Source: Best Health Magazine, March/April 2011; Illustration by Kagan McLeod
With the days getting longer and a little bit warmer, it’s time to get back out there for a walk or run. But be sure to stretch your hamstrings afterwards. ‘Your muscles tighten when you exercise,’ says Gidon Gabbay, a personal trainer and the owner of G Force Home Training in Toronto.
‘Stretching lengthens muscles and helps with repair, so you won’t feel sore the next day.’ Hamstrings can easily be injured if they are not stretched, especially if you sit for long periods of time, so doing this move regularly should help prevent future injuries, too.
Position yourself about a foot and a half (half a metre) behind a chair. Stand up straight, with your shoulders back and feet pointing forward. Keep your knees straight, but not locked. Keeping your neck aligned with your back throughout this move, bend at the hips to a 90-degree angle. ‘Don’t round your back,’ says Gabbay. ‘Put your weight onto your hands.’ (You may need to move the chair forward so you are putting the weight of your body on the chair and not holding yourself up’you’ll feel the stretch more this way.) Hold for 30 seconds.
This article was originally appeared in the March/April 2011 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!