The hamstring stretch, knee-to-chest and hip flexor stretch are examples of medically recommended, beneficial or therapeutic stretching exercises that improve range of motion and flexibility, according to Mayo Clinic. Stretches are best performed after a light warm-up or after a full workout. People should hold the stretch for about 30 seconds and should never stretch so far as to feel pain.
A person lies on the floor to perform the hamstring stretch, states Mayo Clinic. Using a wall or door frame, he raises one leg and lightly presses the back of his heel against the wall, knee slightly bent. As he slowly straightens the leg he feels a stretch in the back of his thigh, or hamstring muscles. Moving closer to the wall increases the depth of the stretch.
To stretch the hip flexors a person kneels on one knee with the opposite foot placed in front of the body, notes Mayo Clinic. A hand is placed on the hip for balance. The back is held straight and abdominal muscles braced. As the person leans forward and shifts his weight onto the front leg, he feels a stretch in the thigh, just below the hip bone. The exercise is performed on both sides.
Knee-to-chest is performed laying flat on the back with the heels of the feet flat on the ground, explains Mayo Clinic. The person pulls one knee into the chest until he feels a stretch in the lower back. The opposite leg stays flat in a relaxed position on the floor. After a brief hold the person switches legs and repeats.