The weekend of athletic endeavors was great, but you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck as you fall out of bed Monday morning. If the muscular soreness in your legs and hips hasn’t resolved by mid-morning, the following stretches may be of help. With a bit of ingenuity, a fair amount can even be accomplished in the office.
Increasing your flexibility through stretching can help decrease the amount of lingering muscular soreness that may persist following exercise. Stretching should be done in a slow and controlled manner, never increasing local discomfort. Hold a stretch for 10-20 seconds, repeat 4-5 times, don’t bounce.
These are the muscles in the front of the thigh, being used extensively with biking and the stair master. Stand about three feet from your desk, back facing the desk. Place your chair directly in front of you and grasp for support. Hook the top of your foot on the edge of the desk and move your buttock toward your heel until a stretch is felt in the front of the thigh.
You beat the throw to first base, but the muscles in the back of the thigh are paying the price. Using your desk for support, place the heel of the involved leg on either the seat of your chair or desktop. Point your toes to the ceiling and slowly bend forward at the waist with nose moving toward the straightened knee.
These are located in the front of the hip and can become irritated if hiking up steep hills or through thick brush. Kneel on a pillow with the affected leg. Bend opposite hip and knee at right angles with foot placed 3-4 feet in front. Support forearms across the upright thigh to balance and slowly lean forward until a stretch is felt in front of the thigh of the lower leg.
A step aerobic class or the stair master may be the culprit when buttock muscles are sore. Lying on back, grasp a knee and pull toward the shoulder. In similar fashion, pull across the chest to stretch the deeper fibers of the muscle.
These are the muscles on the outside of the hip, at times becoming problematic with runners who are running too frequently on uneven surfaces. This is classically termed runner’s knee. If the right side is involved, support yourself with hands placed on the wall at chest height, or a higher
A quick change of direction during the tennis, squash or racquetball game is a common origin of a pulled calf muscle. Stand placing arms at chest height against a wall. Extend the involved leg behind remembering to keep the knee straight and the foot flat on the floor. Move hips toward the wall until a light stretch is felt in the calf. Switch legs around, this time the knee of the involved leg will bend as the hip moves toward the wall. This will stretch the deeper soleus muscle, but may not be as intense as the prior stretch.
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