08 July, 2011
Thigh Muscle Stretches
Stretching your muscles improves your flexibility and range of motion and helps prevent injury. If your thigh muscles are too tight, you may injure them while exercising or performing daily activities. Stretching can also help relieve pain and soreness from muscle spasms and cramps. Check with your doctor before stretching your thighs if you have recently suffered an injury or if you have problems with your hips.
Stretching your inner thighs works the muscles near your groin that don't often move through their full ranges of motion. Sit on the floor with your knees bent out to your sides and the soles of your feet flat against each other. Lean forward slightly to grip your feet, and push the sides of your knees toward the floor, allowing your inner thighs to open until you feel a light stretch from your knee to your groin. Push your upper body toward your legs to feel a deeper stretch as your flexibility increases. You can also do this exercise while lying on your back with your legs in the same position.
Your quadriceps along the tops of your thighs can get sore and cramp from exercise. Stretching them frequently will help reduce tension and make it easier for you to move. Lie on your side with one arm under your head, and bend your top leg back toward your buttocks, gripping your foot with your free hand. Pull back on your leg gently until you feel an easy pull along the top of your thigh. Switch sides and perform the stretch with your other leg. Try this exercise while standing straight up and placing a hand on a sturdy chair or counter for a deeper stretch.
Stretching the hamstring muscles along the backs of your thighs helps reduce your risk of injury, particularly while playing sports and engaging in other types of high-intensity exercise. Lie on your back with your knees slightly bent and your feet flat on the floor. Straighten one leg and lift it up with your foot toward the ceiling until you feel a light stretch along the back of your thigh. Grip the back of your knee for support if needed. Return to the starting position and gently pull your bent knee toward your chest to stretch your hamstrings and lower back.
Stretching your thigh muscles at least once per day helps your muscles loosen and elongate over time. Hold each stretch for at least five to 10 seconds to allow your muscles to fully pull through the stretch. Stretch when you first wake up and before going to bed to keep yourself comfortable throughout the day and while you're sleeping. To prevent cramping and injury, stretch before and after warming up and cooling down when you're working out.
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