Back of Leg (Floor)

Targeted Muscles: Back of legs
Talk to Your Doctor: If you've had hip or back surgery, talk with your doctor before trying this stretch.
This exercise 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. Lie on your back with left knee bent and left foot flat on the floor.
  2. Raise right leg, keeping knee slightly bent.
  3. Reach up and grasp right leg with both hands. Keep head and shoulders flat on the floor.
  4. Gently pull right leg toward your body until you feel a stretch in the back of your leg.
  5. Hold position for 10-30 seconds.
  6. Repeat at least 3-5 times.
  7. Repeat at least 3-5 times with left 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.