Stretching exercises should become a part of the daily routine not only for athletes and people engaged in recreational sports, but also for everybody who cares about good posture and health. Stretching exercises and techniques involve deliberate extrension of specific muscles or muscle groups. The resulting effect is more pronounced muscle control, more flexibility and better range of motion. Stretching also improves blood circulation and helps to alleviate muscular pain and cramps. It is also great as a warm-up routine, as it helps to enhance the range of motion and prevent injury. Stretching is also very relaxing, it helps to release tension and induce good sleep. Stretching can be dangerous when performed incorrectly. An exerciser should always follow the instructions carefully and make sure not to overstretch.
Quadriceps are muscles in front of the thigh. They are the strongest and leanest muscle in the human body, crucial in walking, running, jumping and squatting. To get a great quadriceps stretch simply bend the knee and grab your foot while pulling it backwards and up, until it reaches your lower back. Keep the back straight and find balance by grabbing hold of a solid stationery object. Hold each stretch for 15 breaths and repeat with other leg.
Hamstrings are one of three posterior thigh muscles. They are very important for many different types of movement: walking, running, and jumping. To stretch the hamstring, stand on one leg and put the foot of the other leg on a waist-high stationary object and start slowly leaning forward until the stretch can be felt. It is also possible to do this stretch while lying on the back and holding the back of one thigh with both hands. The leg is pulled into 90-degree position against the floor. Hold for 15 breaths, release the leg and repeat with the other one.
The piriformis muscle is a muscle in the gluteal region of the lower limb. This muscle is very important for walking, as it shifts the body weight to the opposite side of the foot, helping to keep the balance and prevent falling. These exercises are beneficial for tennis players and running backs in football. The simple piriformis stretch is done by lying on the back with legs crossed. The ankle of one leg is positioned on top of the knee of the other (lower) leg. The under leg is hold with both hands and the knee is pulled towards the chest until the stretch is felt in the buttocks and hips.