The pure hip stretch has a small risk at the knee, so be certain to support the inside of the knee with your free hand. Also, if you change the distance of your hips in relationship to the wall you'll access some different muscles within the stretch.
A final adjustment can be made by moving the right foot farther down the wall.
The role of the inner-leg muscles in cycling is multifunctional. The muscles are involved in flexion and extension of the leg, but the inner leg is home to the large veins, arteries and lymph ducts. These circulation pathways add to the work of the inner leg during exercise and recovery. It's no wonder that the inner leg is such a common area to strain.
Because the inner leg is prone to injury and is easy to hurt when stretching, the stretch must be done with care. To reduce the risk, this next stretch is done with the feet on the wall and the knees bent.
- Lie on your back with your hips near a wall, bed or couch.
- If you're tight, move farther away from the wall.
- Place the outside edges of your feet on the wall. Keep your knees bent and your ankles straight above the knees in a line perpendicular to the floor.
- Support the inside of the knees with your hands.
- Hold this position for five to 12 breaths.
When stretching the inner leg, let time and gravity help—never force a stretch. If you spend time in this stretch, the benefits will be realized. The hands can be on the inside of the knees for support and apply a little pressure in an outward direction.
The purpose of stretching is to allow the whole system to recover. If you push past the initial sensation of tension in your stretch, you'll hinder progress. When you feel the stretch in an area, go easy. Flexibility isn't a competitive activity and can be over done. Pay close attention to how you feel—expand your boundaries and stay with in your limits.