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Unleash Your Flexibility: The Ultimate Guide to Thigh Stretches

Got thigh pain?

The right stretch can make a massive difference. Read further to learn how to properly stretch different parts of your thigh for pain relief.


Related ARticles

  • Why is Your Thigh in Pain?
  • How to Cure Thigh Muscle Pain
  • The Ultimate Guide to Thigh Stretches
  • How to Relieve Thigh Pain at Night
  • How to Deal with Thigh Pain When Sitting

Thigh pain can be managed and treated with proper exercises and stretches to relieve symptoms and prevent additional strain or injury to the thigh. The thigh is made up of various muscles and will require different thigh exercises and stretches based on the part that is causing discomfort. Depending on which muscle has been strained, overworked, or injured will determine the proper thigh exercises and stretches you need to perform.

"What exercises can I do to relieve thigh pain?" is an everyday question trainers, physical therapists, and physicians are presented with regularly. Step-by-step information will help you perform proper thigh exercises and techniques for stretching sore thigh muscles.

Inner Thigh

Pain in the groin area, or inner thigh, is one of the most common complaints among exercisers and athletes. Research shows 2 to 5 percent of sports injuries are groin-related. Stretches for inner thigh pain are the most effective way to relieve any discomfort you may be experiencing. 

Squatting Frog Stretch

  • Works both inner thighs at the same time.
  • Stand with your feet slightly wider apart than your thighs.
  • Point your toes at a 45-degree angle outward.
  • Place your hands above your knee or let your arm hang between your thighs with fingertips pointing down to help with balance as you slowly squat down.
  • Make sure to keep your back as straight as possible.
  • Squat down as far as you can, and hold for a few seconds.
  • Rise slowly, wait a few seconds, then repeat.
  • Best completed in sets of three to five.

Side Groin Stretch

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider apart than your thighs with your toes facing forward.
  • Move your weight to the right with your hand on your thigh above the right knee, and keep your left leg straight.
  • Push your weight towards the right leg until you feel the left inner thigh stretch.
  • Straighten and repeat on the opposite side.
  • Remember you have to double your sets for this step to stretch both inner thighs.

Butterfly Stretch

  • Sit down on the floor and keep your back straight.
  • Slowly bend your feet while letting your legs fall to the side and push the soles of your feet together.
  • Place your hands over your feet, your elbows on your knees, and bend forward, allowing your elbows to push your legs toward the ground.
  • You should begin to feel the inner thigh stretch.
  • Once you reach a point of slight pressure in your groin area, hold that position for 60 seconds.
  • Repeat at least three times for best results.

Outer Thigh

Outer thigh pain can range from the top of the hip bone, down the side of the leg, and around the back of the leg towards the glutes. Outer thigh stretches are the most effective way to relieve pain.

Twist Thigh Stretch

  • Sit on the floor with your feet in front.
  • Bend the right leg at the knee and cross it over the left leg, keeping the right foot flat on the floor.
  • Move the right arm behind the right leg and push the right arm against the right leg allowing your back to twist.
  • Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Repeat on the opposite side to effectively stretch both outer thighs.

Pigeon Stretch

  • Kneel on the floor, sitting on your knees.
  • Slowly stretch one leg behind your body, leaving the other shin flat on the floor.
  • Gently bend forward as far as you can and hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Ensure only to bend forward until slight pressure is felt to prevent injury. 

Bent Leg Stretch

  • Sit on the floor or in a chair if you have difficulty getting up and down.
  • Wrap your hands around one knee and pull your leg towards your chest.
  • Pull up as high as possible without pain, and hold the thigh stretch for 60 seconds.
  • This is the safest outer thigh exercise if mobility is an issue.

Upper Thigh

Upper thigh pain stretches are a proven treatment for pain experienced in the upper portion of the thigh around the hip and groin. Although upper thigh pain is often caused by overuse or strain, arthritis and joint problems can also be the cause. Make sure only to perform gentle thigh stretches when experiencing pain in this area in case joint or hip problems are causing your pain.

Hip Flexor Stretch

  • Stand with one leg slightly in front of the other and shift your weight gently toward the front leg.
  • Once a slight upper thigh stretch is felt, hold the position for 5 seconds.
  • Stretch each side 7 to 10 times for maximum benefit.

Front of Thigh

Pain or discomfort in the front of the thigh is triggered by strain or inflammation in the quadriceps, but the most common cause is underuse of the legs. When someone is inactive or sits for long periods, frontal thigh pain is quite frequent. Exercises for front thigh pain and stretches are both effective.


  • Stand tall and place your hand on your hips.
  • Take a step forward with your right leg and bend both legs at the knees. The left knee will bend towards the ground.
  • Hold for 2 to 5 seconds and then stand.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Perform sets of five or ten.
  • Make sure this thigh exercise is only performed if no tear or injury is present.

Quadricep Stretch

  • Plant both feet on the ground.
  • Slowly lift one leg towards your back.
  • Reach down with your hand and pull your foot upwards until you feel the front thigh stretch.
  • Hold this for 10 to 30 seconds before switching legs.

Back of Thigh

Cramping and strains occur in the back of the thigh more frequently than in any other part of the thigh. The hamstring is the muscle connected to the glutes and runs down the back of the thigh. Runners and athletes complain of back thigh pain regularly. Performing stretches for the back of the thigh is recommended to help alleviate pain.

Resting Hamstring Stretches

  • Lie on the floor and bring one leg to your chest.
  • Wrap your arms around the bent leg and pull back toward your body.
  • Hold the stretch for 60 seconds, and then switch sides.

Standing Hamstring Stretch

  • Stand with your feet crossed and slowly bend forward, allowing your arms to reach toward your toes.
  • Let your body drop down as far as you can reach until you feel the back of your thighs stretch.
  • Try to hold this pose for 5 to 10 seconds and then repeat.
  • Make sure to alternate which foot is crossed over the other for equal hamstring stretches.

How to Maximize Recovery

Performing thigh pain exercises at home will aid in recovery from thigh pain quickly and easily. Consult a physician or physical therapist if thigh pain is intense or long-lasting. Try to complete some exercises and stretches recommended. If thigh pain is tolerable, discontinue strenuous activity that could aggravate the problem. Alternating heat and cold compresses for 2 to 3 days are recommended to aid in recovery from thigh pain when combined with thigh pain stretches and exercises.

About the Author

Brandon Landgraf is the Digital Marketing Manager for Carex Health Brands. He finds passion and fulfillment in creating content that enhances, improves, and enlivens others' quality of life. All of his written work is formulated to not only offer essential advice and tips but back it with proven studies and experts. His mission is to connect with readers and provide steps to make their lives better.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.

About Carex Health Brands

Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.

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