If a person lacks flexibility, it may inhibit her ability to complete her daily activities with ease and comfort. Being flexible can also help prevent chronic injuries. PNF or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation is believed to be the most effective stretching technique to improve flexibility when performed actively, which requires a contraction of the opposing muscles. To be effective, do PNF stretches two times per week.
Seated Glute Stretch
Sit on the floor. Bend your right knee and bring the sole of the right foot on the floor. Cross the left shin over your right thigh. Keep your left shin parallel to the floor. Grab your right hamstring with your right hand and grab your left thigh with your left hand. Push your left thigh into your left hand for three seconds, resisting your thigh with your left hand. Release and draw your left knee away from you by contracting your left butt muscles for three seconds. Repeat at least three times. Continue on the other side.
Supine Hamstring Stretch
Grab a belt or a rope and lie on your back. Keep both legs straight and your left toes pointing toward the ceiling. Lift your right leg off the floor as far as possible and wrap the belt behind your right calf. Hold the rope or belt in your hands. Push your leg into the belt for three seconds, resisting your leg with the belt. Move your right leg toward your chest by contracting your right quadriceps for three seconds. Notice that each time you do the stretch, your leg gets a little closer to your chest. Repeat at least three times. Continue on the other side.
Supine Piriformis Stretch
The supine piriformis stretch will target the piriformis muscles, which run over the sciatic nerve. Lie on your back. Bend your knees and cross your right leg over your left. Grab both your shins with your hands. Push your legs into your hands for three seconds, resisting your legs with your hands. Draw your legs into your chest by contracting your hip flexors for three seconds. Make sure to keep your low back on the floor to target the piriformis instead of stretching the low back muscles. Repeat at least three times. Continue on the other side.
Straight Leg Groin Stretch
The straight leg groin stretch will stretch all the inner thigh muscles called the adductors. Lie on your back and open your legs wide into the air. Keep your legs straight. Grab your inner thighs with your hands. Push your legs into your hands for three seconds, resisting your legs with your hands. Lower your legs toward the floor by contracting the outer part of your legs -- the abductor muscles -- for three seconds. Notice that each time you do the stretch, your legs get closer to the floor. Repeat at least three times.