If you’re one of many people in the world with back pain, this stretch for tight hamstrings can help. These two variations of the stretch are done with a strap of some kind, so make sure you have something available before you get started. This can be a yoga strap, belt, old tie, scarf, or something similar.
Start by lying on your back on a firm yet comfortable surface, such as a yoga mat. Start with both your legs straight out on the floor.
Take the strap in your right hand. Bend your right leg at the knee and bring it into your chest. With your knee bent, it should be easier to reach your right foot. Take your strap and loop it around the ball of your right foot, taking one end of the strap in each hand.
Slowly straighten your right leg toward the ceiling until you feel a stretch in the back of your right leg. Your left leg can stay straight out on the floor, unless that’s too uncomfortable. If that’s the case, you can bend the left knee and place your left foot flat on the floor. Stay in this position, breathing deeply, for 10 full breaths. If you find your muscles loosening, you can pull gently on the strap to both pull your toes down toward your face and to bring your leg closer to your head to deepen the stretch.
After you’ve completed the first stretch, shift both ends of the strap to your right hand and pull it taut. Slowly lower your right leg to the right toward the floor, so it’s roughly at a 90-degree angle from your upper body. Try not to let your left hip rise off the ground. You can place your left hand on your left hip to help weight it. If it won’t stay on the ground, bring your right leg up until it does. You can rest your right elbow on the floor to help anchor yourself. Keep your right foot engaged, pulling your toes toward your head with the strap.
Breathe deeply in this position for 10 full breaths.
To come out of the pose, bend your right knee until you can release your foot from the strap. Bring both legs straight out on the floor again and rest for 10 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.