The area at the back of your legs where your hamstrings meet your buttocks is a common site for injuries. If physical activity, stretching, bending your knees 90 degrees or sitting on a hard surface causes you to feel pain in the back of your upper legs, you might have an upper hamstring injury. To avoid these types of injuries, keep your upper hamstrings flexible by stretching them at least twice a week. This can also improve your performance during physical activities.
Lie on your back on an exercise mat and bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor.
Raise your right foot off the floor, bring your knee toward your chest and intertwine your fingers behind your right thigh. Keep your left leg bent at your knee or extend it on the floor.
Pull your right knee closer toward your chest so you feel a slight stretch the back of your right upper leg going into your buttocks.
Hold this stretch for up to 30 seconds, switch sides and repeat the stretch. Perform the stretch three times.
Stand upright, spread your feet hip-width apart and point your toes forward.
Step forward with your right leg and raise your toes off the floor so your leg is resting on the heel of your right foot.
Bend your left knee and slightly lean forward at your waist, making sure to keep your right knee and back straight.
Sit your buttocks back to emphasize the stretch in your right upper hamstring. Rest your hands on the front of your upper right leg for support. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds before switching sides and repeat it three times on each leg.
- Never stretch your upper hamstrings without properly warming up -- a low-intense 10-minute jog or bike ride will do.
- If you're new to stretching and lack flexibility, hold the stretches for about five to 10 seconds and gradually increase the duration over time.
- Stretch your upper hamstrings at least two times per week to maintain your flexibility and only stretch until your feel a slight discomfort -- not pain.
- Avoid bouncing while stretching, because this might cause muscle tears, which might impair your flexibility and trigger pain.
- Avoid holding your breath while you stretch -- breathe as normal to keep your blood at a safe level.
- Before engaging in a stretching routine, get your doctor's consent, especially if you've been inactive or have a health condition or injury.
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.