The benefits of stretching either before or after exercise are beyond dispute. Particularly for athletes and regular gym-goers, it’s our legs that are powering a lot of our movements. From running to jumping and squatting a heavy barbell, we rely on the powerful muscles of our upper legs for maximum performance. The most powerful of all the muscles in our legs are the hamstrings. Running from our glutes all the way down the back of our thighs to our knees, the hamstrings are a critical muscle group that power the locomotion of simply walking to picking up our groceries off the floor.
For those who exercise, the hamstrings can get stiff due to wear and tear, so it’s vital to keep them flexible. A great addition to traditional hamstrings stretches is the resistance band. By incorporating it into your routine, you can get an even deeper burn in this muscle group that’ll help prevent injury and keep your warmed up for whatever activity you choose to perform in your active lifestyle.
Lie on your back on a comfortable mat or section of the floor, with your legs extended out and your heels on the floor. Keep your lower back and head flat against the ground.
Loop one end of the resistance band around your foot. You can even use a towel if you don’t have a band.
While keeping your non-banded leg flat, use your hands to pull the band and your foot upwards a close to your head as possible. Keep your leg extended and your knee locked. You should feel a deep burn in the back of your leg where your hamstrings are located.
Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds, then alternate for your other leg.
Perform a good stretch for each leg 3 times.