hamstring stretch

Illustration: David Wyffels

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Stretch #5: Wall Hamstring Stretch
Do it if: The backs of your legs feel tight, from the hamstring to the calf, or if you've got heel pain (tight calves can contribute to the problem). Any form of exercise that involves your legs can cause tightness here—from sprint intervals to walking a few miles a day.

1. Find a spot along a wall or in a wide doorway where you can lie down and put one leg comfortably up the wall while the other leg extends straight out in front of you. An L-shaped corner, where you're on the outside of the L, will work best.
2. Sit down, then lie back and extend one leg up the wall. Bend your other leg and rest that thigh against the wall.
3. Scoot your hips as close to the wall as you can to feel the stretch in the hamstring and a bit in the lower leg. Switch legs and repeat.

Source: Jacque Crockford, certified strength and conditioning specialist and exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise.