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This is the final in a series of four core moves developed by master of movement Paul Chek. Try the Waiter’s Bow to see if you need to work on hamstring flexibility. For previously published moves, check out the related links at right.
The Waiter’s Bow tests for hamstring length. Shortened, or tight, hamstrings can cause back strain and eventually spinal instability. With a little repetition, you can condition your body to remember to maintain a natural curve in the lower back while skiing. So instead of breaking at the waist after a big bump run, you’ll start moving from the hips — and skiing more efficiently.
The Test: Standing, take a pinch of skin over the spine opposite your belly button and hold the other arm out as if serving wine. Bend forward from the hips with feet together and knees locked straight, maintaining the natural curve of the low back. Normal hamstring length will allow you to bend to at least 50 degrees without losing the pinch of skin. If you lose the pinch, you need to stretch your hamstrings.
The Solution: To stretch your hamstrings, start as though performing the test. Visualize Donald Duck as you stick your butt out. Hold the arch in your back and bend forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the legs. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat five times.