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Tight hamstrings and back pain . . .

Anyone who sits all day at a desk probably has experienced the tightening and shortening of their hamstrings.  And you know what comes next?  That's right - back pain.  While it might be tempting to skip the flexibility exercises, such as hamstring stretches, remember that they have an important role in keeping you pain free.  Here are a couple of stretches you might want to try.

Hamstring stretch

  • Lie on your back.  Raise your left leg as high as you can keeping your pelvis flat on the ground.  Hold your thigh encouraging your leg to move toward your head.  Use a stretching strap or towel under your foot to deepen the stretch.  Flex your foot for a stretch in your calf.  Hold for 30-60 seconds.  Repeat on the right leg.
  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you.  Fold your torso over your thighs, gently rounding the back but keeping the legs straight. Hold for 30-60 seconds, then come up slowly.
  • While standing (shown in photo) , prop your left heal on a surface slightly lower than your hips, such as chair or bench.  Flex your foot.  To increase the stretch, slightly lean forward toward your flexed foot.  Hold for 30-60 seconds and switch legs.

Find creative ways to add stretches into your routine.  Your back will be glad you did!

Here's to being flexible! 

Question of the day:  What's your favorite hamstring exercise?  Does it help you stay pain free?

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