While there are many stretches to choose from, there are five that Rotherham feels are especially beneficial. He recommends holding each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds.
1. Standing calf stretch – Stand facing a wall and place one foot forward with your toes on the wall and heel on the ground. This stretch focuses on your calf muscles and your Achilles tendon. It can help prevent a potential Achilles tear or rupture.
2. Hip flexor stretch – In a kneeling position, step forward with one knee and place that foot flat on the ground. While keeping your back straight, lean forward until you feel a stretch in your hip flexor. This stretch increases mobility in your hip flexor.
3. Seated hamstring stretch – Begin in a sitting position in a chair. Extend one leg and keep one leg back. Lean forward until you feel the hamstring stretch in the hamstring. This stretch works several muscles including your legs, hips, groin and shoulders. A good progression is to eventually do the stretch seated on the ground.
4. Butterfly/groin stretch – Sit on the ground with bent knees. Press the soles of your feet together and allow your knees to fall to the sides. The butterfly/groin stretch is good a way to increase flexibility in your hips.
5. Standing quad stretch – Bring one leg back and grab your foot. Gently pull back on your leg to stretch the quad. Make sure you keep your back straight and hips forward. This stretches your quadriceps (quad) muscles, on the front and side of your thighs and can prevent muscle cramps.