best stretches for flexible legs

Best Stretches for Flexible Legs

Flexibility is super important to be in your best shape.  This is especially true for athletes and dancers where legs are primarily used for movement. Learning the best stretches for flexible legs is vital to remain limber and nimble.

You may be a runner, yoga practitioner, martial artist or a ballet dancer that needs the ability to be very flexible in your legs.  Of course, being flexible in your legs will help anyone looking to be fit.

Warm-up Before Stretching

Stretching works best when your muscles and body are warm.  This helps to loosen your joints, muscles and gently preparing your body for deeper stretches.

A warmup could be so simple calisthenics such as lightly jogging in place, jumping jacks, or a few knee-ups.  The goal is to just get the blood pumping and to raise your body temperature slightly.

Here are some additional tips before we get started:

  • Always stretch after exercising
  • Never force your body into positions
  • Breathe throughout your exercises

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Top 11 Best Stretches for Flexible Legs

As with any workout, make sure that you listen to your body and not overexert it.  Flexibility is best achieved through repeated small increments over a long period of time to allow your body to adjust.

We have provided some simple modifications to help you ease back or increase the stretch depending on your current flexibility level.

#1 Calf Stretches

calf stretch
  1. Face a wall and place your hands on it 
  2. Step one leg behind you, allowing the other knee to bend
  3. Take 3-5 deep breaths in this position. Don’t forget to stretch your other calf.

 Stretching Modifications:

  •  Stand with your hands against the wall and press both heels back into the ground. Vary the weight in your heels.

#2 Quad Stretches

  1. Lie on your side, bend your right knee and grab your right ankle with your right hand.
  2. If possible, gently guide your heel closer to you. 
  3. Be sure to take 3-5 deep breaths in this position and to stretch both quadriceps. 

Increase the Stretch:

  • Use your opposite hand of your leg or both hands to grab your ankle.
Quad Stretches

#3 Toe Touches

toe touches

You can do this stretch standing or sitting.  

  1. Start with your feet hip-width apart and allow a gentle bend in your knees. 
  2. Roll your spine down slowly towards your feet in front of you articulating each vertebrate as a time. 
  3. Hold at the bottom for 1-2 breaths.
  4. Repeat 3-4 times.

 Decrease the stretch:

  • Stand with back and heels against a wall. 

#4 Lunge Stretches

  1. Kneel on one knee. Your hands can be on your hips, your front knee or the ground. 
  2. If you need more of a stretch, you can slowly push your hips more forward.
  3. Take 2-4 deep breaths here and repeat with the other leg.

Decrease the Stretch:

  • Try placing chairs on either side of you or doing this exercise in a doorway if you can’t reach the floor with your hands.

Increase the Stretch:

  • You can simply increase the intensity of this stretch, lift your back knee off the floor.
lunge stretch

#5 Single Hamstring Stretch

toe touches
  1. Pushing back from the lunge position, shift your weight to be balanced on your rear knee.
  2. Flex the toes of your front leg. 
  3. Slowly fold your torso forward.
  4. Take 3-5 deep breaths.
  5. Repeat on the other leg.

Decrease the Stretch:

  • Place chairs on either side or you or do this stretch in a doorway.

Other Modifications:

  • The toes on the kneeling leg can be curled underneath for support or unfolded. This just depends on which you feel is better for maintaining your balance. 
  • You can also place a pillow under your knee if the ground is uncomfortable.

#6 Butterfly Stretch

  1. Bend your knees and place the soles of your feet together. 
  2. Sacrifice how far apart you can take your knee to ensure that your abdomen is turned on and your spine is extended. 

Decrease the Stretch:

  • Sit against a wall to ensure the spine is straight. 
  • Sit on pillows or Pilates blocks. 

