Are your legs feeling the burn before you even get to leg day?
Whether you are a novice lifter or a pro at building those gun show calves, there is no denying that stretching pre-workout will help ensure your form and mobility are on point.
We all know how important it is to protect our muscles from injury and soreness with proper stretching, but sometimes, figuring out which stretches to do can be daunting.
Well, don’t worry—we have put together some of the best stretches before leg day so that you can maximize performance in both the gym and in life.
Let’s get going:
Dynamic Stretches For Leg Day
Here are the best stretches to do before your leg day for ultimate success:
1. Groin Stretch
Performing a groin stretch helps improve flexibility in the inner thigh area, reducing the risk of strains or discomfort when engaging in exercises like squats, lunges, or leg presses.
This stretch also enhances hip mobility and range of motion, which is essential for various leg movements during your workout.
- Find a quiet space to sit on the floor.
- Extend your legs straight out in front of you.
- Gradually bend your knees, bringing the soles of your feet together, allowing your knees to fall out to the sides.
- Hold your feet with your hands. If you're less flexible, hold your ankles; if you can, hold your toes.
- Gently press your knees toward the floor, feeling the stretch in your inner thighs and groin area.
- Maintain a straight back and an upright posture.
- Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds while taking slow, deep breaths.
- Release the stretch, relax, and repeat as necessary to increase flexibility and range of motion.
2. Butterfly Stretch
The butterfly stretch is one of the best stretches to do before the leg day as it primarily targets the inner thighs and groin, promoting better blood circulation and flexibility.
This can aid in preventing muscle imbalances and reduce the risk of injury during leg exercises, such as leg extensions or leg curls.
It also helps you achieve a more comfortable range of motion in the hips.
- Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight.
- Bring your feet together, allowing your knees to fall out to the sides, forming a diamond shape with your legs.
- Hold your feet with your hands, bringing them as close to your body as comfortably possible.
- Gently press your knees toward the floor, feeling the stretch in your inner thighs.
- Sit up tall with good posture, keeping your back straight.
- Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, taking deep breaths and trying to relax into the stretch.
- Release the stretch, rest, and repeat as needed to enhance your flexibility and prepare for leg day.
3. Standing Quadriceps Stretch
Stretching the quadriceps before leg day is essential for enhancing the flexibility of the front thigh muscles.
This prepares your legs for movements like squats and lunges by reducing tension and increasing muscle extensibility.
A well-stretched quadriceps muscle can lead to better form and reduced strain on the knee and hip joints.
- Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart in a clear, open space.
- Shift your weight to one leg, and bend your other knee, lifting your heel toward your buttocks.
- Use your hand to reach behind and gently grab your ankle.
- Keep your knees close together, ensuring your thighs are parallel.
- Maintain good balance by engaging your core muscles.
- Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, feeling the front of your thigh (quadriceps) stretching.
- Release the stretch and switch to the other leg.
- Repeat as necessary to improve flexibility and prevent injury on leg day.
4. Ankle Circles
Ankle mobility is a crucial stretch for leg day, and ankle circles help loosen and warm up the ankle joints.
Improved ankle mobility allows for proper foot placement and better balance during exercises like squats and deadlifts.
It also helps reduce the risk of ankle injuries during the workout.
- Find a comfortable standing or seated position.
- Lift one foot slightly off the ground, keeping your knee slightly bent.
- Begin making small circles with your ankle in a clockwise direction.
- Gradually increase the size of the circles while continuing to breathe evenly.
- After about 15-30 seconds, reverse the direction and make counterclockwise circles with your ankle.
- This stretch helps improve ankle mobility and flexibility, reducing the risk of strains and injuries during leg exercises.
- Repeat the same sequence with the other ankle to ensure both are adequately prepared for your leg day workout.
5. IT Band Stretch
Stretching the iliotibial band (IT band) helps prevent IT band syndrome, a common issue among athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
A supple IT band enhances hip and knee joint function, which is vital for movements like leg presses and lateral lunges.
Stretching this area can reduce discomfort and improve overall leg day performance.
- Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart.
- Cross your right leg behind your left leg.
- Raise your right arm overhead, and gently bend your upper body to the left.
- You should feel a stretch along the side of your right leg.
- Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds while breathing deeply.
- Stand up straight and uncross your legs.
- Repeat the stretch with the left leg crossing behind the right and bending your upper body to the right.
To get the most out of your leg day, it's important to stretch beforehand.
Incorporating dynamic stretches is a great way to warm up those muscles and help prevent soreness down the line.
And if you're ever uncertain about how to approach your stretching routine best, don't hesitate to consult a fitness professional for direction or one-on-one workouts.
With a few good stretches before the leg day, you'll definitely feel the joy of elevated leg day success.