I started caring about my leg flexibility only when I decided to learn the splits. I didn’t realize that increasing my leg flexibility (as well as other body parts) would help me improve my physical performance, state of mind, as well as my posture, and balance. That’s why flexibility coaching has become an essential aspect of my coaching business. Not only do I love becoming more flexible but I love helping other women do the same! Today, we will go over 9 stretches to increase your leg flexibility and I am going to guide you along with an easy stretching video you can follow.
Stretches to Increase Flexibility in Legs
Let’s get started with the 9 main stretches that will make up the leg flexibility video. These stretches will increase your leg flexibility.
1. Low Lunge
A low lunge to start will effectively open up your hip flexors. Step your right foot between your hands. Keep your left back knee off the floor and lower it down when you no longer feel any discomfort. As you open up, you can bring your back foot up and grab it with the opposite hand to intensify your quad stretch.
2. Wide-Legged Foward Fold (With Outer Hamstring Stretch)
Stand with your feet wider than hip-distance apart (about 3-feet). As you exhale, fold forward from the hips. Keep you tailbone lifted, engage your lower back. Stay in this position, as low as you can, for a few breaths. Bring your hands to your right ankle (making sure to keep your hips in the middle). Stay there for a few breaths before taking your hands to your left ankle.
3. Seated Foward Fold
The seated forward fold, similarly to the standing forward fold, opens up mainly your hamstrings. However, since it doesn’t make use of gravity, you have tow work extra hard to keep your back flat and your chest open. You most likely will notice that you can’t bring your torso as close to your hips and in the standing forward fold.
In a seated position, with your feet together, fold forward at the hips as to bring your toes. Use a strap if you can’t reach your toes or just go as far as you can and hold there.
4. Triangle Pose
Bring your right leg in front of you, your toes pointed forward. Your left toes are pointing slightly to your left. Lower your right hand down on your shin or ankle. If you are more flexible, bring your right hand on the floor on the inside of your right leg. Your left shoulder will stack on top of your right as you twist your upper body and open your chest. Reach your left fingertips towards the ceiling. Bring your gaze up towards your left fingertips. Lift your right kneecap to intensify the stretch. Repeat on your left side.
5. Pyramid Pose
The pyramid pose is similar to the triangle pose but instead of twisting at the hips to take your right hand on the inside of your right leg, you are folding forward at the hips, keeping your upper body straight.
6. Half Splits
The half splits is one of my favorite stretches to increase flexibility in the legs as it opens up your hamstrings and the whole back of your legs. Bring your right leg in front of you as you kneel down with your left leg at a 90 degree angle. Bend your upper body forward at the hips while pressing your right heel down on the mat. Repeat on the other side.
When I started performing stretches to increase my flexibility in the legs, I found that the pancake was uncomfortable in the back of my knees. With time, as I increased my flexibility, I could feel it in my hamstrings in my inner hips.
Sit with your legs open wide. Fold forward at the hips, making sure you are engaging your lower abs and lifting your tailbone to avoid bending your back. Keep your chest open!
8. Supine Hamstring Stretch
Lie on our back and bring your right leg up. Hold your ship or your ankle with your hands. Deepen the leg stretch by lowering your leg closer to your body using some of your arm strength. Repeat on the other leg.
9. Pigeon Pose
From all four, bring your right knee to the back of your right wrist. Rotate your right shin to be parallel to the top of the mat. If you can’t keep your shinbone parallel to the top of the mat, bring your feet closer to your body. Your left leg is straight and your hips are facing forward. Repeat on the other side.
Stretches to Increase Flexibility in Legs Video Routine
There is an almost endless number of stretches you can use to increase your flexibility in your legs. The ones I picked for you today are some of my favorites, but have fun experimenting with various options.
For more guidance on your flexibility journey, don’t forget to check out my new Moving With Intention Program.