Tension in the thighs causes pain there, and you might experience back pain as a result of the tight muscles pulling on the pelvis. Tight hamstrings on the rear of the thigh are particularly a potential problem for lower back pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Gentle stretching releases tension and helps heal muscle strains in the front, back, inside and outside areas of the thighs.
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The hamstring muscles on the back of your thigh connect from the back of the pelvis to the back of the knee. When the hamstrings are tight, they shorten and pull on the knee and pelvis. To stretch the hamstrings, you must straighten your knee and flex the hip because this is the opposite of what the hamstrings muscles do. The hamstrings bend the knee and extend the hip backwards. One stretch for the hamstrings then is the stool hamstring stretch. Place one heel on a stool and stand with both legs straight. Then, lean forward at the hips until you feel a stretch in the hamstring of the leg on the stool. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.
Tight quadricep muscles on the front of the thigh not only causes pain in the thighs, it also may contribute to sway back. Sway back is when your lower back flattens instead of maintaining a neutral curve. This incorrect alignment can cause pain and issues in the spine and pelvis. To stretch the quads, you have to bend the knee because the quads extend the knee when contracted. To stretch your right quad, stand with your left leg straight on bend your right knee backwards. Grab your toes or ankle and pull your right foot toward your buttocks. Hold for 30 seconds and switch legs.
Inner Thigh Stretching
The inner thigh muscles are known as the hip adductors because they bring the legs and hips together toward the center line of your body. Pushing the hips open then stretches the inner thighs. One stretch you can do for the adductors is the sit and squat stretch. To begin, stand with the feet shoulder width apart and then bend your knees to lower your hips almost to the floor into a deep squat. Place arms between your inner thighs with your hands clasped and push outwards. Hold for 30 seconds.
Outer Thigh Stretching
The outer thighs are the hip abductors that perform the opposite movement as the adductors. Crossing the legs brings the hips toward the center of the body so this action is part of stretching the abductors. To perform a seated outer thigh stretch, sit on the floor with your right leg straight and left leg crossed over the right thigh with the foot on the floor. Then, twist your upper body to the left and press your right arm against the outside of the left knee to push your body farther around in the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.