Single knee tuck stretches help improve the flexibility of your lower back, the quadriceps of your front thigh and your hip flexors. Not only can these stretches improve your flexibility, but they also feel great on your muscles. These stretches involve bringing the knee toward your body or bringing your body toward your knee. Always consult with your doctor before starting new stretches, especially if you have a pre-existing injury.
Lie with your back down on a firm surface. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor and your heels are a few inches from your buttocks. Lace your fingers about 2 inches below your left knee and pull your left knee toward your chest. You can also wrap your arms around your left leg. Extend your right knee so your right leg is resting comfortably on the floor. Pull or hug your left knee closer to your chest until you feel a pain-free stretch in your lower back. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then switch legs.
This stretch really targets your hips and it looks pretty while you're doing it. Lie on your stomach with your upper body raised off the floor so you're resting on your elbows with your forearms flat on the ground in front of you. Bend your right knee and bring it toward your chest under your body. Your outer thigh, knee and calf rest on the floor as the inner thigh is directly under your abdominals and chest. Keep your spine stable by contracting your abdominal muscles, and be sure to keep your left leg extended behind you so the toes on your left foot are pointing at the wall behind you. Lower your upper body toward the floor and hold the stretch for 30 seconds when you feel painless tension. Switch legs.
Prone Quad Stretch
Lie on your stomach with your legs extended behind you and your arms resting to your sides. Bend your right knee and bring your right foot to your buttocks. Grasp the top of your ankle with your right hand and pull your ankle closer to the top of your buttocks. Once you feel painless tension, hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then switch legs. You can also perform this stretch while standing or lying on your side, so choose whichever version is most convenient for you.
Sit on a sturdy chair with your feet flat on the ground. Contract your abdominal muscles to help stabilize your spine. Bend your left knee and bring your left foot up and place your left ankle on your right thigh — about 2 inches above your right knee. Allow your left leg to remain bent and resting on your upper right thigh. Place your right hand on top of your right ankle and your left hand over your left knee. Bending at the hips and keeping your back straight, lower your upper body toward your right knee. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then switch legs.
Melissa McNamara is a certified personal trainer who holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and communication studies from the University of Iowa. She writes for various health and fitness publications while working toward a Bachelor of Science in nursing.