Today's Edge: Get your hamstrings moving before you work them. Here's an active stretch that will get your hamstrings prepared for training, sport, or any activity. 

This active hamstring stretch will prime the pump for your lower body. This is different than simply reaching forward to touch your toes and holding. In this stretch you are actively extending the knee with the quadriceps to move the hamstrings through full range of motion. This active approach is a more effective way to prepare for action.

Lay flat on your back. Hold gently behind one knee as you bring it up to your chest. Extend that knee bringing the foot toward the ceiling. At the same time with the opposite or straight leg, press the heel down into the ground. This will activate the glute, hamstring, and core through the down leg while you stretch the hamstring on the leg that is up. Hold at the full extension position for 1-3 seconds on each repetition trying to extend slightly and comfortably further each time. 

This is a great active stretch to use prior to any activity, workout, or sport. It's also a great exercise to do after a hard lower body workout. Additionally, you can use this in between long sessions of sitting at work, in the car, or after a flight. Shoot for 1-3 sets of 10-20 extension repetitions per side.

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Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS spent 6 seasons as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and is founder of TD Athletes Edge.  He is nationally renowned for his evidence-based and scientific approach to fitness, training, nutrition, and recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

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