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A new way to stretch for active agers - Best leg stretches

This is the fourth week of a six week blog series teaching active agers how to use foam rollers and hard balls to get deep stretches.  Legs, especially the lower leg, are often missed out in stretching routines.  Calf and shins muscles can get knotted and cause problems for the knees and feet.  Quad muscles also feel and perform better with regular foam roller use.

Our Vintage Fitness personal trainers, who are experts in 50+ fitness find that many clients are hesitant to use these kinds of stretching aids because they are not sure how to use them or they can be tricky to get on and off.

This 6 week series includes:

  • The benefits of stretching aids like balls and foam rollers- Friday May 19th
  • Back stretches using stretching aids- Friday May 26
  • Hip stretches using stretching aids (great if you have hip pain)- Friday June 2
  • Leg stretches using stretching aids (will give ways to stretch your hamstrings even if you have bad arthritis in your knees)- Friday June 9
  • Modified stretches using stretching aids if you can’t easily stretch on the floor-Friday June 16
  • Modified stretches using stretching aids if you have weak wrists- Friday June 23

Leg stretches using a foam roller

Calf release

Calf release

Benefits of this exercise:

Stretch muscles deep in the calves that are hard to access without the foam roller or a massage therapist.  This is a great stretch for avid walkers.

Tips:

  • Make the stretch easier by putting keeping your bum on the ground while you roll your calves out

Video:


Lateral calf stretch

Lateral calf stretch

Benefits of this exercise:

Loosen muscles and tendons that get tight on the side of the calf.

Tips:

  • May want to put a pillow under your elbow for comfort
  • Move up and down the foam roller until you feel the tight muscles on the side of the calf and hold to let those muscles release

Video:


Quad (front of the leg) release

Quad (front of the leg) release

Benefits of this exercise:  

Reduces the tension in your quadriceps which get tight with periods of extended sitting and lack of use.

Tips:

  • Keep your core muscles contracted to protect your lower back and keep the lower back flat
  • Stop when you find a tight spot to let the foam roller release it

Video:


Hamstring release

Hamstring release

Benefits of this exercise:

Stretch hamstrings in a way that doesn’t require you to contract the hamstring muscle.  Highly recommended for people with arthritis in their knees.

Tips:

  • Keep your chest open as you do this stretch

Video:


Good Luck!

Erin

Vintage Fitness

Click to Call    416-951-7978

Vintage Fitness is an in home personal training company in Toronto, Canada.  We specialize in energizing the lives of people over 50 with exercise. 

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