Rehab: Hamstring Stretch

What is the hamstring muscle?

This is the muscle found on the back of the thigh. It consists of three muscles that help to bend the knee. Two of the muscles help extend the hip.

Why is it so important to stretch this muscle? Hamstring muscles work to hold your child upright when standing and walking. Stretching these muscles is also important to prevent back injuries.

Steps for hamstring stretch: (with caregiver help)

  1. Place or ask your child to lie on his/her back on the floor or a firm surface
  2. Bend your child’s leg at the hip and knee.
  3. Support your child’s thigh with one hand and gently and slowly straighten the leg with your other hand.
  4. When you reach the point of tightness, hold for 20-30 seconds
  5. Relax your pressure and repeat 2-3 more times.
  6. Perform on the other leg.
  7. Perform stretch 2-3 times a day.
Your child may perform this stretch on his/her own with a towel/sheet.

Steps for hamstring stretch: For the Child to perform on his/her own

  1. Ask your child to sit with his/her legs together.
  2. Remind child to keep his/her knees pointing up to the sky.
  3. Bend one leg slightly.
  4. Keep the other leg straight.
  5. Ask your child to reach forward and try and touch his/her toes.
  6. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.
  7. Repeat 2-3 more times.
  8. Return to the starting position.
  9. Perform on the other leg.
  10. Perform stretch 2-3 times a day.
REMEMBER: Your child will feel a pull on the back of the thigh and behind the knee, but no pain.
If you have questions or concerns please contact your child’s physical or occupational therapist.

This page was last updated on: November 10, 2020 12:10 PM

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Hamstring Stretch Exercise

Vanessa Strauss, a Physical Therapist at Nicklaus Children's Hospital's Rehabilitation Department, explains the Hamstring Stretch Exercise. This tutorial video will teach you the proper technique and pacing of this exercise, so you can have your child do it at home as recommended in your child's treatment plan.