Let’s begin. I want you to remember to hold each position for 15-30 seconds. The stretch should hurt a bit, but not in your joints. It should hurt in your stretched muscles. These stretches are also good for balance and coordination, as you will see once you start doing them.
- Hamstring stretch: Tuck the foot of one leg in near your groin. Keep the other leg straight. Reach down the shin of the straight leg until a stretch is felt in the back of the thigh. Hold for a count of 15-30 seconds, relax, then stretch again. Repeat for other leg.
- Quadriceps stretch: You can do this standing up or you can use your hand to grab on to a wall or other object so you can keep your balance. Bend your left leg and use your right hand to reach behind you and grab the ankle of your left leg. Pull up and behind you until you feel the entire quadriceps muscle stretching. Reach up with your left hand, and stretch your entire body toward the ceiling while you pull up and behind you on your left ankle. You should feel a good stretch not only in your left quadriceps, but also throughout your trunk and uplifted hand. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Repeat for other leg.
- Groin stretch: Sit down on the floor, and bring the soles of your feet together so your legs form a rhombus shape. Cross your fingers underneath your feet, and while leeping your back straight and head up, pull on your feet to bring them as close to your crotch as you can. You need to feel a stretch inside your leg. Trying to bring your knees closer to the floor also helps. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Repeat.
- Hip stretch: Cross your fingers underneath your right knee, and pull it up toward your chest, as high as you can. You need to feel a stretch on the underside of your leg. Hold for 15-30 seconds, and then bring your leg back down. Repeat for other leg.
- Cross-legged stretch: I haven’t really seen this described anywhere, so I guess it’s something that I’ve come up with. Standing up straight, bring your right ankle up to your left hip, while the sole of your foot points upward. Pull up as high as it can go, and point your knee toward the floor, until the line formed by your leg is perpendicular to the floor. As you can keep your balance better, you can also try to twist your upper body toward you left hip. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then repeat for other leg.
That’s it! Shake your legs to relax the muscles, and you’re done.