Exercise for Leg Pain: 7 At-Home Exercises

It is common to experience some leg pain at at some point if you exercise frequently or if you
notice aches and pains as a result of aging.

There are three types of leg pain:

Musculoskeletal pain. This is the most common and is related to your muscles or skeletal
system and can be experienced as muscle strain, ligament, and tendon strain.

Vascular pain. You may have DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis), peripheral artery diseases, or
varicose veins. Skin discoloration is also a sign of vascular pain.

Neurological pain. This type of pain often involves neural damage, sciatic leg pain, or
neuropathy (diabetic leg pain).

If your leg pain affects a large part of your daily activities, then consult your health
professional. Once you have eliminated any serious causes, you can look at these exercises
for leg pain. The stretches below will help improve blood flow and loosen stiff muscles and increase the strength in your legs.

1. Hamstring stretches

To stretch these muscles along the backs of your legs: Sit on the floor and bend forward. Bend from your waist and reach your chest towards your knees. Bend forward as far as you can and hold for 20 seconds. Release and then repeat two more times.

Note: If you find you cannot bend forward very far, you can put a towel around your feet and
hold the ends.

Standing variation: You can do this exercise by bending forward from a standing position to
touch your toes or the floor. For a stronger stretch, cross your right foot in front of your left,
and keep both legs straight as you bend over. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, then roll up
slowly and cross your left foot in front of your right. Bend over again and hold for another 20
seconds.


2. Hip flexor stretches

Sit on the floor with the bottoms of your feet together so that your knees are bent to form
butterfly wings. Pull your feet towards you and try to get your knees down to the floor. Hold
for 30 seconds.


3. Calf stretches

Stand facing a wall, at arms length. Put both of your hands on the wall so that they are
shoulder-width apart. Step back with one leg, keeping your hands touching the wall. You will
feel the stretch along with your calf muscle. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then release and
repeat with the other leg.


4. Mountain pose

This yoga pose is perfect for stretching your hamstrings and calves. To do mountain pose:
Stand with your feet together, then bend forward to touch the floor. Form a triangle: your butt is at the apex, with your hands above your head. Lower your head between your arms.

If you want to stretch the sides of your legs simultaneously, you could wrap booty bands around your upper thighs (above the knees).


5. Standing quad stretch

Stand with your feet parallel, hip-width apart. You can have one hand on a chair or against a
wall for support if you wish. Reach behind you to grab your right foot with your left hand, keeping your thighs parallel to each other. Keep your hips square as you pull your foot towards your butt. Breathe deeply and hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds. Release and repeat with the other foot.


6. Static lunge

Stand with your stomach pulled in and your back straight. Step forward with one foot to
come into a lunge. Lower yourself as much as you can without touching the bent knee to the ground. Hold the pose for a few seconds, then come up slowly to your starting position and repeat on the other side. Do this till you have done 10 reps on each leg.


7. Ankle pumps

This exercise will help get the blood flowing and improve the drainage of the veins. Sit or lie down on the ground with your legs out in front of you. Pull your toes towards you, then point them away as if you are a ballet dancer. Push and pull your toes alternating directions 10 times, and do this regularly, 2 to 3 times a day. You can also do this exercise sitting in a chair or on the sofa.


Other ideas

In addition to the above exercises, a brisk walk for 30 minutes each day can help sore legs.
Other activities such as swimming, yoga, dancing, or cycling will help strengthen your leg
muscles.