lunge 5

Dynamic Stretches (lower body)

These five dynamic stretching exercises are meant to be done over a short distance, alternating each side / each foot, moving forward for a  distance of 8-15 metres. Do 2 reps of this distance per exercise

These exercises only require basic balance to complete, and are a more effective addition to a warm-up routine than static stretching. Check out the pictures accompanying the directions on how to do each stretch.

1. Glute stretch #1

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glutes 2

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Both hands grab front of lower leg (shin), pulling it upwards and as horizontal as it will go. Feel the stretch through the hip joint and glute muscles.

While balancing on the other (grounded) foot, go on to the tip of toes, holding this position with the heel off the ground for 1 second before coming back down. Take a single step forward and repeat with the other side. Keep alternating.

To enhance this stretch, look straight ahead to improve balance and stability.

 

2. Glute stretch #2

 

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glutes 5glutes 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Both hands grab front of lower leg (shin), pulling it upwards such that the knee touches the chest. Feel the stretch through the hip joint and glute muscles.

While pulling up, the toes of the upper foot point upwards, initiating a stretch of the calf muscle.

While balancing on the other (grounded) foot, go on to the tip of toes, holding this position with the heel off the ground for 1 second before coming back down. Take a single step forward and and repeat with the other side. Keep alternating.

To enhance this stretch, look straight ahead to improve balance and stability.

 

3. Walking lunge

lunge 1 lunge 2 lunge 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Raise up one leg till thigh is parallel to the ground; at the same time, go on to the tip of toes on the grounded foot. Combine it with a deliberate arm movement (eg: when right foot goes up, the right hand goes forward; the left arm moves rearwards) where both elbows maintain a bend of 90-degrees, with fists lightly clenched.

 

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At the apex of the movement, stand tall whilst balancing on the tip of toes occurs – the body will start tipping forward.

Allow the forward leg to absorb the landing gently, with the knee above toes, and the foot pointing forward. Maintain the arm position as you land in the ‘lunge’ position – feet far enough apart that the shin of the back leg is parallel to the ground.

Alternate the movement with the other foot now, moving the arms accordingly as you take each step forward.

 

4. Quad stretch

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Stand with feet together; draw the lower part of one leg backwards and grab the ankle/foot with the hand on the same side. The knee remains low and the hand begins pulling the foot such that heel moves toward the buttock (it may even contact the butt check!). A stretch should be felt in the quadriceps muscles near where they join the knee of the upper leg

 

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Balance in this position and gently lower your stance, bending the knee of the lower (grounded) leg, with the foot remaining flat on the floor. This should enhance the stretch. As this stretch is performed, keep the spine aligned with the upper torso upright. Hold out the other hand to assist with balancing.

After 1-2 seconds, release your upper foot and take a single step forward. Alternate with the other foot and repeat accordingly.

 

5. The ‘Caterpillar’

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Start in the push-up position – hands on the floor and back and legs straight, with feet together

 

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Keeping your legs straight, take tiny steps with toes such that body pivots at the hip and feet move toward hands. Keep taking tiny steps until the legs can go no further forward without bending at the knees.

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At this point, ‘walk’ hands forward one at a time, allowing body to straighten at the hips until the ‘push-up’ position is resumed. Repeat the movement with the tiny steps on one’s toes once more.

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To enhance this stretch with an upper body functional movement, incorporate a single push-up to each rep prior to making the ‘tiny steps’ on one’s toes.

 

If you have any queries or wish to seek additional advice, please ‘ask the coach’ by emailing wilson@athlete-lab.com or ts@athlete-lab.com .