Hamstring Stretch

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The reason that you hold your foot with your opposite hand is that the natural angle of the patellofemoral joint is not straight as you bend it; it turns inward with end-range flexion.

The hamstrings are three individual muscles that oppose the quads—the biceps femoris, semitendi-nosus, and semimembranosus. They work as a group to bend the knee and to straighten the hip. Tight hamstrings, a condition so common that it sounds like the official name, can often contribute to low back pain. Keep them loose, and you'll feel like a new person.

Here is what you need to do to stretch your hamstrings:

1. Sit and straighten the right leg.

2. Place the sole of your left foot against the inside of the right thigh.

3. Slowly bend forward from the hips toward the foot of the outstretched leg until you feel a gentle stretch.

4. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

5. Once the initial discomfort has diminished, bend forward a bit more.

6. Visualize your chest against your knee.

7. Hold for another 20-30 seconds.

Hamstring stretch.

Again, when the stretch becomes more comfortable, lean forward for the last time for another 20-30 seconds. Repeat this three-part move on the other leg. Remember to relax and focus on your breath.

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