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Active Stretching For Legs and Hips

3 Moves to Do Before You Lunge, Squat, or Jump

A solid warmup sets you up for a solid workout. After five minutes of light cardio on the treadmill, elliptical, or rowing machine, these three moves prep your lower body for lunging, jumping, and all sorts of squats.

Leg Swings

Grease up the old ball and socket of your hip joint with some leg swings. This move works in the lateral plane of motion, often overlooked in warmups and workouts.

  • Stand with your arms out to the sides for balance, and then lift and cross your right leg over the left. Keeping the toe pointed forward, swing your leg out to the right.
  • Continue crossing and opening the right leg for 10 to 15 reps before switching legs.

Standing Leg Cradle

This active glute stretch opens up the back of the hip, priming all the muscles in your butt to fire.

  • Begin standing, and lift your right leg up, catching the shin and the ankle.
  • Open the right knee to right, and hold for a moment to feel the stretch. Lower the right leg, and repeat on the other side. This completes a rep.
  • Keep alternating sides for 10 reps total.

Rocking Lunge

Give an active stretch to both your hips and hamstrings with the rocking lunge.

  • Start in a deep lunge with your left leg forward with your hands on the floor.
  • Straighten your left knee to rock your weight back and onto your right foot, lengthening the left hamstring. Flex your left toes as you rock into the hamstring stretch to lengthen the calf a bit too.
  • Return back to your deep lunge, and repeat for a total of 10 times on each side.
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