Having tight, stiff leg muscles can make you feel lethargic and less motivated to move. The muscles in your legs can stiffen for a variety of reasons, including staying sedentary for too long or exercising too rigorously. Bone or joint ailments, such as arthritis or osteoporosis, can also cause stiffness. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to ease muscle stiffness and improve leg mobility.
Get up and move around. Sitting for long periods is a common cause of stiff leg muscles. If you sit down at a desk all day at work, simply walk across the room and back multiple times throughout the day to loosen stiff leg muscles and encourage circulation.
Submerge your legs in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. Warm water relaxes tight, stiff muscles in your legs and eases any stiffness affecting your knee, ankle or hip joints. Try taking a dip in a warm hot tub or a soothing soak in your bathtub.
Massage your leg muscles. Press down firmly on your stiff leg muscles, and rub them using a back and forth motion. Try using a hand-held massage device to penetrate deeper into your muscle tissues, allowing the vibration to loosen up any tension.
Stretch out your calf muscles by standing up and facing a wall with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands against the wall and slowly lean forward while sliding one leg backward. Hold the stretch for about 20 seconds and repeat with the opposite leg.
Stretch your hamstrings. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lifting one leg up, hold your thigh with both hands and gently pull your leg toward your chest. Hold the stretch for about 20 seconds and repeat with the opposite leg.
Stretch your quadriceps. Stand facing a wall with one palm placed against it. Lift one leg behind you using one hand to hold onto your heel while gently pulling upward. Hold the stretch for about 20 seconds, and then repeat with the opposite leg.