Welcome to the ‘stretch routines’ 1 to 4. Here you will find safe and effective ways to prepare before exercise. A routine which should be part of everyone’s routine no matter what their level.

Guidelines for stretching exercises

  • All warm-up programs should consist of pulse-raising activities,   along with mobility and stretching activities
  • Only stretch after the muscles have warmed up (eg.10minutes walking)
  • Only stretch to the point of mild tension. No stretch should ever be painful
  • Stretching exercises are static in nature and should be held for 20-30sec
  • Do not use any bouncing or jerky movements when you are stretching
  • Do not hold your breath. Breathing normally will help you to relax
  • Stretch before and after all physical activity
NB. These stretches are very basic and are meant for warm-up purposes only and should not be applied to injuries – the hamstring and back stretches should not be attempted by people with existing back problems.

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Stretching routine 1 to 4



MUSCLE (S) WORKED: Calf muscle (soleus)/Gastrocnemius

LOCATION: Rear lower leg

STANCE: Stand with feet hip width apart, back straight and stomach tight. Keep the knees slightly bent

MOVEMENT: Keeping in a straight line from head to the right heel, lean forward but keeping the right heel on the floor. Place both hands on left thigh.

HOLD: Slowly count to 20-30 (repeat twice) Repeat other side. the front leg should be kept over the ankle. Do not hold your breath, breathe gently

SAFETY POINTS: Keep the back straight and the tummy tight. The knee of the front leg should be kept over the ankle. Do not hold your breath, breathe gently


Caution:avoid this exercise if pain is felt in the lower back

MUSCLE: Hamstring

LOCATION:Rear of thigh

STANCE: Standing up straight, place right foot slightly behind hips.

MOVEMENT: Slowly bend the rear leg as if sitting backwards. keep the front leg straight with a very slight bend at the knee.
Place hands on right thigh. Push buttocks backwards, slowly, until you a feel a slight tension in your hamstring. Keep your neck in line with your spine.

HOLD:Count slowly to 20-30 (repeat twice) Repeat other side.

SAFETY POINTS: Never place your hands on the front leg. Make sure your feet are correctly positioned for balance before stretching.


MUSCLE: Quad/Quadriceps Femurs

LOCATION: Front of thigh

STANCE: Two feet together, bend your left knee and with your left hand take the left foot towards your buttock.

MOVEMENT: Slight bend on the supporting leg. Keep the knees close together. Tilt the pelvis forward and keep the back straight.

HOLD: Count slowly to 20-30 (repeat twice) Repeat other leg.

SAFETY POINTS: Always keep the support leg bent. Use a wall or other object for balance. Keep your back straight and stomach tight.



MUSCLE: Chest muscles/Pectoralis and Deltoid

LOCATION: Chest and Shoulders

STANCE: Stand with feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent

MOVEMENT: Place both hands on the buttocks and gently ease the shoulders backwards. This should give a feeling of the chest ‘opening’.

HOLD: Count slowly to 20-30 (repeat stretch twice)

SAFETY POINTS: Keep the back straight and chin up. Keep knees slightly bent

| stretch routine 5 to 8

Author: Gavin Doyle