I’m Kevin and the first time I stepped into a yoga room I left about 3 minutes later. I wanted to join the class because I wasn’t flexible and my back was hurting. I ran a lot, played basketball, and lifted weights everyday but I didn’t stretch at all.
I left yoga that day frustrated and embarrassed. I wanted to get more flexible but I didn’t want to be in a room full of people and feel like I can’t do any of the poses.
Heck I couldn’t even sit with my criss cross style. My hips were that tight.
I started to stretch at home. I have been stretching for over ten years now and I’m amazed at how much better my body feels. The difference is instead of trying to join a class which often didn’t fit my schedule I now stretch from home following my very own K Squared Fitness app that guides me through a daily stretching routine and it’s changed my life and now I help others get pain free, clear their mental state and feel better.
Today I’m going to cover:
- How to stretch your hamstring
- How to stretch your hamstring properly
- Show you some of the best hamstring stretches
How To Stretch Your Hamstring
We don’t need to overcomplicate things here but I do want to expose you to a few things before I start sharing some knowledge bombs. It’s not always about learning how to stretch your hamstrings because I’m sure you know a couple.
Actually taking action and stretching is what is going to lead to improvement. If you are anything like me you just want to be told what to do and then you will do it. Within our training app you can pull up the program for the day and simply click start and just follow along with what stretches to do.
Hamstring Stretch Benefits
Stretching can help reduce pain, discomfort and help you improve your range of motion. Having tight hamstrings is something that all of us have from sitting in our office chairs, driving, etc because your hamstring doesn’t get a chance to be fully lengthened throughout the day. So your hamstring continues to get tighter, tighter and tighter. That’s why it’s super important to always warm up so you don’t blow out a hamstring. Nobody wants that.
- Decrease change of injury
- Prevention of the development of muscle imbalances
- Correction of existing muscle imbalances and join disfunction
- Improvement of posture
- Enhancement in strength, joint range of motion, and power
How To Stretch Hamstring Properly
With any stretch whether it’s for your hips, hamstrings, or groin you want to approach them the same. There is dynamic and static stretching:
Dynamic stretches are what you would do before you go for a run, or warming up for a workout, it helps get your body warm and get the muscles ready to fire!
Static stretching is all about calming your autonomic nervous system. Ever hear parasympathetic and sympathetic? Static stretching is parasympathetic which helps to improve relaxation and the elongation of the muscle. This is why after your workout you want to get into a parasympathetic body response as quickly as possible so that your body can begin to relax and get into a restorative state.
This is one my of my favorite stretches to help me get there quickly:
According to studies, both static stretching and PNF have shown positive effects on improving your range of motion. However PNF stretching created the largest gains in range of motion. When NASM did a study they saw a significant increase with the contract and relax method. I break this down in the video below on how this applies to your hamstring. Give it a try.
Hamstring Stretch On The Foam Roller
Self myofascial release (foam rolling) is a flexibility technique that helps to relieve tension and break up muscle tissues.
The rule here is that you want to spend long enough time on your hamstring to actually see some change. At first it will be uncomfortable but if you foam roll for just a few seconds and stop when you feel pain you are just going to aggravate your muscles. Set a stopwatch or like I mentioned earlier just follow along with our app that has a stopwatch built in and roll the targeted area (hamstring, glutes, lat, lower back) wherever you are feeling tension and breathe.
Here is one of the most effective ways to foam roll your hamstrings:
Foam rolling is something that we dedicate four to 8 minutes to both before and after our workout. A lot of people skip this and you really shouldn’t. Even when I only have thirty minutes to workout I still make time for a small stretching routine both before and after the workout.
Your body doesn’t know the difference between physical, mental, and emotional stress. So if you try to just go, go, go, go ( I have been there) then you are going to burn out. You have to make time for some restorative work, and for me that’s stretching. I absolutely love it now.
3 Of The Best Hamstring Stretches:
Alright, if I had to just choose a three of my favorite hamstring stretches I would go with the ones below.
My favorite standing hamstring stretch
You have heard many times before “can you touch your toes” well awesome if you can but no big deal if you can’t. Find something that allows you to just sink into the stretch where you are comfortable. Maybe it’s putting your elbows on small box or yoga block. Get comfortable, sink in and just breathe.
My favorite supine hamstring stretch
The straddle stretch is great for your hamstrings and adductors and if you don’t want to do a lot of work. Lay down, prop your legs up as wide as you can and flex your feet. Put your hands on your stomach and feel your stomach rise and fall.
My favorite seated hamstring stretch
Katies favorite stretch and one of my favorite too. It feels so good on my lower back and if you can’t reach your toes or you feel this in your back a ton try this:
- Elevate your butt – put a pillow, cushion or something to elevate your butt
- Grab a band or towel and put it around your feet and pull it towards you
Today we discussed how to stretch your hamstring, some benefits of why you should begin making this a habit, and showed you some of the best hamstring stretches.
The videos you saw above are just a few of the 900+ videos we have within our K Squared Fitness app. The app makes it so simple to get a great workout everyday and also have a stretching routine to follow.
- Pull up the stretching program
- Grab your band
- Click start and follow along screen for the workout and stretches
Join the K2 Fit family and start moving pain free by clicking here and see how you can get started!