A word on stretches…
A stretch is designed to lengthen muscle tissue to allow for a greater range of motion. In order to do this, the holds for a stretch need to be a minimum of 2 minutes. Holding for only 20-30 seconds will not get the job done.
Stand in front of a surface that can be used to give yourself some support (i.e. the back of a chair, table, countertop). Step backwards with the leg that you want to stretch. Keep the toes pointed forward and your heel on the ground as you lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your calf. Hold the stretch then return to the starting position and step back with the other leg to perform the stretch on the other side.
Suggested program: Hold the stretch for a total of 2 minutes on each leg. Complete once a day.
Sit at the edge of a chair or your bed. Tuck your chin down to your chest and put your arms behind your back. Slouch over by leaning forward as far as you can go without causing an increase in your back pain. Pull your toe back towards your nose as far as you can go. Slowly straighten your knee until you feel a pull in the back of your leg. Pause in the position you feel the stretch and then return to the starting position.
Suggested program: Repeat this 15 times on each side holding for 3 seconds and do this one time per day.
Seated Hamstring Stretch
Sit at the very edge of a chair with the leg you are going to stretch straight and the other leg bent. Sit up straight and lean forward from your hip joint, not your low back until you feel a stretch going down the back of the leg that is straight. After the stretch is done, return to the starting position.
Suggested program: Hold for a 2 minute stretch, complete 1 time per day on each side