Stretching Routine for a Tight Back & Hamstrings

by Aubrey Bailey, Demand Media
    Meditate while you stretch to help reduce stress.

    Meditate while you stretch to help reduce stress.

    Tight muscles can lead to pain, interfering with your active lifestyle. Back muscles and hamstrings -- large muscles running along the back of your thighs -- frequently become tight, especially if you sit a lot during your work day. Make a stretching routine part of your regular workout schedule, focusing on your back and hamstrings. It doesn't have to take a lot of time -- you can stretch your muscles right in your living room while you watch your favorite show.

    Items you will need

    • Chair

    Hamstring Stretch

    Step 1

    Stand facing the seat of a chair. Lift your right leg, place your heel on the seat of the chair, knee straight and toes pointed toward the ceiling.

    Step 2

    Bend forward at your hips, reaching your hands toward your right foot.

    Step 3

    Stop when you feel a stretch along the back of your right thigh. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds, and repeat three times. Switch legs and repeat this stretch.

    Quadriceps Stretch

    Step 1

    Stand next to a stable surface with your feet shoulder-width apart.

    Step 2

    Bend your right knee, bringing your heel toward your butt. Hold onto a stable surface with your left hand to help maintain your balance.

    Step 3

    Grab the front of your right ankle with your right hand, pulling your heel closer to your butt. Stop when you feel a stretch along the front of your right thigh. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat three times on each leg.

    Single Knee-to-Chest Stretch

    Step 1

    Lie on your back on a firm surface. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor.

    Step 2

    Lift your right foot off the ground and bring your knee toward your chest.

    Step 3

    Wrap your arms around your right knee and gently hug your leg closer to your chest. Stop when you feel a stretch along your lower back. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds; repeat three times on each leg.

    Prayer Stretch

    Step 1

    Kneel on the floor and sit back, resting your butt on your heels.

    Step 2

    Bend forward and reach your arms out in front of you until your palms are resting on the ground.

    Step 3

    Slowly walk your fingers forward until you feel a stretch along your back. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds; repeat three times.

    Butterfly Stretch

    Step 1

    Sit on the floor, bend your knees and put the bottoms of your feet together.

    Step 2

    Drop your knees out to the sides and gently press down on your knees with your hands until you feel a stretch along the inside of your thighs.

    Step 3

    Hold this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds; repeat three times.

    Warning

    • Don't stretch to the point of pain -- this can cause muscle injury.

    About the Author

    Aubrey Bailey has been writing health-related articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "ADVANCE for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine." She holds a B.S. in physical therapy and Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University at Buffalo, as well as a post-professional Doctor of Physical Therapy from Utica College. Dr. Bailey is also a certified hand therapist.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images