The following stretches are designed to help you stretch your hamstrings, glutes and groin without putting excess pressure on your low back. All you will need is a well-inflated 65-cm SB and a wall. Start with three sets of each exercise. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and progress to three 60 second holds for each exercise.
Starting Position. The starting position for each stretch is with your back on the SB, knees bent to 900
and the soles of both feet flat against the wall. Place the ball approximately 3 feet from the wall. Lie down
with your back on the ball and your feet on the wall. Move around on the ball until your knees are bent to 900 and the soles of both feet are flat against the wall. This is the starting position for each exercise.
Hamstring Stretch. From the” starting position”, walk both heels up the wall and extend both legs upward as straight as possible with the feet close to each other and the heels against the wall. When you get your heels as high as possible, keep your feet close to each other and slowly let your hips drop downward on the ball. This position will let you stretch your hamstrings without having to flex your lower or upper back. Hold for 30-seconds, rest and repeat three times. When you can hold this position for 60 seconds with both legs straight, cross the right foot over the top of the left foot at the ankle for an additional stretch of the hamstrings. Repeat with the left foot over the top of the right foot. Start with three 30-second holds on each leg and gradually work up to three 60-second holds on each leg.
Glute Stretch. From the starting position with both heels up on the wall, cross your right foot over the
left knee so that your right ankle is on your left knee. Slowly let your hips drop downward on the ball and push on your right knee with your right hand to increase the stretch in your right glute. Hold for 30-seconds, rest and repeat three times. Then repeat the exercise by crossing your left foot over your right knee. Start with a 30-second hold on each side and gradually progress to three 60-second holds on each side.
Groin Stretch. From the starting position, extend both legs out as wide as possible in a “V-position. Slowly let your hips drop downward on the ball to stretch the groin. Hold for 30 seconds, rest and repeat three times. Gradually progress to three 60-second holds.
Gene Coleman, Ed. D., RSCC-E, FACSM, was the Head S&C Coach for the Houston Astros from 1978-2012 and is currently a strength and conditioning consultant for the Texas Rangers and Professor in the Exercise and Health Sciences Program at the University of Houston – Clear Lake.