After having done a full body strength and conditioning workout yesterday, today we’ll be focusing on stretching the lower body, particularly the hips, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and adductors (inner thighs).
There are 7 stretches, and the goal is to hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds (or longer). When the stretch is on one leg only, you (obviously) need to repeat the stretch on the other leg too.
Try to do the whole circuit 3 times (at least 2 times!).
DAY 2 workout
Standing hamstring stretch
Place a chair in front of you. Rest your right foot on the chair, keeping your knee as straight as possible. Low lean forward, but make an effort to bend your back as little as possible. Make an effort to push your chest out asyou lean forward. By keeping your back straight, you increase the stretch in the back of your leg, as your pelvis has to tilt forward more. Try to reach your right foot with your left hand. If you cannot manage, start from your shin, and work your hand slowly towards your foot. Stop moving when you cannot go further. Now place your right hand next to your left hand and hold for 30 seconds or longer. Repeat with the other leg. You should feel this stretch in the back of your legs, and perhaps also in your calves, if they are tight.
Sitting hamstring stretch
Sit on the floor, legs stretched out in front, feet together. Slowly reach forward with your hands, with the aim of touching your toes. Make an effort to round your back as little as possible. Push your chest out and try to keep your back straight. This will increase the stretch in your hamstrings (in the back of your legs). Reach forward as far as you can, then hold the position for at least 30 seconds. You should feel this stretch in the back of your legs, and perhaps also in your calves, if they are tight.
Hamstring & Adductor stretch
While sitting on the floor, open your legs wide. Place your hands in front of you on the floor, and slowly ‘walk’ your hands forward. Again, try to keep your back straight and avoid rounding it by pushing your chest out. Hold for 30 seconds. You should feel this stretch mainly on the inside of your legs.
Hip & Adductor stretch
While sitting on the floor, bend both knees and touch the soles of your feet together, while your knees point outwards. Grab your feet with your hands, and lean forward, without rounding your back. You can also try to push your thighs down with your elbows to increase the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. You should feel this stretch on the inside of your thighs (adductors).
Hip & Piriformis stretch
Kneel on the floor and rest your body on your hands. Place your right leg across to the left, bending your right knee. Move your left knee back until your right butt cheek is (almost) on the floor. Now lean forward with your body and try to push your butt down into the ground. Hold for at least 30 seconds. You should feel this stretch in your right butt cheek and possibly also in your right hip joint.
Kneeling quadriceps stretch
Kneel on the floor. Then bring your right foot forward until your right knee is bent 90 degrees, and you are resting on your left knee. Lift your left foot from the back and try to bring your left heel as close to your butt as possible. Hold your left foot with your left hand, ideally with both hands. Keeping your body as upright as possible, try to push your hips forward to increase the stretch. You should feel the stretch in your left quadriceps. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.
Hip flexor stretch
Rest on your left knee, with your right foot out in front and your right knee bent 90 degrees. Keep your upper body upright. Perform a ‘posterior pelvic tilt’ by flattening your lower back and aiming to ‘tuck in your tail’, as I demonstrate in the video in the beginning of the exercise. This tilts your pelvis backwards and increases the stretch in your hip flexors. From this position try to push your hips forward and lean slightly back with the upper body. You should feel this stretch at the top of your left thigh (left hip flexor). Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.
If you have a treadmill, stationery bike, cross trainer or similar equipment at home, use it!
Try to perform at least 30min on any of these machines. In 30min you will likely burn between 200-250kcal at moderate intensity, so the more often you do your cardio training, the more effective it will be to help you maintain weight or lose weight if you’re combining it with a weight-loss eating plan.