Good, gentle hamstring & calf stretches for the inflexible

Tight hamstrings and calf muscles can be quite painful and cause problems with the knee joint. I have made it a daily routine to stretch after my daily cycling. My stretch routine includes the calf, hamstrings, quads and lower back muscles. Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is NOT TO RUSH THROUGH A STRETCH ROUTINE.

To stretch the calves and hamstrings stand upright with the feet about shoulder width apart, bend over forward slowly with the knees locked straight and try to reach your toes with the tip of your fingers. Slowly reach further and further until the palm of your hands touch the ground (or as far as you can reach). Hold your position for 30 seconds then slowly return to the upright position. Repeat once. This stretch also helps with the lower back muscles. The best part of this stretch routine is that it takes less than two minutes and treats three major muscles.

Comments 7 comments

livelonger profile image

livelonger 9 years ago from San Francisco

Great advice; thanks Vic!

Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 9 years ago from Sydney

Be careful, this is basically the old "bend over and touch your toes" and can do damage if you do it with locked knees like this.

vic profile image

vic 9 years ago Author

Thank you Marisa for your comment. This is the method that I have used for years. What damage should one be concerned about?

Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 9 years ago from Sydney

If you have been doing the exercise for years, it's going to do you no harm at all. And it's certainly true that the exercise was done for decades before modern exercise physiologists started getting worked up about it! People with bad knees may experience trouble because the locked knees are being forced backwards as you bend forward. The other big problem is that people often don’t follow your advice of doing it gently, and try to force themselves lower, which puts strain on the lower back and hamstrings. The final thing is that it’s not a hugely effective stretch if you’re not already flexible, because if you have tight hamstrings they’ll stop you long before the calves even get a look-in, and so on.

vic profile image

vic 9 years ago Author

Thank you for your informative comments Marisa.

2patricias profile image

2patricias 8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Watch this too if  you have lumbar disc issues or low bone density, the forward bending may not be advisable for individuals with these issues.

Dale 5 years ago

Seriously, I stopped reading at 'bend over' and 'lock knees.'

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