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Hamstring Stretching

Updated: Sep 2

How long has it been since you could touch your toes? Hamstring tightness is a common complaint of our patients in physical therapy. Tight hamstrings can contribute to back, hip, knee, and foot/ankle pain. It can be difficult to stretch your hamstrings properly. This blog post will show you 5 ways you can stretch your hamstrings at home.


1. Hamstring Stretch with a Towel



Lie on your back on a firm surface. Using a towel around your foot, try to keep your knee straight and pull your leg up as high as you can to feel a comfortable stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold 30 seconds, repeat 3 times.




2. Seated Hamstring Stretch



Sit upright at the edge of a chair. Straighten the knee of one leg with your heel resting on the floor and toes pulled up straight to the ceiling. Keeping your back straight, bend at the waist to feel a stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold 30 seconds, repeat 3 times.




3. Active Hamstring Stretch



Lie on your back on a firm surface. Lift one leg up and hold behind your thigh. While holding at your thigh, try to straighten your knee as much as you can, pushing your heel up towards the ceiling. Hold 20 seconds, repeat 4 times.




4. Hamstring Stretch on Table/Bed/Couch



Sit on the edge of your bed/couch/table with one leg straight on the surface and the other off the edge. Keeping your back straight, lean forward towards straightened leg until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold 30 seconds, repeat 3 times.




5. Hamstring Stretch with Chair



Place your foot on the top of a chair in front of you. Try to keep your back and knee straight as you bend forward to feel a stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold 30 seconds, repeat 3 times.





Try to complete these stretches at least 5 days a week for best results. If your hamstring tightness doesn't go away or you are experiencing pain, contact a Physical Therapist!


Images from hep2go.com


Written by Lauren Kremer, PT, DPT

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