Hamstring Stretch How-To

Start each workout with these simple, but impactful movements that can prevent stiffness and jumpstart your fitness routine. ­­

Whether you’re running, jumping, jogging or exercising in general, the most important muscles to stretch are your hamstrings. Doing so can not only prevent injury, but also help improve your overall physical performance.

Start in a standing position with your feet together. Then reach down and grab your toes. If you can’t reach your toes, grab your ankles or as close to them as you can. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds, release and repeat 10 times.

Begin the second stretch while standing with your legs spread slightly apart, about the width of your shoulders, enough to give you a good athletic base. Next, lower your torso and reach all the way back between your legs, as far as you can. Hold this position for 10 seconds, release and repeat 10 times.

Do the same stretch to your left and then to the right — each for 10 seconds, release and repeat 10 times.

The reason to release and repeat is that every time you stretch your muscles, you get a little more tension, thus allowing you to stretch back a bit farther each time.