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Should I Stretch After Leg Day?

    Leg workouts are challenging since they engage the body’s biggest muscles, and recovery takes longer. If you’ve ever had an intense leg day, you know that you get sore legs afterward. You may not even be able to walk. If you wonder, should I stretch after leg day? Will stretching even help me? The good news is that this soreness won’t last for a long time, and you can alleviate it with different techniques. 

    You should stretch your legs after a leg day. It helps you experience less soreness, protects your muscles and joints, and reduces the risk of injuries. Because your leg muscles are the largest in your body, they take longer to recover. Stretching accelerates that. 

    Should I Stretch After Leg Day

    This article will explain how stretching after an intense leg session can promote recovery and what else you can do to accelerate it even more.

    We’ll also give you a few stretches to try after your session. 

    See the products below if you want to see our top three Mats we use for our stretches after a leg day.

     

     

    Benefits of Stretch After Leg Day 😃

    Benefits of Stretch After Leg Day

    Stretching after a leg day accelerates your path to recovery, so you can gain more muscle and become stronger.

    If you use leg stretchers, see our post on How Often Should You Use Leg Stretchers? to help you stretch your legs more efficiently.

    Let’s see what happens when you stretch after lower body workouts and how it helps you recover.

    • Increases blood flow in the muscles. Regular stretching improves blood circulation in your body. When more blood flows toward your muscles, they receive more nutrients and oxygen. Therefore, your recovery time decreases, and you experience shorter periods of muscle soreness.
    • Prevents pain. If you don’t stretch after a workout, you’re more likely to experience muscle stiffness. Stretching decreases the risk of soreness and pain by gradually cooling down your body. 
    • Increases flexibility. Stretching after a workout prepares your muscles for exercises that need flexibility, endurance, and power. 
    • Protects joints. Stretching reduces tension and stiffness in your joints and removes the pressure on them. Therefore, you can move them more freely. 
    • Decreases injury risk. Tight muscles after a workout are at a higher risk of injury. Stretching reduces strain on your muscles and joints by keeping your muscles flexible and toned.

     

    Best Stretches to Do After Leg Day 😍

    Best Stretches to Do After Leg Day

    Stretch your calves, hamstrings, and thighs for five to ten minutes to prevent muscle soreness after a leg day. See Stretch Your Calves Before Running for more tips on running and stretches.

    You will need a durable non-slip exercise mat to do the stretches on.

    See our top three recommended mats below:

    Preview
    Overall Best
    Manduka PRO Yoga Mat – Premium 6mm Thick Mat, High Performance Grip, Support and Stability in Yoga, Pilates, Gym, Fitness, Extra Long, 85 Inches, Black Color
    Best Alternative
    IUGA Pro Non Slip Yoga Mat, Unbeatable Non Slip Performance, Eco Friendly and SGS Certified Material for Hot Yoga, Odorless Lightweight and Extra Large Size, Free Carry Strap
    Best Budget
    UMINEUX Yoga Mat Extra Thick 1/3'' Non Slip Yoga Mats for Women with Alignment Marks Eco Friendly TPE Fitness Exercise Mat with Carrying Strap & Storage Bag
    Product Name
    Manduka PRO Yoga Mat
    IUGA Pro Non Slip Yoga Mat
    UMINEUX Yoga Mat Extra Thick
    Thickness
    6MM
    5MM
    8MM
    Material
    Polyvinyl Chloride
    Polyurethane, Rubber
    TPE
    Weight
    ‎0.78 Kilograms
    2.5 lbs
    2.4 Pounds
    Dimensions
    85 x 26 x 0.24 inches
    85 x 26 x 0.24 inches
    72 x 24 x 0.31 inches
    Eco Friendly
    Overall Best
    Preview
    Manduka PRO Yoga Mat – Premium 6mm Thick Mat, High Performance Grip, Support and Stability in Yoga, Pilates, Gym, Fitness, Extra Long, 85 Inches, Black Color
    Product Name
    Manduka PRO Yoga Mat
    Thickness
    6MM
    Material
    Polyvinyl Chloride
    Weight
    ‎0.78 Kilograms
    Dimensions
    85 x 26 x 0.24 inches
    Eco Friendly
    Interested?
    Best Alternative
    Preview
    IUGA Pro Non Slip Yoga Mat, Unbeatable Non Slip Performance, Eco Friendly and SGS Certified Material for Hot Yoga, Odorless Lightweight and Extra Large Size, Free Carry Strap
    Product Name
    IUGA Pro Non Slip Yoga Mat
    Thickness
    5MM
    Material
    Polyurethane, Rubber
    Weight
    2.5 lbs
    Dimensions
    85 x 26 x 0.24 inches
    Eco Friendly
    Interested?
    Best Budget
    Preview
    UMINEUX Yoga Mat Extra Thick 1/3'' Non Slip Yoga Mats for Women with Alignment Marks Eco Friendly TPE Fitness Exercise Mat with Carrying Strap & Storage Bag
    Product Name
    UMINEUX Yoga Mat Extra Thick
    Thickness
    8MM
    Material
    TPE
    Weight
    2.4 Pounds
    Dimensions
    72 x 24 x 0.31 inches
    Eco Friendly
    Interested?

