Stretches to Improve Thigh Flexibility
Thigh flexibility is vital for proper training. One of the muscle areas most vulnerable to injury is the femoral region.
Athletes know this, but not everyone pays enough attention to this part of the body. Anyone is at risk of injuring their thighs, so in order to prevent it, the only thing you can do is improve your flexibility.
Enhancing muscle flexibility depends on ourselves; we’ll achieve it, basically, with stretching exercises. There’s a wide range of routines that we can perform in order to achieve greater flexibility.
Elements that make up the thigh
The thigh is known as the meatiest part of the legs in humans and other mammals. This area is articulated by a single bone: the femur. This bone is most commonly injured in older people, as their thighs lose strength with age.
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The thigh comprises a large number of bodily components. Around the femur are at least three muscle groups: the quadriceps, the medial compartment, and the hamstrings.
Added to all these muscles, we also have arteries, veins, lymph ducts and vessels. This zone also includes a complex nervous system, in which the obturator nerve, the lumbar plexus, and even the sciatic nerve are the most important ones.
Let’s start with the quadriceps
After performing a general stretch of the body and extremities, we can start working on stretching the quadriceps. To do this, we stand on one leg and lean on a surface with only one of your arms. This provides enough stability to do what’s next.
You must flex the leg you want to stretch backward and, with your free hand, grasp the foot. This is a simple position that we often see in professional soccer players.
After finishing with one leg, we do the same with the other. It’s important to keep it bent for a few seconds before slowly releasing. The good thing about this exercise is that it completely isolates the quadriceps, which allows specialized work.
Exercise to stretch the hamstrings
The hamstrings are a small set of muscles located towards the back of the legs. Although people often think the thighs are just the quadriceps, we cannot reach high thigh flexibility without paying attention to this region of the body.
Fortunately, stretching these muscles is quite simple. One of the best ways to do it is by bringing your hands to the tips of your toes. To do this, extend your legs and descend with your trunk, holding for a few seconds.
It doesn’t matter if we cannot touch the tips of our toes with our hands. The most important thing is to stretch as much as possible and stay there for a few seconds.
Thigh flexibility: the fence stretch
This is another exercise that you’ve surely seen in many sports. To do so, first, you must sit on the ground. The leg that we’re going to work on must be extended, while the other leg can remain flexed. The latter must remain as comfortable as possible because the idea is to focus on the one we’re stretching.
Once the leg is stretched on the floor, you have to extend your arms and grab your foot with both hands. Clearly, this will involve the contraction of the trunk and stomach. The fundamental thing is to reach your shoe and stay that way for a while to properly stretch your leg.
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Ideally, you should maintain this position for over 30 seconds. Then, you can release slowly. We recommend you repeat this stretch three times on each side, alternating sides.
This routine is very complete and works as a stretch as much as a warm-up. That’s why many doctors recommend you do this before any physical activity that involves the lower extremities.
Adductors working for thigh flexibility
If we’re going to stimulate thigh flexibility, we can’t forget the adductors. These muscles are directly related to the strength and flexibility of your upper thighs.
To do this, we sit on the floor and stretch both legs in front of us in a V shape. After doing so, we flex the trunk inwards and stretch the arms towards the front. Hands go on the floor, while we press down with our torsos.
Remember, your legs should be fully straight, stretching the knees. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then release carefully.
With all these stretching exercises, we can prevent thigh injuries and reduce the risk of suffering unnecessary tears to your quads or hamstrings. All the muscles surrounding your femur will be subjected to an adequate elongation. Remember that ensuring the flexibility of the thigh before exercise is essential to avoid injury.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Julio Gutiérrez Muñoz. Técnico Deportivo I y Monitor Territorial RFETA. Ejercicios de estiramiento. Extraído de: http://www.sld.cu/galerias/pdf/sitios/rehabilitacion-ejer/estiramientos_1.pdf
- Ejercicios de estiramiento activo. Extraído de: http://www.efconcepcion.es/images/stories/estiramientos.pdf