Hurdler Hamstring Stretch

Equipment
Mat
BODY PART
Muscles

Purpose

The hamstrings are large muscles located at the back of the thigh. When tight, the hamstrings can cause pain or tension in the legs, hips or low back area. Stretching can help reduce this strain.

This stretch is done in a seated position. The hurdler hamstring stretch uses the weight of the upper body to stretch the hamstrings. It can also benefit the hip flexors.

Set up

Start by sitting with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend your left knee so that your left foot is just outside your left hip, as if you are just about to jump over a hurdle. If this bothers the left knee, bend the leg in front of you, placing the foot on the inside of the right thigh.

Keep your right knee straight out in front of you and flex the right foot.

Movement

Lean your trunk forward reaching for your right foot until you feel a stretch in the hamstrings of the front leg. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Tips

  • Try not to round your spine. Focus on hinging from the hips.
  • This stretch should create tension in the hamstring muscle, not pain. If you feel sharp or shooting pain, ease out of the stretch and let your physical therapist or doctor know.
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