Fitness Tips

Impact Physical Therapy’s 5 Favorite Stretches to Increase Flexibility for Active Moms

By June 14, 2017 No Comments
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Flexibility is an important component of your overall health and wellness. A flexible body will increase its efficiency and will allow you to get stronger, recover quicker, assist movement for taking care of a child, and make you less injury-prone.

Active Moms’ Club is thrilled to introduce Liz Yerly of Impact Physical Therapy and Chicago Recovery Room as today’s guest blogger. She has put together her five favorite stretches for overall flexibility. These stretches are great for feeling better on a day-to-day basis, and perfect for runners of all ability levels.

Always remember—stretch when your muscles are warmed-up.

Half Kneel Hip Flexor Stretch

Half Kneel Hip Flexor stretch

The hip flexors are a crucial group of muscles that help raise your legs toward your torso, keep the hips and lower back strong, and encourage proper alignment. Considering they attach to the femur, pelvis and lumbar spine, it’s no wonder keeping your hip flexors healthy is important!

While kneeling, tuck your down leg’s pelvis underneath you, then lean forward bending your front knee until a stretch is felt along the front of the upper thigh.

  • Hold for 30 seconds. Perform on each leg three times. Complete one set per day.

Standing Calf Stretches

Calf Stretch

The calf is made up of seven different muscles, with the gastrocnemius muscle making up the majority of the upper calf and the soleus muscle surrounding the connection to the Achilles tendon. Your calves help you flex your ankles, curl your toes, bend your knees, and promote blood circulation.

Gastrocnemius Stretch: Keep back leg straight and heel on floor, lean into wall until a stretch is felt in calf.

Soleus Stretch: Keep back leg slightly bent at the knee and keep heel flat on floor. Lean into wall until stretch is felt in lower calf.

  • Hold each stretch for 30 seconds. Perform on each leg three times. Complete one set per day.

Standing Piriformis Stretch

Standing Piriformis Stretch

The piriformis runs through the buttock and is a common location of tightness and discomfort for clients. When the piriformis is tight, expect to experience difficulty squatting and lunging. The piriformis also plays a key function in helping the rotation of the hip.

Place your leg on top of a table top as shown in the image. If a stretch in your buttock is not felt you can lean forward to increase the stretch.

  • Hold each stretch for 30 seconds. Perform on each three times. Complete one set per day.

Standing Hamstring Stretch – Propped

Standing Hamstring Stretch

The hamstring is one of the most well-known muscle groups in the human body, connecting the pelvis to the lower leg. They’re extremely important in all forms of movement, helping to bend your knees and move your hips backward. Hamstring injuries have nagged many for years when improperly treated, but you can prevent nagging injuries with proper prevention.

Start by standing and prop your foot of the affected leg on a chair, step or curb.

Next, slowly lean forward until a stretch is felt behind your knee/thigh keeping your chest upright. Bend through your hips and not your spine. Hold, then return to starting position and repeat.

  • Hold each stretch for 30 seconds. Perform on each three times. Complete one set per day.

Standing Iliotibial Band Stretch with Trunk Side Bend

IT Band Stretch-Reach

A variation of the traditional trunk side bend, this stretch works on the Iliotibial tract, a band that helps stabilize the outer leg from the knee up through the hip. It’s constantly used in running, cycling, and hiking, and therefore ITB syndrome is a regularly associated injury with these activities.

In a standing position, cross the affected leg behind your unaffected leg.

Next, with your arm over your head, lean to the side towards the unaffected leg. You should feel this along the outside portion of her hip of your affected leg.

  • Hold each stretch for 30 seconds. Perform on each three times. Complete one set per day.

At Impact Physical Therapy, we love to keep Illinois fit, happy, and healthy! If you are recovering from an injury or looking to boost your sport performance, visit and request a free wellness or injury screening! Active Moms’ Club especially likes and recommends Paul Thomas of Impact PT, an extraordinary Sport Physical Therapist who’s been treating this mama for over 10 years!