Stretching

Stretching plantar fascia

With your physiotherapist

The therapist grabs the foot, one hand holding the back of the heel, the other hand holding the forefoot. A dorsiflexion movement is gradually induced, causing the plantar arch to become more concave. The exercise stretches the plantar fascia as well as the common flexor tendon, the flexor halluces tendon and the intrinsic flexor muscles of the foot sole.


Stretching plantar fascia

At home

Position
  • Stand facing a wall
  • Press toes against the wall
  • Lean forward
Practice
  • 3 x 30 seconds, every day
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Gradual pressure and no forcing
Stretching calves

With your physiotherapist

The patient lies on the back. The therapist grabs a leg (straight but loose) and gradually induces a dorsiflexion movement of the ankle. This exercise stretches not only the calf muscles but also the soleus muscle, the plantaris muscle and the flexor muscles.


Stretching calves

At home

Position
  • Slide your foot backward while keeping it in the axis of your body
  • Heel on the ground, leg straight to stretch the calf muscles
  • Bring hips forward, keeping your back arched
Practice
  • 3 x 30 seconds, every day
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Gradual pressure and no forcing

Stretching calves

Variant with a step

Position
  • The opposite foot controls the movement
Practice
  • 3 x 30 seconds, every day
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Gradual pressure and no forcing
Stretching quadriceps

With your physiotherapist

The patient lies in lateral decubitus position. The therapist grabs the leg (knee flexed), and gradually induces a hip extension movement, while keeping the knee flexed.


Stretching quadriceps

At home

Position
  • Stand with one leg bent
  • Don’t arch your back
  • Pull in your stomach
  • Contract buttocks muscles
  • Keep thighs together
  • Induce a progressive hip extension, pulling your thigh backward
Practice
  • 3 x 30 seconds, every day
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Gradual pressure and no forcing

Stretching quadriceps

Variant if you struggle keeping control of the pelvis area

Position
  • Lying on the side
  • Bring your heel to your buttocks
Practice
  • 3 x 30 seconds, every day
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Gradual pressure and no forcing
Stretching hamstring muscles

With your physiotherapist

The patient lies in lateral decubitus position. The therapist grabs the straight lower limb and induces a hip flexion. The knee remains in maximal extension. This passive stretching exercise should be done with the help of an experienced therapist. The major benefit of this technique is your relaxation during the progressive tightening of the muscle. The lengthening of the muscular tissue will lead to a wider range of motion. This exercise is done at your physiotherapist’s consulting room.


Stretching hamstring muscles

At home

Position
  • Slide your hands along your legs towards the feet
  • Your torso and head must remain on the same axis and your back should not be arched
Practice
  • 3 x 30 seconds, every day
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Gradual pressure and no forcing

Stretching hamstring muscles

Variant with an elastic strap

Position
  • Lift your legs up to a vertical position
  • Push heels towards the ceiling
  • Pull toes towards you
Practice
  • 3 x 30 seconds, every day
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Gradual pressure and no forcing

Stretching hamstring muscles

Variant against a wall

Position
  • Lying against a wall, legs against the wall in a vertical position
  • Bottom against the wall
  • Lower back against the floor
  • Pull back your chin
  • Pull toes towards you
  • Arms alongside your body
Practice
  • 10 minutes, 3 times a week
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Gradual pressure and no forcing
Stretching adductor muscles

With your physiotherapist

The patient lies on the back. The therapist grabs the straight lower limb and progressively induces a hip abduction movement that stretches the adductor muscles.


Stretching adductor muscles

At home

Position
  • In sitting position, pull your heels up to your buttocks
  • Bring knees apart with the help of your hands
  • Keep your back straight and your head on the same axis
Practice
  • 3 x 30 seconds, every day
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Gradual pressure and no forcing

Stretching adductor muscles

Standing variant

Position
  • In standing position
  • Leg to stretch in abduction
  • The other leg (slightly bent) maintains the stability of the pelvis area
Practice
  • 3 x 30 seconds, every day
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Gradual pressure and no forcing
Stretching tensor fascia lata muscles

With your physiotherapist

This passive stretching exercise requires the help of an outside person, preferably an experienced therapist. The major benefit of this technique is your relaxation during the progressive tightening of the muscle. The lengthening of the muscular tissue will lead to a wider range of motion. This exercise is done at your physiotherapist’s consulting room.

The patient lies in supine position. The therapist sits on the side opposite to the muscle to be stretched. He grabs the limb and induces a progressive abduction.


Stretching tensor fascia lata muscles

At home

Position
  • Lying on your side
  • Grab the top leg (ankle)
  • Bring your feet to your buttocks
  • The lower leg exerts a downward pressure on the top leg
Practice
  • 3 x 30 seconds, every day
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Gradual pressure and no forcing
Stretching iliopsoas muscle

With your physiotherapist

The patient lies on the back, at the edge of the table, the thigh to stretch is in extension, and the opposite thigh is bent.


Stretching iliopsoas muscle

At home

Position
  • Support yourself with your hands on your knees
  • Slide your foot backward while keeping it in the axis of your body
  • Bring your hips forward without arching your back
Practice
  • 3 x 30 seconds, every day
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Gradual pressure and no forcing

Stretching iliopsoas muscle

Variant in supine position

Position
  • Grab a leg with your hands and bring it against your chest
  • The other leg in the air will bring the iliopsoas muscle in tension through gravity
Practice
  • 3 x 30 seconds, every day
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Gradual pressure and no forcing
Stretching gluteal muscles

With your physiotherapist

The patient lies on the back. The lower limb to be stretched is in maximum hip and knee flexion. The therapist progressively induces a hip adduction.


Stretching gluteal muscles

At home

Position
  • In sitting position
  • One leg straight, bend the other leg and bring it toward the opposite shoulder
  • Look toward the stretching side
Practice
  • 3 x 30 seconds, every day
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Gradual pressure and no forcing
Stretching piriformis muscle

With your physiotherapist

The patient lies on the back. The lower limb to be stretched is in maximum hip and knee flexion. The therapist progressively induces a hip adduction and an external hip rotation at the end.


Stretching piriformis muscle

At home

Position
  • Lying on your back
  • Ankle on opposite knee
  • Pull this knee toward you
  • Head on the floor
Practice
  • 3 x 30 seconds, every day
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Gradual pressure and no forcing
Stretching lumbar spine

With your physiotherapist

The major benefit of this technique is your relaxation during the progressive tightening of the muscle. The lengthening of the muscular tissue will lead to a wider range of motion. This exercise is done at your physiotherapist’s consulting room. This passive stretching exercise should be done with the help of an experienced therapist.


Stretching lumbar spine

At home

Position
  • On all fours
  • Bring your torso and hips backward
  • Keep hands on the floor
Practice
  • 3 x 30 seconds, every day
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Gradual pressure and no forcing

Stretching lumbar spine

Variant on the back

Position
  • On the back, bring your knees towards your chest
Practice
  • 3 x 30 seconds, every day
  • Slow and deep breathing
  • Gradual pressure and no forcing

With kind cooperation of Nafissatou Thiam

Nafissatou Thiam, gold medal at Rio Olympics

2016 - Gold medal at Rio Olympics 2015 - Silver medal at the Indoor European Championships
2014 - Bronze medal at the European Championships
2013 - Gold medal at the Junior European Championships