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Fitness | GOOD FORM

Loosen up those tight hamstrings

September 13, 2004|Karen Voight | Karen Voight can be reached at kvoightla@aol.com.

Stretching your hamstrings (the muscles in the backs of your upper thighs) requires consistency and patience. Because these muscles are slow to stretch, they quickly become tight and stiff. Excessive tightness in your hamstrings can create problems in your knees, hips and back. To help prevent this, practice simple flexibility moves such as this one.

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1 Place exercise tubing under the balls of your feet and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Exhale, bend your knees, lean forward and grasp the tubing in the lowest position you can with both hands.

2 Straighten your legs and arms. Stretch your buttocks upward as you lift your torso to form a straight line with your spine. Look down toward the floor and continue to create a straight line with the back of your neck. Hold for 20 seconds, feeling a deep stretch in the backs of your thighs. To come out of this stretch, drop the tubing, bend your knees and round your back. Repeat two more times.

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-- Karen Voight

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