How to Stretch Hamstrings While Seated in a Chair

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The hamstring muscles, which are located on the back top of the thigh, are tight on many people. They are prone to injury and strains. When these muscles become overly tight, they can pull on the back muscles and cause a change in posture. These changes often contribute to chronic lower back pain. There are many ways to stretch these muscles. Below is a simple exercise that can be done seated in a chair to help loosen the hamstrings.

  • Find a sturdy, firm chair. Sitting on a bed, couch or recliner is not the best choice as these surfaces are too soft and do not give you enough support. A sturdy kitchen chair is a good choice.

  • Sit up straight at the very edge of the chair. Sitting back too far will not allow you to stretch fully.

  • Extend your right leg out straight. Flex your foot, and place your right heel on the floor. Straighten the right knee completely, but do not lock the knee. Pull your toes back as much as you can.

  • Place your hands on your left knee, and straighten your back. Lean forward from your hips until you feel a stretch in the back of the legs.

  • Refrain from rounding the back or reaching down for the toe. You should get enough of a stretch by just fully straightening the knee. Flex the foot as much as you can.

  • Hold for five to ten deep breaths. Focus on reaching out from the hips and lengthening out over the leg. Repeat with the left leg.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure you keep your back straight.
  • Do not bounce the stretch. Doing so could result in muscle injury.

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