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7 Most Effective Lower-Body Stretches for Women

Stretching can improve your flexibility and enhance your circulation (Image via Pexels/cottonbro)
Stretching can improve your flexibility and enhance your circulation (Image via Pexels/cottonbro)
Divya

Stretching is an essential aspect of any workout routine, but many of us neglect it on a regular basis. Lower-body stretches improve mobility and are essential for better physical performance.

All sorts of stretches can help you become more flexible, enhance your circulation, and improve your coordination. They not only help you get back to where you were before your workout and enhance flexibility, but it also helps you relax.

Stretching in your morning routine can help you feel more energized for the day. It can also make you feel more confident as you start your day.

Any sequence of lower-body stretches can be completed in about 10 minutes, or it might take longer if you choose to stay in position for a few extra breaths or repeat the entire process.

Must-try lower-body stretches for women

A few good stretches will refresh and wake up your entire lower body when your legs are tight from a strenuous workout or sitting all day.

Here is a list of lower-body stretches that are essential for everyone, especially women.

1) Single leg glute bridge

A single leg glute bridge is one of the best lower-body stretches. The hip extensors are targeted in this workout. It contains hamstrings and three gluteal muscles (gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus).

Here are the steps to do the single leg glute bridge properly:

  • Lie down on your back with your knees bent and both soles on the floor. The distance between your legs should be hip-width.
  • Extend your right leg in front of you. Take a deep breath and clench your glutes while pushing your hips toward the ceiling. Lift your hip as high as you can.
  • Hold the stance for 2-3 seconds before lowering your buttocks to the ground.
  • Repeat the exercise 10-15 times without contacting the ground, then switch legs.

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2) Calf raise

The calf raise, also known as the standing calf raise, is a bodyweight exercise that works the lower leg muscles, making it one of the best inclusions in the list of lower body stretches.

Follow these steps to ace the calf raise stretch:

  • Place your feet slightly apart on the floor and stand upright. (If you have trouble balancing, perform it against a wall or table for support.)
  • Place your hands on the wall and push yourself up onto your balls and toes. Avoid leaning forward and maintain a neutral stance.
  • Take a 4-5 second pause before lowering your legs. Rep this process 10-15 times.

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3) Fire hydrant stretch

Quadruped hip abductions, often known as fire hydrants, are a sort of bodyweight exercise. They concentrate on the gluteus maximus. Fire hydrants may contour your glutes, relieve back pain, and reduce the risk of injury if done regularly.

Follow the below-mentioned steps to perform the fire hydrant stretch correctly:

  • Get down on all fours, legs hip-width apart and wrists just beneath shoulders.
  • Put your weight on your right leg and extend your left leg outward (knees bent) until it reaches the height of your hips, then straighten it to the side.
  • Hold for a couple of seconds before bending your knees and returning to the beginning position to complete one repetition. Do the same thing with your right leg.

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4) Standing IT Band stretch

The IT band is a band of dense connective tissue that connects the knee to the outside of the thigh. It aids in hip extension, abduction and rotation. This is one of the most effective lower-body stretches that focuses on the outer thigh while stabilizing the side of the knee.

Here are the steps to follow to do the IT band stretch properly:

  • Begin by crossing your left leg behind your right.
  • Lean to the right with your left arm raised and hip out to feel a stretch down your outer thigh.
  • Switch sides after 15โ€“30 seconds of holding.

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5) Three-legged downward facing dog

This variant of downward-facing dog pose is one of the best lower-body stretches. It offers the extra benefit of expanding your hips and rib cage as well as increasing your general body balance! It will help tone your hips, buttocks and thighs easily.

Follow these steps to excel at the three-legged downward facing dog pose:

  • Start with downward-facing dog position (hands and feet on the floor, hips straight up to create a V-shape with your body).
  • Lift with your thighs and ground with your feet. To stretch the sides of your body, reach your hips away from your hands. Then raise your left leg to the ceiling.
  • Open hips to the left side and bend left knee to bring foot toward glutes to add a hip stretch. Return to the beginning position and do the opposite side.

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6) Curtsy lunge

The curtsy lunge works the quads and glutes, as well as certain other muscles involved in lunging. It also strengthens the inner thigh muscles, making it one of the best lower-body stretches.

Here are the steps to do the curtsy lunge properly:

  • Cross your hands in front of your chest and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Slowly lower your hips into a half-squat stance.
  • Lower the right knee first, then the left, while keeping your hips stable.
  • Return to a half-squat position by bringing your right foot forward, then your left. That's one repetition.

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7) Banded kickbacks

Kickbacks are one of the best lower-body stretches, and adding resistance bands makes them even better.

Resistance bands can be used to add resistance to almost any bodily motion or workout. The banded kickback exercise's main purpose is to strengthen your hips. The only joints that moves in this exercise (single joint exercise) are the hips, which are moved backward.

Follow these steps to perform the banded kickbacks correctly:

  • Get down on your hands and knees.
  • Place one end of the band around your right foot and the other end slightly above the knee on your left thigh.
  • Contract glutes to slowly kick the right leg back until it's straight while maintaining the abs firm.
  • Squeeze glutes for a second at full extension.
  • Bring it down gradually. That's one repetition.

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live poll LIVE POLL

Q. Have you tried some of these lower body stretches?

Yess!!

No. But, I will start

Edited by S Chowdhury

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