Stretching is an important way to maintain flexibility, and to prevent pain in your low back. This hamstring stretch will help you gain flexibility, which will protect you from injury and the tight muscles that cause pain.

To do this hamstring stretch, lie on a hard but supportive surface, such as a yoga mat. This stretch is easier to do if you’re wearing pants or shorts that don’t restrict your movements.

Start with your right leg bent so your right foot is flat on the floor. Take a deep breath and raise your left foot straight overhead. If you have tight hamstrings, you may not be able to straighten your leg completely. That’s ok! If it helps, you can use a belt or a strap to help you: loop the strap over the ball of your foot and hold one side in each hand.

Whether you’re working with a strap or using your hands, try to bring your raised leg closer to your head while keeping the leg as straight as possible.

If you’d like a deeper stretch, slowly straighten your right leg until it’s lying on the floor. If you straighten your right leg and your lower back arches off the floor, bend your right knee again – your back and hamstrings are not yet loose enough for this to be a good option for you.

Stay in the pose for 30 seconds, breathing deeply and regularly.

Switch sides and repeat.

hamstring stretch