Stretching Exercises

Stretching exercises for the foot, ankle, lower leg, thigh, hip, groin, shoulder, neck, upper arm and elbow. We also explain flexibility and the various types and methods of stretching.

PNF stands for Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation and can take on several forms including hold-relax; contract-relax; and rhythmic initiation. PNF started to become popular in the 1960's and has since become a common treatment for many physiotherapists and other sports injury professionals.

Stretching has many benefits. The most obvious is an increase in muscle flexibility, which results in many other improvements.

Flexibility is a word used regularly in the health and fitness industry, but what does it actually mean, why is it important and how can it be improved?

Stretching can take various different forms. Static stretching is the most common. PNF stretching, muscle energy techniques, ballistic stretching and neural stretching are other types.

Stretching the wrist flexor muscles can be difficult, but using a wall to apply pressure and increase the range of motion can be very effective. Make sure you keep the elbow straight.

Stretching the wrist extensors can be an effective treatment for tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis.

Tennis elbow (also known as lateral epicondylitis) is caused by degenerative changes in one or more of the forearm muscles, where they attach to the humerus. Stretching is part of the treatment for this condition.

The muscles of the arm including the Triceps are often overlooked when it comes to a stretching routine. Stretching the Triceps especially after a weights workout can help reduce DOMS.

The assisted triceps stretch aims to stretch the triceps brachii muscle with assistance from a therapist.

Stretching the shins is usually overlooked until an injury such as shin splints occurs. This is a great treatment and prevention stretch.

This stretch should only be attempted by those who can feel no stretch in the shin stretch and standing shin stretch.

Stretching the shins is usually overlooked until an injury such as shin splints occurs. This is a great treatment and prevention stretch.

This stretch is really effective but you must be careful and make sure you have something to hold on to!

This stretch targets the Soleus muscle which is deeper, underneath the larger Gastrocnemius. Bending the knee relaxes gastrocnemius, allowing Soleus to be stretched in isolation.

This stretch targets the Soleus muscle which is deeper, underneath the larger Gastrocnemius. Bending the knee relaxes gastrocnemius, allowing Soleus to be stretched in isolation.

Here we outline how to assess calf muscle flexibility as well as various calf muscle stretching exercises which are used to increase calf muscle flexibility and recover from calf muscle and achilles tendon injuries.

Stretching the calf muscles can help to prevent a whole range of lower limb injuries.

The peroneal muscles run down the outside of the lower leg and are difficult to stretch and so often neglected in a stretching routine.

Stretching the fascia which runs under the arch of the foot can be a useful part of treatment for plantar fasciitis.

This is a variation of the more common standing quad stretch, which may be easier to perform for some people.

The hamstrings are probably the most commonly tight muscles and this can contribute towards lower back pain.

This really stretches the Rectus Femoris muscle as it crosses both the hip and knee joints. However, don't perform this stretch if you have any kind of knee injury, as it is pretty hard on the knee.

 The hamstrings are probably the most commonly tight muscles and this can contribute towards lower back pain.

 Standing quad stretch. This has to be one of the most recognised and commonly used stretches.

The hamstrings are probably the most commonly tight muscles and this can contribute towards lower back pain.

Standing groin stretch. This easy stretch can help prevent and treat groin strain injuries.

Stretching the adductor muscles will help to keep your hips flexible which is important in injury prevention.

Stretching the muscles of the outer hip such as tensor fascia latae and also the Iliotibial band can be effective in treating runners knee.

The piriformis muscle can be very troublesome and cause symptoms of sciatica including pain radiating down the leg. Stretching this muscle will keep it supple and prevent it impinging on the sciatic nerve.

This is an effective stretch which is commonly used for the muscles at the front of the hip including Rectus Femoris.

Stretching the buttocks can be great for reducing symptoms from sciatica.

Stretching the buttocks can be great for reducing symptoms from sciatica.

Elbow and arm stretching exercises including wrist flexor stretch, wrist extensor stretch, tennis elbow stretch and triceps muscle stretching exercises.

Stretching exercises for the foot and ankle including the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus) and shin stretches, peroneal muscle and plantar fascia.

Stretching exercises for the quadriceps and hamstring muscles. Lying quad stretch, sitting hamstring stretch, partner hamstring stretching.

Back mobility and stretching exercises.