How to Stretch the Back of the Leg

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Stretching the back of your leg is a necessary precaution for certain types of exercise techniques. Stretch the back of your leg with help from an experienced fitness professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Exercise & Yoga
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Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Sara Holliday from, and I’m going to show you how to stretch the back of your leg. For many of us, we have tight hamstring muscles, which contributes to low back pain and tightness in your hips. I’m going to show you a great stretch to release the tension in your hamstring muscles, or the back of your leg. So, what you’re going to do is you want to make sure that your hips are forward when you do this exercise, and bring one foot in really tight to the inner thigh, make sure your foot is flex. You’re going to reach for your toes, you’re going to inhale and pull the arms up, and exhale sink deeper. Now, the reason why I’m doing this is it’s helping to warm up the muscle instead of just going right into it. That way, you’re going to experience less tension when you go into the posture. So, it’s after three to five of these movements you’re going to bring your hands over towards your knee, lift through the heart center, and press your heart first. Then, release your head down, and walk your hands towards your heel, pressing with a flat back towards your thigh. Now, as you get more flexible, you’re going to press the back of the knee towards the mat, and you’re going to hold it here for three to five breaths. And, imagine that breath creating space, moving up the hamstring muscle. And, you can even hold it longer than five breaths if you’re feeling the need to release more through the muscle. Then, you’re going to repeat the same thing on the other side. So, I’m going to extend the opposite leg, bring my foot in nice and tight, keeping the hips forward. I’m going to pull the arms up on the inhale, and then exhale over the top, warming up the muscle before we go into that deep posture, inhaling and exhaling. Three to five of these. Then, hold it at the bottom. Bring your hands towards your knee, lift your heart, press heart first, then release your head down. And, walk your hands towards your heel, flexing your foot, pressing the back of the knee towards the mat. And, use your breath – imagine the breath moving up from the heel all the way up the back of the leg, releasing tension in your hamstring, or the back of the leg. And, hold it here for a minimum of three to five breaths. I’m Sara Holliday, and I just showed you how to stretch the back of your leg.


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