Gray Cook, a physical therapist and the author of : Athletic Body in Balance” explains that straightening your legs at your hip and knee joints increase stride length, loosen tight hamstrings and restore range of motion to an injured knee. Moreover, this also increases the stability of your hips and knees. Here are some exercises you can perform:
WALL STRAIGHT LEG STRETCH
According to fitness professional Anthony Carey, this exercise uses gravity and support in order to help you increase leg extension without compensating with your spine, but it also reduces stress on your lower back. In order to perform this exercise, you should lie on the ground on your back and your buttocks should be placed against the wall. After that, put your legs up against the wall. Push your tailbone toward the ground and point your feet toward your face. As a result of that, you will probably feel a stretch in the back of your legs. Make sure to hold this position for one minute while taking deep breaths.
WALL LEG LIFT
In order to perform this exercise, you should lie on your back on the ground and then put your left buttock against the corner of a wall. On the other hand, make sure to rest your right leg on the ground with your feet pointing toward your face. Then, raise your right leg as much as possible until the leg position matches your left leg’s position. Stay In this position for 3 seconds and then lower the leg at a rate of 4 seconds. For best results, perform 2 sets of 5-8 reps per leg.
STANDING TOE TOUCH WITH ELEVATION
To perform this exercise, you’ll need to put a half-foam roller on the ground and stand on top of it on the balls of your feet with your feet close together. Make sure to tighten your buttocks for balance and raise your arms above your head. After that, exhale and bend forward in order to be able to touch your feet. In the event you can’t touch them, you need to bend your knees as much as needed. Stay in this position for 3 deep breaths. In the end, raise your body back to the initial position and repeat the exercise for 5-10 times.
This amazing exercise will not only help you stretch your legs, but also your posterior shoulders, back and buttocks together.
To perform this exercise, first kneel on the ground on your hands and knees. Your knees need to be placed under your hip joints while your wrist under your shoulders. Next, you should lift your hip and straighten your legs and use your hands and heels to push against the ground. In the end, bring your ribs closer to your knees and stay in this position for 5-6 deep breaths. Once done, return in initial position and make sure to repeat this stretch 3 more times.
Remember not to overstretch if you are a beginner because stretching too much can cause a stretch reflex which is an involuntary contraction of your muscles and tendons in order to protect the joint and muscles from tearing, according to physical therapist Chris Frederick, author of “Stretch to Win.”