There's no question that working out, standing all day or just doing a lot of walking can cause sore legs. If you need a more intense stretch than you can get without props, let an inexpensive piece of rope approximately three feet long come to your rescue. By using a rope for added resistance, you'll be able to deepen your stretches. You can perform these exercises at home in the morning, before you go to bed or anytime you need a deeper stretch.
Lie on your back with your legs extended.
Lift one leg as high as you can. Place the middle of the rope around the ball of your lifted foot and grasp one end of the rope in each hand.
Pull gently on the ends of the rope as you straighten your leg. For a deeper stretch, move your hands up the rope or lift your leg higher and pull gently on the rope.
Hold the stretch for 15 seconds and then lower your leg to the floor and repeat on your other leg.
Quadriceps and Hip Flexors
Wrap the rope around the ball of your foot as you did for the hamstring stretch and then wrap it again so it crosses on top of your foot. Grip one end of the rope in each hand.
Lie on your stomach and lift your wrapped foot by bending at the knee.
Lift your thigh 3 inches off the ground and pull on the rope to stretch your leg. Your hands should be in front of your head.
Hold the stretch for up to fifteen seconds and then repeat on the other leg.
Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Wrap the middle of the rope around the balls of both feet and hold one end of the rope in each hand.
Straighten your back, flex your feet, and pull on the rope to stretch your calves.
Hold for up to fifteen seconds. Repeat as necessary.
S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.