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Standing Hamstring Stretch (Leg Stretches)

One of the major benefits of Stretching is that it increases your flexibility. While Stretching may appear a bit bland as compared with resistance exercises such as Training with Free Weights and Weight Training Exercises, without a good stretch, you will not be able to minimize the risk of injury.

The hamstrings consist of three muscles that make up the back of your upper leg - the biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus. These muscles enable you to extend the hip joint and flex the knee. There are various stretching exercises for the hamstrings. For a great stretch after a long walk or jog, you can do the hamstring stretches - the Prone Hamstring Stretch and the Standing Hamstring Stretch. In this section, learn how to do the Standing Hamstring Stretch:

STEP 1: Stand and straighten your left leg on a bench, a step or a rail. Maintain that position with your left, supporting leg bent slightly. You can hold on to a bar or wall for support.

STEP 2: Gently bend forward from the hips until you feel the stretch in the back of the thigh, top of calf, and at the back of the knee. Without bouncing, hold for about 8 seconds, and then intensify the stretch by slowly leaning in further. Repeat the stretch on the other leg. Raise the height of the bench as your stretching capability increases.

Other exercises that target the hamstrings include standing leg curls, Squats, Lunges, and supine ball hamstring curl.

It would be relaxing if we get into a really good Stretching session to release all of the accumulated tension our bodies take each day. For a great full, upper, or lower body Stretching Sequence, go to Fitness Exercises - Stretching Sequences.

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Article Comments
Tuesday 5th May 2009 at 4:22:30 PM  

These are great streches, and I'll use them for sure, but I have a question.
I teach a cycling class and the floor that our bikes sit on is not at all friendly to supine streches or even sitting stretches. When I'm cooling them down, I don't want to have to ask them to sit on that floor. I've come up with a good calf stretch and the hip flexor stretch on here looks great, but I'm still stuck on hamstrings. Now I can't have them touch the bikes with their feet (some of them are wearing cycling shoes and the gym does not want us to scratch them up), and there really isn't anywhere else to put our feet higher than the ground, so I've been looking to see if there is a good stretch much like the hip flexor stretch that would stretch the hamstrings on the floor, safely. Can anyone help?

Sandra Greenbaum
Wednesday 4th November 2009 at 4:01:02 PM  

I am a "fan" of stretching exercises. They produce the best results.

Do you know of Manya Kahn?
Sandy Greenbaum

Friday 3rd September 2010 at 7:32:31 AM  

Yes, I knew Manya Kahn and her Body Rhythms exercise approach. I was an instructor at the salon and her assistant. She was originally a dancer, then a physical therapist when she developed her stretching program.

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