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Health Tip: Prevent a Pulled Hamstring

Stretch properly before exercise

(HealthDay News) -- Hamstring injuries are common, and can affect anyone -- professional athletes, adolescents and older people. These injuries often happen to those who doesn't properly prepare their body for exercise.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says the best way to protect your muscles is to stretch, slowly and gently, before and after exercise. Stretching out the hamstrings does not only help prevent hamstring injuries, but can also reduce your risk of lower back injury, the academy says.

To stretch your hamstrings, sit on the floor and straighten out one leg, placing the sole of your foot of your other leg against the inside of your straightened leg. Leaning slightly forward, touch the toes of your extended leg with your fingers, keeping that foot upright but relaxed. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat with the other leg.

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