Hamstring Stretch (Supine)
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 an active stretch in which you will be recruiting the use of the quadriceps muscles to facilitate the stretch of the hamstrings.
Why do this Exercise?
To increase flexibility within the hamstrings and increase active ROM for knee extension.
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 your unaffected leg straight out in front of you with toes pointed straight up to the ceiling and your affected leg bent up to a 90° angle. You want to maintain a flat back on the ground at all times throughout the stretch.
While lying on your back reach down with both hands and grasp the back of your affected 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. Once you reach this point begin to slowly straighten your affected leg, lifting your lower leg up and towards the ceiling while maintaining the position of your knee. Continue straightening until you begin to feel tension/stretch within your hamstrings, or back of your thigh. Hold the position for 15-20 seconds and then slowly 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.
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.