The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Fast Fitness - Don't Shorten Hip When Stretching Hamstring

Here is Fast Friday Fitness - Get a more functional hamstring stretch, and a built-in posturally helpful functional stretch to the front of the hip at the same time.

When lying on your back to stretch your hamstrings by lifting one leg:

  1. Lie flat. Keep the leg you are not lifting flat on the ground, not bent at the knee and hip, or with upper body curled and neck craned, as pictured.
  2. Don't let your pelvis and hip round under you. Don't let your backside curl up off the floor.
  3. Keep your hip, leg, back, shoulders, and head relaxed, flat, straight, touching the ground.

It is a myth that you must bend your knee to protect your back. If you must bend your knee to protect your back, how are you supposed to stand on one leg and lift the other in real life to climb stairs, kick, and even run and walk, without curling into bent over, old-looking, tight, injury-producing position?

When stretching your hamstrings, remember function. Why practice a position that is rounded, tightening, and detrimental to how you move when you stand and extend your legs. Get stretch by lengthening you body enough to be able to straighten out.

Send me your photos of fixing this stretch. Doing is the best learning. I will publish the photos in a reader success post to come.

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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.