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Stretching Your Hamstring the Right Way

Posted Aug 24 2008 1:49pm
ANNOUNCER: Runners know the value of keeping the muscles in the back of the thigh - the hamstrings - flexible. But stretching them the wrong way can lead to injury. Take a look at these two stretches. Fitness expert Jonathan cane explains why A will keep your legs limber without hurting you.

JONATHAN CANE, EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST: By turning the foot in, there's a lot less pressure on the connective tissue of the knee, a lot less risk of injury while still getting an effective stretch for the hamstring on the opposite leg. The hurdler stretch, when you twist your knee out there, is putting a lot of stress on the connective tissue at your knee.

ANNOUNCER: Remember the stretching rules- hold it for 20-30 seconds and don't bounce!

JONATHAN CANE, EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST: By holding the position there and not bouncing, you're much less likely to injure the hamstring while you're trying to stretch it.

ANNOUNCER: And don't forget to warm-up first!

JONATHAN CANE, EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST: Five minutes or so, just to get some blood flowing to the working muscles. You literally warm your body temperature and you get some blood to the muscles that lubricates the joints, because your muscles are like any other material. They're more pliable when they're warm.

ANNOUNCER: Stretching your hamstrings the right way will keep you from getting sidelined by injuries. Thanks for joining us on today's Once Daily.

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