Arthritis Today

Seated Hamstring Stretches

PRECAUTION: Stop this exercise if it causes a muscle cramp.

  • Sit on the edge of a bench, chair or other low, firm surface.
  • Stretch out your right leg with your toes pointing up, and place your hands on your left thigh.
  • Keep your left foot flat on the ground.
  • Keeping your back straight, gently lean forward from your hips until you feel a stretch in the back of your right thigh.
  • Pull your foot back, pointing your toes up.
  • You may feel a stretch by just straightening up your back.
  • Hold and then repeat with your left leg.


  • Stretch just until you feel gentle pulling in your muscle, and then hold the stretch in that position. The stretch shouldn’t be painful.
  • Stretch gently and smoothly, and do not bounce.
  • Breathe naturally as you hold the stretches. Don’t hold your breath.