Starting Position: Lie flat on your back on the floor / mat next to the corner of a wall or door jam so that one leg can rest against the wall while the other leg can be on the floor / mat past the wall edge or door jam (illustrated). Try to straighten the leg that is against the wall, pressing the back of the leg into the wall as best you can without lifting your hips off the floor. Point your toes towards the ceiling. Place your arms in a "T" position at shoulder level with palms facing up. Engage your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine.
Gently exhale. Continue to straighten your knee slowly by contracting the muscles on the front of the thigh. Pull your toes downwards toward your body and push your heel toward the ceiling. This will increase the stretch in your hamstrings and calf muscles. Do not allow any movement in your hips and low back during this stretch.
Hold this position for 15 - 30 seconds. Release the stretch and return to starting position. Perform 2 - 4 repetitions then change your position and repeat with the opposite leg.
Exercise Variation: Progress this by tilting your pelvis forward, increasing the arch in your low back to increase the stretch in the hamstrings. This stretch with pelvic tilts can be completed more dynamically by completing 1 set of 5 - 10 repetitions with each leg, holding the tilted position for 1 - 2 seconds.
To maximize the benefits of a stretch and reduce the potential for injury, it is important to stretch only to the point of tension, avoid bouncing and perform the pelvic tilting movement slowly.