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What is a good hamstring stretch?

Edward Phillips
Physical Therapy
Here's how to do an alternating hamstring stretch:

Reps: 3-4 per leg
Sets: 1
Intensity: Moderate to hard
Hold: 10-30 seconds
Rest: No rest needed

Starting position: Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Movement: Grasp your right leg with both hands behind the thigh. Extend your leg to lift your right foot toward the ceiling. Straighten the leg as much as possible without locking the knee and flex the ankle to stretch the calf muscles. Hold. Return to the starting position and repeat with the left leg. This completes one rep.

Tips and techniques:
  • Stretch the leg extended toward the ceiling to the point of mild tension without any pressure behind the knee or any pain.
  • Relax your shoulders down and back into the floor.
  • Breathe comfortably.
Too hard? Sit up straight in a chair and extend your right leg straight out in front of you with the heel grounded on the floor and the toes pointing to the ceiling. Hinge forward from the hip while maintaining a neutral spine. Hold. Repeat with the left leg. This completes one rep.

Too easy? Stand upright and extend your right leg straight in front of you with your foot on a chair or counter. Flex your ankle. Hinge forward from the hip while maintaining a neutral spine. Hold. Repeat with the left leg. This completes one rep.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.