The Wrong Way to Stretch Your Hamstrings
I was in the stretching area of the gym the other day and I saw a lot of people stretching their hamstrings. Some properly and many improperly. The number of people stretching their hamstrings improperly prompted me to write this blog.
WRONG: As this picture shows, the biggest mistake people make when stretching their hamstrings is rounding out the back. This results in stretching the back much more than the hamstring muscles. I have actually had patients who have injured their back stretching this way.
Hamstring Stretches: The Right Way
Here are some examples of the proper way to stretch the hamstrings in multiple scenarios. Notice how the patient in the pictures keeps the back straight at all times. This results in isolating the hamstring muscles and protecting the low back.
Sit on the edge of a chair with one leg extended out straight. Keep your back straight by keeping your chest up. Lean forward at the hip until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh.
Place your foot on a chair. Keep your back straight by keeping your chest up. Lean forward at the hip until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh.
Support the thigh with both hands then straighten the knee until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh.
If you need further assistance with hamstring stretches or performing any other exercises please contact Belmar Physical Therapy in Lakewood, CO.
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