Lower Body Active Stretch Routine - PNF Stretch Routine for the Lower Body

22 Min • Lower Body
  • View on YouTube
    • Training Type Stretching/Flexibility
    • Equipment Mat, No Equipment


    Sometimes you just want to take a little extra time to get in a really good stretch and if that is how you feel today then this lower body stretch is for you. This 20 minute routine was built specifically for the purpose of getting a longer more thorough stretch, and is designed to specifically target the lower body. 

    Related: Active Upper Body Stretch Workout - PNF Stretch Routine for the Upper Body

    There are many different types and styles of stretching from more ballistic style warm up stretches, static hold cool down stretches, pin and stretch movements and even myofascial release techniques. Each has its benefits and drawbacks so just picking one style can leave gaps in your fitness regimen especially if the only stretches you do are in your warmup and cool downs.

    In this video we will be doing something I call “Active Stretching”. This is a form of PNF stretching (which stands for proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) in which you contract the opposing muscles of the muscle or tendons you are trying to stretch. This type of stretching uses your body's own neurological reflexes to facilitate a deeper stretch. I won’t go into too much detail here on why this works the way it does but simply put when you contract a muscle it’s opposite will relax. This is similar to Contract-Relax stretching which uses the same body response but instead of relaxing you try to hold your contraction while lengthening the antagonistic muscle. In my opinion this results in a stretch routine that builds tone and control in your maximum range of motion (ROM) and theoretically protects the joint better as it approaches its max ROM in everyday life and exercise situations.

    We have 32 individual stretches to go through and we will be holding each position for a total of 30 seconds with a 10 second prep to get ready for each stretch. Once the time starts for each stretch we will focus on contracting the opposite muscle from the one we are trying to stretch. We will start out with a light contraction and increase the intensity of the contraction as the time elapses looking to hit a 75-90% contraction by the end of the 30 seconds. The level of contraction will be up to you and how you feel in each position, however, be sure to try your best to match the intensity of the contraction/stretch on each side of the body as we will be isolating left and right sides often.

    You can also do an easier version of this routine if you want more of a relaxing stretch routine. Simply cut out the antagonistic contraction and use gravity, leverage or even your arms to pull you into each position. This will ultimately turn this routine into a static stretch routine which is also a great way to do a more relaxed corrective stretch.

    Let us know what you thought of this routine and if you would like to see more routines like this one in the future in the comment section below. Enjoy.

    Workout Structure
    - 32 Individual Stretches
    - 30 Seconds Each
    - 10 Seconds Rest / Prep

    - Exercise Mat (Optional)

    Warm Up / Cool Down:
    - Not Needed

    Workout: (30 On; 10 Off)
    - Toe Touch Flat Back
    - Toe Touch (Regular/flat)
    - Toe Touch (Pronate/inside)
    - Toe Touch (Supinate/outside)
    - Inside Thigh (L)
    - Inside Thigh (R)
    - Wide Stance Toe Touch
    - Quad Stretch (L)
    - Quad Stretch (R)
    - Calf Stretch (L)
    - Calf Stretch (R)
    - Deep Lunge Stretch (L) knee past chest
    - Deep Lunge Stretch (R)
    - IT Band Stretch (L) side cobra
    - IT Band Stretch (R)
    - Seated Single Leg Toe Touch w/ Side Bend (L) (chest down)
    - Seated Single Leg Toe Touch w/ Side Bend (L) (chest open)
    - Pigeon Pose (L)
    - Seated Single Leg Toe Touch w/ Side Bend (R) (chest down)
    - Seated Single Leg Toe Touch w/ Side Bend (R) (chest open)
    - Pigeon Pose (R)
    - Seated Torso Twist (L)
    - Seated Torso Twist (R)
    - Butterfly Stretch
    - Hip Socket Stretch
    - Seated Toe Touch (Toes Out)
    - Seated Toe Touch (Toes In)
    - Lying Torso Twist (L)
    - Lying Torso Twist (R)
    - Deep Glute Stretch (L)
    - Deep Glute Stretch (R)
    - Cobra