The Standing Hamstring Muscle Stretch

How to Easily Stretch Your Hamstrings While on the Go

The standing hamstring stretch can be a safe and effective way to stretch your hamstring muscles.
The standing hamstring stretch is an easy way to stretch your hamstrings while on the go. Brett Sears, 2012

Is there an easy way to stretch your hamstrings? How can it be done when you are on the go or at the office? The standing hamstring stretch is likely one of the simplest hamstring stretches out there. Your PT can show you how to do it and incorporate it into your daily stretching routine.

The hamstring muscles are a large group of muscles in the back of the thigh that help to bend your knee and extend your hip.

Tightness in the hamstrings is sometimes implicated as a contributor to low back pain, hip pain, or knee pain. Injury such as a strain to these muscles usually requires gentle stretching to help restore normal mobility and range of motion.

Hamstring stretches are most often performed while sitting or lying on the floor. But you may be a very busy person with a full time job. Your office may not be a good place to lie down to stretch your hamstrings. Or you may always be on the go, and finding the right place to lie down to stretch your hamstrings may not always be realistic.That's where the standing hamstring stretch comes in.

Here is How to Do the Standing Hamstring Stretch

There is a simple way to get a good stretch to your hamstring muscles without lying on the floor. It is the standing hamstring stretch. Here's how you do it:

  1. While standing, place your heel on a small stool or a stack of books. The files on your desk should make a good-sized pile. If you are outside, you can use the curb, but be sure to watch for cars.
  1. Reach both arms up toward the place where the wall and ceiling meet. If you are outside (and there is no wall or ceiling) simply reach up into the air so your arms are about even with your ears. Reaching your arms up, as opposed to reaching down toward your foot, will keep your back straight.
  2. Now slowly and gently lean forward, but be sure to keep your back straight and your posture upright. You should feel a stretch behind your thigh. Do not reach down to your foot, but up in the air.
  1. Hold this position for about 10-15 seconds. Then slowly return to the starting position.
  2. Repeat 3-5 times.

This exercise may be repeated a few times a day to help improve the flexibility of your hamstring muscles in the legs. Remember, if you feel and pain or abnormal sensations in your hip, thigh, or lower leg, check in with your doctor. It is also a good idea to check with your doctor or physical therapist before starting this, or any other, hamstring exercises or stretches.

You can perform the standing hamstring stretch just about anywhere: in line at the market, at the office, or along the sidewalk while walking or jogging. Be sure to check with your physical therapist or doctor to make sure it is safe for you to do this exercise.

A Word From Verywell

Tight hamstring muscles can be a tough thing to deal with, and you may feel like you need to constantly stretch them. An easy stretch, like this one, may be just the thing you need to keep you hammys stretched out and keep your body moving.

Source: Popli, S, etal. The effect of Static Stretch Versus Retrowalking on the Flexibiliy of the Hamstring Muscle. Indian Journal of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy; 2014. 8(3): 54-58.

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