     

    Now you have your mat, here are a few moves to try. 

     

    Deep Butt Stretch

     Deep Butt Stretch

    Deep butt stretching reduces glute pain. Find an elevated flat surface like a bed or table for this exercise, and follow these steps:

    • Place one leg up on the surface with the knee at a 90-degree angle.
    • Keep the other leg backward such that the knee and the hip of the elevated leg are in a straight line. 
    • Slowly lean forward from the hips. Hold your back nice and straight. 
    • Hold your arms straight in front of you for a deeper stretch and rotate your upper back.
    • Hinch to your comfort level. Feel the stretch in your glute. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. 
    • Slowly come back up and repeat three to five times. Then, switch legs. 

     

    Crossover Hamstring Stretch

    Crossover Hamstring Stretch.

    Image credit: Fitmencook

    This stretchFitmencooking exercise stretches your hamstring and back thighs. It also relieves muscle pain in these areas. To do this exercise:

    • Stand and cross one leg over the other leg.
    • Bend your hip and try to touch the ground with your fingers. 
    • Keep your knees straight. 
    • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then switch legs. 

     

    Wall Calf Stretch

    Wall Calf Stretch

    As the name suggests, wall calf stretching stretches your calf muscles. You will need to stand near a wall for support. Follow these steps:

    • Stand in front of a wall. Place your right toes on the wall and your right heel on the floor. 
    • Lean forward to feel the stretch on your right calf.
    • The more you go forward, the more stretch you’ll feel.
    • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Then, switch legs. 

     

    Standing Quad Stretch

    Standing Quad Stretch

    This stretching exercise stretches your quadriceps. This move also requires you to stand near a wall or the back of a chair for support. Follow these steps:

    • Place your feet together. Rest your hands on the wall or back of the chair. 
    • Bend your right knee, and pull the left foot towards your butt with the help of your hand. Feel the stretch in front of your right thigh. 
    • Squeeze your butt for more stretch.
    • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Then, switch legs. 

     

    Wide Squat

    Wide Squat

    Wide squats increase your flexibility by stretching your butt muscles and hamstrings. For this exercise, follow these steps:

    • Stand and place your feet slightly wider than your hips and squat down.
    • Hold your palms together and press your elbows against the inner side of your knees. This movement helps your further open the hips. 
    • For a deeper stretch, place your hands on the floor.
    • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and go back to the starting position. 
    • Repeat three to five times. 

     

    Butterfly

    Butterfly

    Butterfly stretches your hips and lower back muscles. Do as follows:

    • Sit on the floor and bend your knees to bring the feet together. Press the knees toward the ground. You can use your hands to do this for a deeper stretch. 
    • Lean forward, and keep your spine straight. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. 
    • Repeat three to five times. 
     

