Leg stretches (hamstring,glutes,ITB,adductors)

This series of leg stretches are for the hamstringsglutes, ITB and adductors or inner thigh muscles. They are simple, safe and effective and are best performed with a high resistance theraband or with a towel.

Set Up:

  • supine lying on the floor, with or without a pillow underneath the head as needed,
  • loop a heavy resistance thera-band around the ball of the right foot, holding an end in each hand,
  • raise the leg toward the ceiling, maintaining a little bend at the knee,
  • pull on the ends of each band so that the resistance band holds the weight of your leg then rest each elbow on the floor, beside the body,
  • the band and the elbows should be holding the weight of the leg, thigh muscles should be relaxed,
  • neck and shoulders are also relaxed,
  • lumbar spine relaxed and in a neutral position.

Steps:

  1. bend the right knee slightly and bring it towards the chest a little so that you feel the stretch only in the back of the thigh (hamstrings stretch) and not behind the knee,
  2. hold for 20-30 seconds, breathing normally throughout,hamstring stretch with a band
  3. gently point toes towards the ceiling and then towards your body to add in a sciatic nerve mobilisation. Repeat x15-20
  4. then swap both ends of the band into the left hand,
  5. lower the right leg, straightening  the knee and draw the leg over the left side of the body, to feel a stretch on the outside of the right hip ( ITB  stretch).ITB stretch with a bandEnsure that the elbow and the band are still holding the weight of the leg and that you are not hitching your hip on the right or lifting your back too far from the floor,
  6. hold for 20-30 seconds, breathing normally throughout.
  7. then bend the right knee and draw it in with the band towards the left shoulder; you should feel a stretch in your right buttocks ( glutes stretch).buttock stretch with a band
  8. hold for 20-30 seconds, breathing normally throughout.
  9. then swap both ends of the band back to the right hand, and with the right elbow on the floor beside the body, holding the weight of the leg, slowly swing the right leg out to the right side, in the range that is comfortable, so that you get a right inner thigh stretch or groin stretch (adductor stretch).adductor stretch with a band
  10. if this last stretch is too strong or uncomfortable, bend the left knee and put the left foot on the floor.
  11. hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, breathing normally throughout.
  12. repeat all of the stretches on the left leg.

Tips:

  • you should not feel back pain whilst performing the stretches. If you do, bend the knee of the leg you are not stretching and place the foot flat on the floor,

modified hamstring stretch

  • you are after a moderate to moderately strong stretch only; the stretch should not be uncomfortable,
  • make sure neck and shoulders stay relaxed throughout,
  • make sure that you breathe normally throughout.