not using those muscles), they become tighter and tighter. This is why you feel stiff or slight pain in the hip flexor area. This stretch targets those hip flexors.

For this stretch, from the kneeling lunge position, shift your weight forward until you feel a stretch in your hip. Make sure to get both sides!

3.Pigeon Pose

Another yoga move, this pigeon pose stretch is great for thighs, groin area, psoas major muscle, hips, nd even your abdomen.

For this pose, you can start in the pushup position, swing one leg underneath you, and realease your arms out in front of you as far as you can until you feel a stretch. Many people can’t make it all the way to the ground, so no worries if you can’t get that far. As long as you feel a stretch.

If You have never done this move before, or you want a deeper stretch in your abdomen, then stay up on your hands and sit up taller.

4.Thread the Needle

Another great stretch for your hips, and to help open them up, is through this move.

Begin by lying on your back, with legs up and bent to 90* and parallel. Next, cross your left ankle over your right thigh, making sure your ankle is a little past your thigh. Then you take your hand through and around your right leg, and pull toward your chest until you feel a stretch.

5.Standing Quad Stretch

The last one is a standing quad stretch. Be sure to stand up tall, and use a wall or chair if you need for balance. Pull up one ankle high as you can toward your butt. The taller you stand, you are also reaching those hip flexors again.