Increase the Stretch:

  • Place your hands on your knees to guide them towards the floor.
  • Bend forward while in the stretch.
best stretches for flexible legs

#7 Wide Leg Stretches

  1. Open your legs into a V. 
  2. Flex your feet and feel as if your heels are pushing an imaginary wall away from you.
  3. Lean forward towards your legs with a straight spine to increase the hamstring stretch.
  4. Take 3-5 deep breaths in this position.

Decrease the Stretch:

  • Sit with your back against a wall.
  • Sit on a pillow(s) or Pilates block(s).

#8 Reclined Hamstring Stretch

  1. Lying on your back, lift the right leg up so that your leg is pointing straight towards the ceiling with your foot flexing. 
  2. Keep the left leg pressing into the ground with your ankle pointed. 
  3. Place your hands behind the thigh or calf of your right leg and gently encourage that leg towards you. 
  4. Take 3-5 deep breaths in this position. 
  5. Return to start and repeat with the other leg.

Decrease the Stretch:

  • Bend the leg that is on the ground so that your foot is flat against the floor. Slowly try to extend that leg back down while maintaining the hold of the leg that shooting energy through the ceiling. 

#9 Reclined Glute Stretch

  1. Lying on your back, bend both knees so that the bottom of your feet are touching the ground. 
  2. Lift your right knee so that the shin bone is parallel to the ground and cross the right ankle over the thigh of the left knee.
  3. Lift your left foot off of the ground and clasp your hands behind your left thigh. 
  4. Gently guide your left thigh towards your chest with your hands. 
  5. Take about 3-5 deep breaths in this position. Repeat on the other leg.

Decrease the Stretch:

  • Sit on a chair with a straight back and both feet on the ground.
  • Lift your right leg up and cross the ankle over the left thigh, near the knee. 

Increase the Stretch:

  • Gently press down on your right knee or thigh.
  • Bend forward towards your legs. 

#10 Spinal Twist Stretch

  1. Lying on your back, lift one leg so that its shin is parallel to the floor. 
  2. Lift the other leg so that your legs meet in the air. 
  3. Keep your knees pressing into each other as if they are glued together. 
  4. Take your knees to your right, allowing them to lift your left hip up. Keep your left shoulder on the ground. Don’t hold this position. 
  5. Slowly shift back your knees back to center and your spine into the center and repeat on the other side. 
  6. You can do each side about 3-4 times. 


You can also do this stretch with one knee at a time and stretch in the opposite.  Here is a video of this:

#11 Child’s Pose Stretch

Child’s Pose Stretch

You can get into this position a couple of ways. 

The first is:

  1. Sit your hips on your heels and fold forward at the waist. 
  2. Your hands will gently walk out in front of you reaching away from your legs. 
  3. Aim to get your forehead onto the ground.

The way that I prefer to get into this position is:

  1. Start on your hands and knees. 
  2. Shift your weight back into your heels, folding your hips down and trying to keep your hands where they started.

Final Thoughts on Best Stretches for Flexible Legs

All of these stretches provide benefits for different muscles associated with the legs. While they can be done individually, they will provide the most long term benefit by being practiced as a sequence.

The best stretches for flexible legs are best done as often as you can do them.  Stretching is one of those exercises that you can do lightly each day as long as you take it easy.

Practice these at least 2-3 times per week if you can’t do them every day at the end of your workout or after sitting for long periods for better results.

More Info

We always recommend using exercise straps as a way to help you stretch your legs.  These exercise straps are ideal to pair with the best stretches for flexible legs.

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Related Questions

  • How to get flexible legs? – It’s good to practice these stretches after you’ve exercised. This will allow your muscles to be more flexible and will also help you unwind from your exercise time.
  • What are some stretching exercises for flexibility? – Try taking fitness classes in your area that involve dynamic stretching. Pilates, Yoga, and dance cardio (Zumba) are good examples of the types of classes you’d want to look for.
  • What is a good daily stretching routine? – It’s good to do some very light stretches in bed when you first wake up. You can gently roll the joints around, bend slightly in a few different directions, and just try to feel like these gentle morning stretches will help you grow an extra inch in the morning.


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