Step 1. Sit down. Extend your right leg straight out in front of you with your knee and toe pointing toward the ceiling.
Step 2. Bend your left leg so that your knee faces outward and the bottom of your foot touches the inner thigh of your straight leg.
Step 3. Sit up straight with your hands behind you and touch your straight leg down to the floor.
Step 4. Keeping your leg straight, bring your hands forward and bend at the waist. Then, curve your back, bend your neck, bring your chin to your chest, and continue to lean forward as gradually ease into the stretch.
Step 5. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Continue to breath rhythmically and slowly. Do not hold your breath.
Step 6. Ease out of the stretch, switch legs, and repeat.
The hamstring stretch performed with one leg bent is preferable to the stretch performed with two legs. By performing the stretch with a bent leg, the user will not be limited by tightness in the other hamstring which might be experienced if you have to keep it straight. The user should be careful not to stretch too far or stretch too hard. This can do more harm than good. Stretching is important and should be incorporated in all exercise routines. Stretching can help limit injury to the ligaments and muscles. By stretching the muscle before working out, you can actually lift more weight.
Updated: March 31th, 2015