Care Tools: Fitness Center
Hamstring Stretch (High Hamstring)

General Overview:

This exercise is intended as a stretching exercise for the hamstrings. It will work on increasing ROM and flexibility throughout the hamstring muscle group (Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus, Biceps Femoris and Piriformis). This exercise is a passive stretch that will focus on increasing flexibility within the upper hamstring muscle group.

Why do this Exercise?

To increase flexibility within the hamstrings and increase active ROM for knee extension.

Detailed Description

Floor or table
This exercise is to be performed while lying on your back (supine). It can be performed on a floor or table. You want to lie with both your unaffected and affected legs bent up to a 90° angle with both feet remaining flat on the ground. You want to maintain a flat back on the ground at all times throughout the stretch.
While lying on your back lift the ankle of your affected leg up and cross it over the thigh of your unaffected leg, just below the knee joint. Reach down with both hands and grasp the back of your unaffected knee’s thigh, just below your knee joint. Keeping your knee bent begin to pull your knee towards your chest as far as possible while maintaining a flat back and remaining comfortable. Continue to pull your unaffected knee towards your chest until you begin to feel tension/stretch within the upper aspect of your affected legs hamstrings or lower buttock. Once you reach this point, hold the position for 15-20 seconds and then slowly begin to return to the starting position. Rest for 3-5 seconds and then repeat 10 times. You can increase from 1 set of 10 reps to 3 sets of 10 reps as flexibility and comfort level increase. This exercise should be performed 2-3 times per day.

Additional Information:

This exercise should only be performed within a pain free range of motion. Do not continue this exercise if there is pain, swelling or a significant increase in skin temperature (skin becomes hot/warm to the touch). The recommended repetitions are here to serve as guideline. Keep in mind that each person is different and you must modify your activity according to the feedback your body provides. If you feel your muscles getting fatigued (a good thing) and you begin losing control (leg begins twitching) stop and return to the exercise at another time. Do not use quick jerky movements with this exercise; it is intended to be performed in a slow and controlled motion. If you experience any discomfort within the knee joint of your affected leg do not continue with this exercise.
Learn More
About Recovery
This exercise is recommended for intermediate stage rehabilitation of an injured or post-surgical knee.


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