Stretching for Adults and Youth
Butterfly stretch: Sit upright on the floor with the soles of your feet together. Draw your knees to the floor and lean forward from your hips and use your elbows to press your legs downward.
Kneeling hip flexor stretch: Kneel on both knees with your upper body lifted. Plant your left foot on the floor until you reach a 90-degree angle with both your front and back legs (a). Shift your weight forward while keeping your upper body lifted (b). Repeat on the other side.
Standing hip flexor stretch: Stand erect and keep your hands on your hips. Step forward with your left foot into a lunge position (a). Your left foot will be in front of your body and your right foot will be behind your body; your right heel may be elevated to facilitate this movement. Shift your hips forward and maintain this position, feeling tension develop in your hips, quadriceps, and buttocks (b). Repeat on the other side.
Seated hamstring stretch: Sit upright on the floor with both legs straight and hands resting on your legs (a). Slowly walk your hands forward toward your feet, keeping your chest lifted (b).
Standing hamstring stretch: Standing upright, bring your right foot slightly ahead of your left foot. Slowly draw your hips back while slightly bending your left knee and straightening your right knee (a). Bring the toes of your right foot off the floor and toward your body (b). Hold and then return to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.
|Prone quadriceps stretch: Lie facedown on the floor with your legs straight. Draw your right heel back toward your buttocks using your left hand. Be sure to keep your knees together.|
|Side-lying quadriceps stretch: Lie on the floor on your right side. Bend your left knee, keeping your knees and hips in a straight line (keep your knees together and do not twist your leg to the side). Draw your left heel back toward your buttocks with your left arm. Repeat on the other side.|
Standing quadriceps stretch: While in a standing position (you can hold on to a chair for support), bend your right knee toward your buttocks. Grasp your right ankle with your left hand. Be sure to keep your knees close together and your ankle behind your buttock; do not twist your leg outward. Gently pull your thigh back slightly. Repeat on the other side.
Seated calf stretch: Sit upright with both legs straightened out in front of you (a). Draw your toes toward your upper body (b).
Standing calf step stretch: Stand with your legs extended on the edge of an immovable step and grasp a banister or handrail for support. Move your right foot so your heel back is off the edge of the step (a). Slowly drop your right heel until tension develops in your right calf (b). Repeat on the other side.
Standing calf stretch (gastrocnemius): Stand about 3 feet (0.9 m) from a wall and put your right foot behind you, ensuring that your toes are facing forward. Keep your heel on the ground and lean forward with your right knee straight. Rotating the toes in and out slightly will target the medial and lateral parts of this muscle separately. Repeat on other side.
Standing calf stretch (soleus): Stand away from a wall and put your right foot behind you and be sure your toes are facing forward. Lean forward at the ankle while bending the right knee and keeping your heel on the ground. Because the knee is flexed, tension is taken off the gastrocnemius and placed on the soleus. Repeat on other side.