Stretch to increase flexibility. Increased flexibility in your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps and hips will reduce the chance of knee injury by helping you to move more fluidly and with better posture.
Stretching should be done both after warming up and after exercising.
To keep your heart rate elevated after your warm up, do standing stretches. Save sitting stretches for after your cool down. Stretch slowly, hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds, and do not bounce while stretching, as this may cause injury.
Some good stretches include:
Quadriceps (Standing) – While holding onto a support for balance, grab the top of your left foot with your right hand and slowly pull your heel towards your buttocks. Repeat with the other leg.
Calf (Standing) — Stand with one leg before the other. Lean forward while holding onto a solid support, putting your weight on your front leg and keeping your back leg straight and the heel on the ground in order to stretch the calf. Repeat with the other leg.
Hamstring (Standing) — Standing with your legs spread just beyond shoulder width, lean forward and towards one leg while keeping your legs and back straight. Repeat with the other leg.
Standing hip flexor (Standing) — Stand with one foot a bit in front of the other and, keeping your back straight, lunge forward on your front leg until you feel some strain, but no discomfort in the front of the hip of your back leg. Repeat with the other leg.
Butterfly stretch (Sitting) — Sit up straight with the soles of your feet pressed together and hold your feet as you lean your upper body forward. Lean until you feel some strain, but no discomfort.
Hamstring (Sitting) — Sit and straighten one leg, while keeping the other bend so that the sole of your foot rests against the thigh of the opposite leg. Lean forward towards your outstretched leg while being sure to keep your foot upright. Repeat with the other leg.