Swinging Leg Stretch

by Julia Williams, Demand Media
    Do swinging leg stretches before squatting or lunging.

    Do swinging leg stretches before squatting or lunging.

    If you’re still doing static stretches before working out, you need to rethink your workout program. Dynamic stretching is proven to be more effective and safer than static stretching prior to exercise. So before you work your glutes or thighs, try doing the swinging leg stretch. The forward-to-back leg swing stretches the glutes and front and back of the thighs. The side-to-side leg swing stretches the back of the thighs and inner thighs. Do this dynamic stretch every time you work out your glutes, quads and hamstrings. Warm up by walking or jogging for 10 minutes prior to doing the swinging leg stretch.

    Forward and Back

    Step 1

    Hold onto the back of a chair with your left hand. Shift your weight to your left leg. Contract your abs and keep your back straight.

    Step 2

    Swing your right leg forward, keeping your knee straight, while exhaling at the same time.

    Step 3

    Swing your right leg backward, keeping your knee slightly bent. At the same time inhale. Swing as far as you can without moving your upper body. Do not swing too high as it could result in injury. Repeat swinging your right leg 10 times. Repeat the exercise with the left leg.

    Side to Side

    Step 1

    Hold onto the back of a chair with both hands for balance. Shift your weight to your right leg. Tighten your abs, turn your right foot outward slightly and keep your back straight.

    Step 2

    Lift your left leg into the air, exhaling. Point your toes toward the ceiling. Try not to move your upper body during the entire exercise.

    Step 3

    Lower your left leg back down, inhaling. Swing your left leg in front of your right leg with your toes pointed forward. Repeat swinging your leg 10 times on each leg.

    Tip

    • Gradually increase your range of motion as your leg loosens.

    Warnings

    • If you feel pain while stretching, stop.
    • Do not lock your knees during either exercise to avoid injury.
    • Avoid jerky movements; swing the leg fluidly.

    About the Author

    Though constantly traveling the world, Julia Williams is based in Chicago and has been writing since 2006. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and management from Purdue University with extensive experience in international taxation. She also works as a certified fitness instructor, specializing in the area of Pilates.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images