Back of Leg

Targeted Muscles: Back of legs
What You Need: Bench or other hard surface, such as two chairs placed together
Talk to Your Doctor: If you've had hip or back surgery, talk with your doctor before trying this stretch.
Here's another exercise that stretches the muscles in the back of your legs. If you've had hip or back surgery, talk with your doctor before trying this stretch.
  1. Sit sideways on a bench or other hard surface, such as two chairs placed together.
  2. Keeping back straight, stretch one leg out on the bench, toes pointing up.
  3. Keep other foot flat on the floor.
  4. If you feel a stretch at this point, hold position for 10-30 seconds.
  5. If you don't feel a stretch, lean forward from hips (not waist) until you feel stretching in the leg on the bench.
  6. Hold position for 10-30 seconds.
  7. Repeat at least 3-5 times.
  8. Repeat at least 3-5 times with your other leg.

Safety

  • Avoid “locking” your joints. Straighten your arms and legs when you stretch them, but don’t hold them tightly in a straight position. Always keep them slightly bent while stretching.
  • Always stretch with a smooth, steady movement. Don’t jerk or bounce into the stretch; it may cause injury.
  • A mild pulling feeling while you are stretching is normal. If you feel sharp or stabbing pain or joint pain, you’re stretching too far. Reduce the stretch so it doesn’t hurt.
  • Always remember to breathe normally while holding a stretch.
  • Always warm up before stretching exercises. Stretching your muscles before they are warmed up can result in injury. If you are doing only stretching exercises, warm up with a few minutes of easy walking first. If you are doing endurance or strength exercises, stretch after, not before.
  • If you’ve had hip or back surgery, talk with your doctor before doing lower-back flexibility exercises.