Care Tools: Fitness Center
Hamstring Stretch (Seated)

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 and Biceps Femoris). This exercise is a passive stretch.

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 seated with a straight back. It can be performed on a floor or table. You want to sit with your affected leg straight out in front of you with toes pointed straight up to the ceiling and your unaffected leg bent inwards with your foot tucked in against the inner side of your affected leg. You want to maintain a flat back and a straight knee/leg at all times throughout the stretch.
While seated in an upright position extend your arms straight out in front of you so that they remain parallel to the ground and extend over your affected leg reaching towards your toes. Do not attempt to grasp your toes or leg with your hands; keep them above your leg using your leg/toes as a guide. Begin the stretch by bending forward at the hips, not your upper back, while maintaining a straight back. Continue leaning forward at the hips until you begin to feel tension/stretch within your hamstrings, or back of your thigh. 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. Focus on maintaining a straight back, bending at the hips and not the upper back, keeping your toe pointed straight up toward the ceiling and your arms/hands above your leg/toe.
Learn More
About Recovery
This exercise is recommended for early/intermediate stage rehabilitation of an injured or post-surgical knee.


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