Preparing the body to move prior to sports or higher level activity is essential for performance and injury prevention. In an effort to promote soft tissue and joint mobility, it is wise to implement multi-joint movement patterns to prime the body accordingly. This exercise serves as one example of such an exercise.
Execution: Begin standing up with the feet shoulder width apart. Next bend forward and place your fingertips/hands on the ground as close to the toes as possible. If necessary, allow the knees to bend slightly to accommodate for limited hamstring mobility. Slowly walk the hands forward away from the feet moving toward a tall plank position.
Once neutral spike position is challenged by a loss of core stability, pause and slowly walk the feet up toward the hands. Continue this alternate leg movement pattern until a good hamstring stretch is felt. Repeat this alternating movement pattern for 5 repetitions.
Application: This exercise is an excellent movement prep tool that promotes shoulder and pillar stability while also facilitating better hip mobility. It should be done in a slow controlled manner with emphasis on maintaining a neutral spine position. Allowing a small amount of knee flexion in the presence of marked hamstring tightness allows for easier movement and reduces stress on the back.