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Stretch of the Week: Hamstring Stretch with Pilates Ball

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It is hard to believe that 2016 is coming to an end already. The final stretch we will be performing this year is a Hamstring Stretch with Pilates Ball.

Just like the other December stretches, you will need at least a 55 cm Pilates ball to perform this week’s stretch. In addition, you will need a sturdy chair without wheels on the legs. If you have a hamstring injury please do not do this week’s stretch.

How to perform:

  1. Sit towards the edge of the chair with the ball in front of you. Place your right leg on the ball and roll the ball out until the leg is straight. The heel will sit directly over the middle of the ball, the other leg will be bent and the knee stacked over the ankle (see “step 1” photo). Sit tall while pressing your palms into the chair seat to keep your chest from collapsing. Make sure you also press your belly button to the spine. If you already feel an intense stretch here, do not proceed to step 2.
  1. Step 2 is for those who are more flexible. As you exhale, hinge at the hip creases and fold forward, reaching your arms out and placing your hands on your shin. If you can touch your toes without rounding the upper back then go for it! Otherwise only go as far as you can keep your back straight.

* A slight bend in the straight knee is ok but you do not want a bend like the “No” photo. The chest is collapsing here, with a rounded upper back. Do not do this as it may aggravate the low back.

  1. Hold this position for 1-3 minutes. Inhale and rise back up to the seated position if you are folding deeper. Then, take your leg down and switch to the left leg.

Stretch of the Week: Hamstring Stretch with Pilates BallHave a great New Year!

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The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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