The hamstrings are rarely stretched during normal daily activities. Stiff muscles are prone to be over-stretched specially during running and sprinting. Resting is imperative to alleviate pain or soreness, and stretching exercises help regain range-of-motion (ROM) and improve muscle flexibility.

The following are common hamstring stretching and strengthening exercises

  • Ÿ  figure four stretch
  • Ÿ  good morning hamstring stretch
  • Ÿ  partner hamstring stretch
  • Ÿ  sitting toe touch
  • Ÿ  knee to chest pull stretch
  • Ÿ  cross leg stretch
  • Ÿ  kneeling and leaning
  • Ÿ  chair assist stretch
  • Ÿ  forward stretch
  • Ÿ  lying stretch

Standing exercises

  • perform a basic stretching exercise for pulled hamstrings known as a ‘good morning’
  • stand up straight on a flat, even surface
  • hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bend at your hips. While keeping your back straight, slowly lower the weight to the floor. Hold
  • return to original position. Repeat eight to 10 reps

Stretch the pulled hamstring by lifting the hamstring then placing it onto a flat surface that is waist height. Keep your knee straight. Move your upper body forward toward your toes. Bend at the waist. Keep your back straight. Hold for 30 seconds. Return to the upright position. Repeat.

Prone exercises (hamstring stretch with an exercise ball)

  • lie on the floor near a wall. Lift your injured leg onto the wall
  • move your buttocks closer to the wall, with your heel against the wall. Feel the stretch in your hamstrings
  • move forward until the injured hamstring is flat against the wall. Do not bend the knee

Place heels on top of a large exercise ball. Only the upper back and shoulders should be on the floor. Slowly bring heels toward your body. Move the ball about six inches with your heels. Return your legs to extended position. Hold. Repeat.

Seated exercise (seated hamstring stretch)

  • stretch the pulled hamstring  on a flat surface
  • extending legs straight outward in front of you. Bend the upper body forward at the waist. Keep your knees straight
  • the abdomen will touch the thighs. Grab each foot with your hands. Pull yourself forward until your face is at your knees

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