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How to stretch after exercising

Use this routine to cool down after a workout to gradually relax, improve flexibility and slow your heart rate.

These gentle stretches should take about 5 minutes. Spend more time on them if you feel the need.

Buttock stretch - hold for 10 to 15 seconds

To do a buttock stretch, bring knees up to chest. Cross right leg over left thigh. Grasp back of left thigh with both hands. Pull left leg toward chest. Repeat with opposite leg.

Hamstring stretch - hold for 10 to 15 seconds

To do a hamstring stretch, lie on your back and raise your right leg. Keeping your left leg bent with your foot on the floor, pull your right leg towards you keeping it straight. Don't hold at the knee level. Repeat with opposite leg.

Inner thigh stretch - hold for 10 to 15 seconds

For the inner thigh stretch, sit down with your back straight and bend your legs, putting the soles of your feet together. Holding on to your feet, try to lower your knees towards the floor.

Calf stretch - hold for 10 to 15 seconds

For the calf stretch, step your right leg forward, keeping it bent, and lean forwards slightly. Keep your left leg straight and try to lower the left heel to the ground. Repeat with opposite leg.

Thigh stretch - hold for 10 to 15 seconds

To do a thigh stretch, lie on right side. Grab top of left foot and gently pull heel towards left buttock to stretch the front of the thigh, keeping knees touching. Repeat on the other side.


Article provided by NHS Choices

See original on NHS Choices

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