The Year of the Hamstring

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a patient who was complaining of tightness in his back and legs. I told him, "I think this should be the year of the hamstring for you." Tight hamstrings create tension in more than your legs—they can cause pain and tightness in your neck, middle, and lower back as well. So I'm declaring 2016 The Year of the Hamstring for everyone! 

And in honor of this important year, I want to share a simple, fun exercise you can do to keep your hammies happy. It can be done anywhere there's a doorway—you don't even have to change your clothes. As you can see in the video, I'm demonstrating it in our office in between patients!

Start by lying on the floor near a door frame. Put one leg up the wall and scoot your butt in until your raised leg is as straight as it will go. Then, keeping your back flat on the ground, raise and lower the other straightened leg, as shown above. I love this stretch because it statically stretches the leg against the wall while dynamically stretching the one you raise and lower. Do this at least once a day, 10 raises on each side to help loosen your hamstrings. Happy 2016!