     

    Bridge Pose

    Bridge Pose

    Bridge pose squeezes your glute and back muscles while stretching your quads and abdominal muscles. Here’s how you can perform it: 

    • Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet hips apart. Place your feet flat on the ground.
    • Press on your heels to lift your butt and straighten your body from shoulders to your knees. 
    • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. 
    • Go back to the starting position. Repeat three to five times. 

     

    Here’s Lilly Sabri, an experienced physiotherapist, giving you an all-around leg day cool-down stretching routine

     

     

    What Should I Do After Leg Day to Recover Faster? 🤔

    What Should I Do After Leg Day to Recover Faster

    There are a couple of things you can do to control the soreness after a heavy leg day.

    However, only time will fully eliminate your leg pain.

    Here are some tips you can follow to suffer less pain and recover your sore legs.

    You can combine these tips to get the most of them. 

     

    Take a Warm Bath

    Keeping your sore legs warm is a good way to recover from the pain.

    A warm bath increases the blood circulation to your sore muscles and helps them relax. 

    Make your bath last at least 10 minutes to decrease your recovery period to a large extent.

    You can take cycles of hot and cold baths for more significant effects.

     

    Ice Your Legs

    Ice Your Legs

    The microtears in your muscles may swell and cause pain after your workout sessions.

    Putting an ice pack on these areas can greatly reduce inflammation and soreness.

    Taking an ice bath also has the same effect but acts more quickly. 

     

    Get a Massage

    Massaging can recover your sore muscles by increasing your blood flow to the sore areas, loosening the tight muscles, and stimulating the lymphatic system.

    It can decrease the stress hormones, increase the mobility of the joints, and improve the healing process of the injured muscles. 

    It also improves your sleep patterns, which is necessary for your recovery.  

     

    Get Moving

    Get Moving

    You probably don’t feel like moving your legs after a vigorous session, but moving your muscles increases blood circulation and loosens them. 

    For this purpose, do some active stretches such as squatting.

    Do five to ten reps three times a day, holding each rep for 15 to 30 seconds.

    This way, you gradually mobilize the tight leg muscles. 

     

    Consume Nutritious Foods  

    You can help the muscle recovery process by giving your body essential minerals and nutrients.

    Consuming large amounts of protein helps repair your torn muscle fibers.

    Remember to stay hydrated to get the nutrients to your muscles more easily.

     

    Frequently Asked Questions 😎

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Should I Cool Down After Leg Day

    You should absolutely after a leg day. Cooling down is as important as the workout itself.

    You gradually slow down your heartbeat, blood pressure, and body temperature to the normal range by cooling down your body.

    It also helps you prevent muscular stiffness and soreness after a workout.

    Is It Better to Stretch Before or After Leg Day?

    Is It Better to Stretch Before or After Leg Day

    Stretching before a workout session loosens up your muscles and warms up your body.

    It’s the second step in a complete warm-up routine.

    On the other hand, stretching after the workout increases blood circulation and muscular recovery and cools down your body. 

    Why Do Legs Get So Sore After Leg Days?

    Because leg muscles are one of the largest muscles in your body, they’re more prone to micro-tears during a workout session.

    Therefore, these large muscles will take longer to recover from the micro-tears after a workout than smaller muscles. 

    Final Thoughts 🤗

    Keep The Body In Good Shape

    Stretching after a leg day has many benefits, including increasing the blood flow to the muscles, preventing muscular pain, increasing flexibility, protecting joints, and decreasing the risk of injury

    You can do different stretching exercises after a leg day to shorten the recovery period and decrease muscular soreness. 

    You can do a couple of things to recover faster after a leg day, such as taking a warm bath, placing ice on your legs, taking a massage, keeping moving, and getting more nutrients. 

    Last update on 2022-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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    James Wright

    James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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