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Injury-Proof Your Legs

Loosen up–and stay pain-free–with resistance stretching.
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Quadriceps
Get onto all fours with your hips over your knees. Raise your right lower leg and press the top of the foot into a wall (or tree trunk). Bring your torso and left leg up until you’re in a lunge, then slightly slant your torso forward. Contract your right quad by pressing into the wall with your right foot. Simultaneously, move hips backward to stretch the quad while it resists the motion.

Hamstrings and Glutes
Lie on your back and bend your right leg, bringing your right knee to your chest. Hold the right foot with both hands and pull it up toward your head, straightening the leg. While your hands pull your leg up, contract the hamstrings and spinal muscles to resist the movement, as if you were trying to kick your heel to your butt.

Iliotibial (IT) Band
Lie on your back, pull your left knee halfway to your chest, and put your right ankle over your left knee. Grasp the back of your left thigh with both hands. As you pull your left knee toward your chest (thus stretching your right IT band), resist the movement with your right leg. This will contract the muscle.

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