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Guide posted by Phil B in Stretching & Recovery

How to stretch after a legs workout

After exercising the muscles in our legs, it is important to perform post work out stretches to aid our flexibility and reduce the risk of delayed onset muscular soreness. As there are many different muscles in the legs, depending which area you have worked will determine the stretches that need to be performed.

To stretch the calf, stand on a raised platform on the balls of your feet and holding on to a secure object to balance yourself, drop your heels down towards the floor until your feel your calf stretch. Hold this for 20 – 30 seconds.

To stretch the hamstrings, lie on your back keeping your head on the floor. Slowly lift one leg upwards, keeping it straight and grab it with both hands around the hamstring or calf. Try to pull your leg towards your chest until you feel the stretch in your hamstrings and hold for 20 – 30 seconds. Return your leg down and repeat with the opposite leg.

To stretch the quadriceps or thigh muscles, lie on your side keeping your knees and inner thighs together. Stretch the lower leg out straight and bend the top leg. Grab the foot and pull it towards your buttock, whilst slowly pushing the pelvis forward. Once you feel your quadriceps stretch, hold the position for 20 – 30 seconds before rotating onto your other side to repeat the stretch for the other thigh muscle.       

Responses (1)

There are 2 major muscles in the calf. Your explanation, unless slightly modified will address only one of them. During the calf stretch, if you lock your knee and drop your heel, the gastrocnemius is stretched. This stretch sensation may extend to slightly above and behind the knee, as that is the insertion point of the gastrocs. The soleus will be stretched only when the knee is bent as the heel is lowered, taking the gastrocs out of the stretch. Try it and you will see what I mean. It's a small but very important difference.

E Jon W responded Comment


tried it - brilliant. Fabulous feeling when you then stand back flat on the step! How long do you recommend holding each stretch? Reps? Thanks, Pat


This is good advice. It took me a few minutes to wrap my head around it though. Pat, try thirty seconds per stretch repeated two or three times

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