Workout Wednesday – Leg Stretches Part 2

Cancer

We know that it has been harder for people to stay active over these last several weeks. Christina Lombardi, DPT PT has put together easy stretches to get you moving at home! Each Wednesday for the next several weeks we will share these stretches with you. Each stretch includes descriptive information and a video to demonstrate how to do it. This week will be part 2 of leg stretches. Check back next Wednesday for part 1 of back stretches.

Standing Calf Stretch

  • Muscles: Calf muscles
  • Movement:
    • Start by standing in front of a wall or other sturdy object
    • Step forward with one foot
      • Keep both toes facing FORWARD
    • Lean forward and allow front knee to bend and back leg to stay STRAIGHT until a gentle stretch is felt along the back of your leg 
  • Recommended Guideline:
    • Begin with 2-3 sets and hold for 20-30 seconds
      • If that is too difficult, you can try 10 sets holding for 5-10 seconds
  • Key Points:
    • Do NOT rock or hold your breath
    • Make sure your body and feet stay forward 
    • Do NOT let your heel come off the surface

Lying Down Hamstring Stretch

  • Muscles: Hamstring muscles
  • Movement:
    • Lie on your back
    • Bend the opposite leg to keep your back into a more neutral position OR you can straighten the opposite leg (pressing down) for a greater stretch
    • Using your arm muscles pull your leg up until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh
      • Keep your knee straight and ankle flexed
  • Recommended Guideline:
    • Begin with 2-3 sets and hold for 20-30 seconds
      • If that is too difficult, you can try 10 sets holding for 5-10 seconds
  • Key Points:
    • Keep your knee straight and foot flexed
    • Do NOT rock or hold your breath

Standing Leg Stretch on Step

  • Muscles: Leg muscles
  • Movement:
    • Stand upright with one leg forward on a step or sturdy elevated surface. 
    • Begin to bend the knee into a deep stretch 
    • To isolate the hip flexor (front of the thigh of the back leg), keep your back upright and your heel can rise from the surface
    • To isolate the calf more, do not let the heel rise off the surface 
    • You will also feel a stretch on the quadriceps (front of the thigh) on the leg on the step
  • Recommended Guideline:
    • Begin with 2-3 sets and hold for 20-30 seconds
      • If that is too difficult, you can try 10 sets holding for 5-10 seconds
  • Key Points:
    • Do NOT rock or hold your breath
    • Make sure your body and feet stay forward 

Disclaimer: You should discuss your health risks with your provider before starting any exercise program.


Christina graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology/Secondary Education from West Chester University. She continued her studies at Temple University in Physical Therapy, graduating with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in May 2015. Christina began her career in outpatient physical therapy and has worked per diem in both the acute and rehabilitation care settings. She treats a variety of orthopedic and neurological diagnoses in her current role as a staff therapist for Good Shepherd Penn Partners. Recently, Christina developed an interest in Oncology. Last year, Christina’s dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and her cousin with ovarian cancer. In addition, within the past year, a few of Christina’s friends have also been diagnosed with cancer. Because of her love for family and friends and her passion for physical activity and wellness, she realized that she could help touch so many lives. Christina joined the Oncology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association in May 2019 and is beginning to take continuing education courses to develop her clinical knowledge and expertise. She instructs indoor cycle classes and has her Level 1 CrossFit Certification. She enjoys  various forms of exercise and other health and wellness related activities and topics. 

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