Hamstrings :- Standing upright, place your heel on a foot stool or similar. With your toes angled towards you lean forwards with your back straight until you feel the hamstring at the back of your thigh stretch. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale lean a little further forward. Repeat three times and then with the other leg. The stretch should be steady and without ‘bouncing’.
Variation:- Stand upright and then cross one leg over the other at your ankle. Bend from your hips with your back straight until you feel a pull in the hamstring of the back leg. Breathe in and then exhale bending a little further at the same time. Repeat three times and then with the other leg.
Useful for:- Patients with short hamstrings and consequent effect on the back. Also for recovering hamstring injuries to avoid re-occurrence of the problem.
Achilles and calf:- Find a step or stairs and stand on it on your toes. Preferably have a hand hold nearby. Stretch one side at a time by taking the weight off one leg and then lower the heel of the side you want to stretch. You will feel a pull at the back of the calf. Now put the weight on both feet and return to the starting position. Repeat 5 times and then with the other leg. The stretch should be steady and without bouncing.
Useful for :- Recovering calf and Achilles tendon injuries and after sport.
The self help exercises presented here are offered as examples of what may be of value to patients. Exercises are of most use when they are prescribed in relation to a specific diagnosis and as part of a treatment plan. The number of repetitions and the frequency with which they are carried out will be different for each patient. Andrew Gilmour and Associates suggest that you should visit a properly qualified clinician before embarking on a exercises.