Get your hamstrings moving before you work them. Here's an active stretch that will get your hamstrings prepared for training, your sport or any other activity.
This is different from simply reaching forward to touch your toes and holding. In this stretch, you actively extend your knee with your quadriceps to move your hamstrings through a full range of motion. This active approach is a more effective way to prepare for action.
- Lie flat on your back.
- Gently hold behind one knee as you bring it up to your chest.
- Extend that knee, bringing your foot toward the ceiling. At the same time with your opposite (straight) leg, press the heel down into the ground. This will activate the glute, hamstring and core through your down leg while you stretch the hamstring on your up leg.
- Hold at the full extension position for 1-3 seconds on each repetition, trying to extend slightly and comfortably further each time.
How to use it
This is a great active stretch to use prior to any activity, workout or sport. It's also a great exercise to do after a hard lower-body workout. Also, you can use do between long sessions of sitting at work, in the car or after a flight. Shoot for 1-3 sets of 10-20 extension repetitions per side.
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