4 Easy Hamstring Stretches

Hamstring stretches are important because it helps to loosen tightened muscles in the legs. Hamstring stretches, when performed regularly, can help give your body more support by increasing stability and flexibility. Hamstring stretches can also relieve chronic pain from sciatica,
which typically originates in the lower back and spreads through the buttocks and hips, then down the legs. These stretches can help decrease the risk of injury and discomfort in that region. Hamstring stretches can also help athletes perform stronger and recover more quickly from competition. Articles about fitness and stretching can be found regularly on fitness sites. Many careers in personal fitness will cover stretching as a way to improve overall wellness and improve recovery times after challenging workouts. Here are some easy hamstring stretches that you can do anywhere:

1. Seated Hamstring Stretch. This stretch can be performed while seated on the ground or any firm surface such as a bench or chair. Stretch one leg out with toes pointing up while keeping your opposite leg bent or flat on the ground if seated in a chair. Place your hands on your opposite thigh.  Lean forward from the hips while keeping your back straight just until you feel a gentle stretch. Do not overstrain the muscle during stretching.

2. Standing Hamstring Stretch.  From a standing position, place one of your heels on an elevated surface such as a small bench or sidewalk curb. Bring your toes up and hold for a few seconds. Repeat the same sequence with your opposite leg. The higher you are able to lift your toes, the deeper the stretch will be.  

3. Hamstring Stretch on Wall. Lying flat on your back with your feet toward a wall, place your leg up to a wall with emphasis on your heel having good contact. Raise your toes while digging your heel into the wall. This will target the hamstring muscles, but from a different position as the other two stretches described above.  

4. Slump Hamstring Stretch. This stretch is best performed while seated in a chair or bench. Place one leg out in front of you. Slump your head and shoulders while maintaining good posture and point and lift your toes toward your body. If you have an exercise band, you can do an even deeper stretch by placing the exercise band in the arch of your foot and pulling back to help the toes stretch back farther.  

Stretches can help improve flexibility and sports performance. If you need a demonstration on how to perform a stretch properly, reach out to someone with a certificate in fitness or stretching to help you and watch your form. Certified wellness coach online programs can also be resourceful with online tips, demonstrations and recommendations in stretching for improved health.  

Learn more about ASFA’s Stretching Instructor Certification by clicking the link below! 24/7 online convenience, pay only if you pass!