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How to Do Military Stretching Exercises

Learn how to do military stretching exercises in this US army basic training video from Howcast with Sergeant Michael Volkin.


  • Step 1: Quad stretch Try the quad stretch: Put your hand on a wall or use a focal point to keep your balance. Grab your ankle, keeping one foot on the ground and pull upward. Make sure to grab your ankle and not your toes--doing the latter only stretches your ankle, not your quads.
  • Step 2: Groin stretch Do the groin stretch: Sit on the ground putting the soles of your feet together. Grab your feet and use your elbows to gently stretch your groin and the insides of your legs.
  • Step 3: Hamstring stretches The hamstring stretch has 2 variations: standing and sitting. For standing, keep you knees together and straight, reaching for your toes. For sitting, repeat the same action with your feet out in front of you on the ground.
  • Step 4: Calf stretch Try the calf stretch: With leg bent and forward, keep your other leg back and straight, stretching out your calf. Turn your back toe in for a variation.


So in basic training you are gonna do many stretching exercises. Let me introduce you to a few so you know how to do them correctly. First thing I am going to show you is a quad stretch. Alright, this one is pretty simple, I'm sure you've seen it before but there's a common mistake everyone makes. Let me turn to the side and show you. Okay, with the quad stretch what you want to do is either put your hand on a wall or, if you don't have anything to balance on, have a focal point about twelve inches in front of you. Picture a penny on the ground and just focus on that. Now the common mistake I see people doing this: grabbing their toes. That's only stretching your ankle. you wanna grab this part. You wanna grab your ankle and stretch your quads up. You're gonna pull upward. Another exercise is the groin stretch. You are gonna put your feet together, and then take your elbows on your knees and just push them down like this. This is stretching the inner part of your thighs. The next stretch I'm gonna show you is the hamstring stretch. There's two variations. You've got your sitting and your standing. First the standing. Feet together, keeping your knees and legs straight, you're gonna reach for your toes. Another way to do it is just sitting down. Again feet together, reaching for your toes, and you are going to hold it there. Alright, another exercise is the calf stretch. What you wanna do for the calf is if you have something to push on, that's great. You wanna put one leg back, keep it straight, and you're just gonna lean forward a little bit, keeping your knee as straight as possible. You're gonna feel that stretch up in your calf. Here's a tip though. What you wanna do also, to hit that whole calf, which is on the back of your leg, is turn that back toe inward a little bit. That's gonna set the stretch off to a different side of the calf muscle, and it's actually a little bit more of your Achilles tendon too. And those are some basic training stretches that you can learn, right at home, before you ever meet your drill sergeants.

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