Hamstring stretch, sitting

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What it’s good for All stretches help to lengthen muscles, keep­ing the body more flex­ible and bal­anced. Well-​stretched ham­string (back-​of-​thigh) muscles can lessen back and leg pain, tend to be less crampy and make it easier to reach low, walk and climb stairs or step up into eg, a bus or taxi
How often to do it Daily – sev­eral times, if your muscles feel very tight
Equipment you’ll need A kit­chen chair

Sitting forwards with one leg long at start of stretchSitting forwards with one leg long for stretch

  • Sit right at the front of the chair, feet hip-​width, knees bent, feet flat
  • Lengthen one leg out straight in front, push­ing your heel away until there’s no bend in your knee
  • Place both hands on the thigh of the other leg
  • Sit up really tall, then ease your chest for­wards towards the oppos­ite side of the room. The push is for­wards, not down­wards
  • Stop when you start to feel a pull under­neath the thigh on your long leg, any­where between knee and top of your bum
  • As soon as you feel the tight­ness, hold steady there for the right amount of time (click here to find out how long), breath­ing through­out
  • Carefully return to start pos­i­tion, swap hands and lengthen other leg, ready to repeat on the other side

♦ If you can­not feel any stretch, check you are right at the front of the chair and your long leg is com­pletely straight. These are two com­mon pos­i­tion­ing errors
♦ Keep your foot still in a relaxed pos­i­tion. If you pull your foot towards you, it will change the stretch and how you feel it
♦ If your ham­strings are very tight, you may feel the pull strongly as soon as you start to ease for­wards. Other people may need to push a good way farther for their stretch
♦ Keep breath­ing through­out!

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