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Stretches should be held at the point of mild discomfort for at least 20 seconds, and should be repeated 3 times. You should not ‘bounce’ while stretching, but hold the stretch position. Over stretching beyond the point of mild discomfort can aggravate symptoms. You should take care to ensure you position yourself well for an effective stretch.
Exercise 1 – Quadriceps
a) Lying face down, bend one knee and hold onto your ankle. Pull your heel slowly towards your buttock until you feel the stretching on the front of your thigh.
b) Also adapt to the standing position.
Exercise 2 – Hamstrings
a) Stand with the leg to be stretched on a footstool. Bend your upper body forwards from your hips keeping your back straight. You should feel the stretching behind your knee and thigh.
b) Lying on your back, bend the leg to be stretched to 90 degrees at the hip, keeping the other leg flat. Slowly straighten your knee, taking your foot towards the ceiling.
c) Sit against a wall with your legs out straight, bottom touching the wall. Don’t bend your knees.
Exercise 3 – Gastrocnemius
Stand in a walking position with the leg to be stretched behind you. Take support from a wall or chair. Make sure that both feet are facing forwards and the heels are on the ground. Bend the front knee and bring your body weight forwards until you feel a stretch in the calf of the straight leg. Repeat with the back knee slightly bent.
Exercise 4 – Soleus
Squat down onto one knee. Keep the front heel down on the floor, bringing your weight forward onto this leg. You should feel a stretch deep in your calf muscle.