Fact: having good circulation in the legs is extremely important to foot health as well as overall well-being. A system that delivers vital oxygen and nutrients to tissue, muscles, and tendons, improper or poor circulation is typically caused by stiffness or plaque in the arteries that slows blood. Affecting anyone from those aging to those who put a lot of impact on their legs, those suffering from diseases, those living a sedentary life, or even those healing from injury, increasing leg circulation is always a good idea. To relieve the tension or build-up, doctors and trainers typically suggest patients stretch.
As a matter of fact, as stated in an article from Ohio State, “runners and those who compete in athletic events are well aware of the benefits of stretching, but it may come as a surprise that it also helps patients with conditions like diabetes and depression. Stretching increases blood flow boosts oxygen levels and helps deliver nutrients to your muscles. It also removes metabolic waste like carbon dioxide, ammonia, and uric acid.”
With that, here is a simple list of stretches that increase leg circulation.
A basic yoga move, this stretch involves putting both your legs and hands on the floors while your tailbone is up and back. While in this “L” or 90-degree angle position, the legs should be straight and a stretch will be felt from butt to ankles. Once comfortable, feel free to move the legs by gently walking the heels up and down.
Runners Lunge or Half-Kneeling Hip Flexor
Used to provide a deep stretch of the hips, groin, and legs, this position is formed by stepping forward with one leg, bending the forward leg knee while keeping the back leg straight, and touching the hands on the ground. The stretch will be felt in both legs from the groin to the ankle. Once done on the first side, repeat on the other side.
Used to target the front and back thighs, the glute bridge is achieved by first laying face-up on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat. From there, bridge by pushing your hips up until the hips and shoulders make a straight line. Hold the stretch for a few seconds and then return to the ground, repeat at much as desired.
Not a static stretch, but a fluid movement used to increase mobility, leg swings involve the forward and back kick of a leg while standing. This exercise will warm up muscles and use energy to help blood move smoothly. Please note it is important to start low and work up to a higher kick and be sure to do both legs.
Legs Up The Wall Pose
When it comes to restorative body positioning, this is it. Essentially the act of laying with your back on the floor, butt snuggly on the wall, and legs up, this position drains and uses gravity to promote proper blood flow. Although a slight stretch may be felt in the hamstrings, legs up the wall pose is more about helping the blood move using gravity.
An area of the legs and feet that should not be overlooked, stretching the ankles can be done a number of ways. From rolling the feet to using bands or hands to pull the toes back and forth, simply moving the ankles around will help release any stiffness or blockage.
A fan favorite for athletes, hamstring curls focus on stretching the front of the thigh. To perform, start in a standing position. Then, when stable, lift one foot and bend it towards your behind. Grab the foot or ankle with a hand and pull closer to the back. Hold for a few seconds and then repeat on the next leg.
And there we have the top 7 stretches to increase leg circulation. To further help boost blood flow in your feet, Crazy Compressions offers a wide range of socks styles specifically designed to boost circulation. The combination of stretching and compression gear will set you up for top foot health now and in the future!