How To Lower Body Mini-Band Workout Will Wake Up Your Legs
You might be doing lots of sitting and a little running, or maybe it’s lots of sitting and lots of running. But if that’s the extent of leg day for your time inside, you’re not setting yourself up for success. You need to use your lower half for more than just being planted on your butt or speeding away from everyone once you get outside.
Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds
- Quadruped Hip Extension (Right and Left)
- Lateral Band Walks
- Squat Duck Walk
- Clamshells (Right and Left)
Try 3 rounds of these exercises for a quick 7-minute mobility session. Atkins says you can also slot them in at the beginning a workout, a more general home lower body workout, or you can add them to the end your routines as a “metabolic finisher” if you totally cut the rest out of the equation.
Lean against a wall to stretch out your calf
Lean forward and place your hands on a wall, then take a step forward with your non-cramping leg and extend the other leg straight out behind you. Keeping the toes and heel of your extended leg flat on the ground, slowly transfer your weight onto your bent leg until you feel the stretch in your cramping calf. Hold this stretch for 15-30 seconds.
Use a towel to stretch your calf muscles
Sit with your cramped leg out in front of you and wrap a towel around the ball of your foot. Grab both ends of the towel and pull it towards yourself so that you feel a stretch in the back of your leg. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
Lie down and lift your legs to stretch your hamstrings
Lie flat on your back and bend the knee in your non-cramping leg, so that your foot is flat on the floor. Then, extend and raise your cramping leg and pull it towards you while keeping it straight. Hold this stretch for 10-15 seconds.
Lean forward in a sitting position to stretch your inner calf
In a sitting position, extend the leg that has the cramp in it and keep the other leg bent, then lean forward so that your knee approaches your chest. Take hold of the bottom of the toe from the extended leg and pull it toward your body as much as you can.
Avoid sleeping in tight bedsheets
Tight bedsheets or covers can cause you to unconsciously point your toes downward while sleeping, which can trigger calf cramps. Stick with looser bedsheets to minimize the chance of your feet getting stuck in 1 position for too long and causing cramps.
Make sure you’re wearing properly fitted shoes
Leg cramps can sometimes be caused by ill-fitting footwear, especially among people who have flat feet and other structural problems. To avoid leg cramps caused by footwear, be sure to only wear shoes that properly fit you and that are designed to compensate for any structural issues you have with your feet.
Apply a hot compress to the cramped area of your leg
Applying heat to the cramped area can do a lot to loosen tight muscles and relieve pain. Use an electric heating pad, a warm towel, or even a hot water bottle wrapped in cloth to relax your muscles and ease your cramps.
Try drinking 8 fl oz (240 mL) of tonic water if stretches don’t help
Tonic water contains quinine, which some people have reported as helpful for nighttime leg cramps. However, quinine is not FDA approved for treating leg cramps, and tonic water only contains a small amount.
Increase your intake of potassium, calcium, and magnesium
There’s some evidence that suggests nighttime leg cramps may be caused by nutrient deficiencies, especially low levels of potassium, calcium, and magnesium. This may be more of a problem for athletes. To avoid such deficiencies, make sure you are getting adequate amounts of these minerals from food or supplements.
Ask your doctor if you should take calcium channel blockers
Calcium channel blockers keep calcium from entering various cells and blood vessel walls in the body. Though they are primarily used to treat high blood pressure, they can also be used to help with nighttime muscle cramps. You will need to take your blood pressure regularly if you take this medication