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Arthritis Today

Standing Hamstring Stretch

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

PRECAUTION: Be careful to maintain your balance. Hold onto a stable object (a chair, railing, wall, tree or counter) while doing this exercise.

  • Holding onto a supportive railing or wall, place your right leg on a slightly raised surface, like a step or a curb.
  • Keep your hips facing forward and your standing knee bent.
  • Slowly bend your left knee until you feel a very mild pulling or stretch on the back of your right thigh. Do not let your knee go beyond your toes.
  • To stretch a little more, bend forward slightly at your hips, keeping your back straight.
  • Hold and then repeat with your other leg.

REMEMBER:

  • 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.
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