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Standing 3 Plane Hamstring Stretch

by Anthony Carey, MA

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The standing three plane hamstring stretch does exactly what it describes. Too often we only stretch the hamstrings in the sagittal plane. The hamstrings work in all three planes and we're going to get after them with this particular exercise. First, put your left foot up on the chair. When your left foot is up on the chair, gently dorsiflex, bring the toes back, and contract the quad. Next, hinge slightly from the hip, bending forward but maintaining a little bit of lordosis or arch in your lower back. Now the hamstrings are already under a pre-stretch. From here, you'll want to go after the sagittal plane. With the arms extended in front of you, raise your arms up with no motion of the pelvis. This will increase the demand on the hamstrings because as the arms go up, the position of the pelvis changes. Next, do the transverse plane. With the arms parallel to the floor, internally rotate your hip, which will work a lot of the lateral hamstrings in this particular motion. Again, you're still hinged at the hip, still dorsiflexed, still contracted in the left quadriceps. The final movement is the frontal plane going in the other direction. You will side bend to the right, working the outer hamstrings again, and a little bit of the glute with the general side flexion to the right. As always, you should do this on both legs.

About the Presenter

Anthony Carey, MA

Anthony Carey, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Anthony Carey, MA, owns Function First in San Diego, California. He holds a master?s degree in biomechanics and athletic training, and is an internationally-recognized speaker on biomechanics, posture, motor control and musculoskeletal pain and function. As a best-selling author, his work has been featured in the New York Times and Time Magazine. Anthony is also the inventor of the Core-Tex.