Single Leg Forward Fold

single leg forward fold
The classic Katie stretch 🙂

Trying to figure out what the single leg forward fold stretch is?

It’s a great stretch to help lengthen your hamstrings and stretch your lower.

It’s been said that having tight hamstring can lead to lower back pain because your hamstrings are “pulling” on your back muscles.

Not sure if I’m sold on that but I do know that having type hamstrings will limit you in many ways when it comes to different exercises:

  • Squats (butt wink)
  • Deadlifts (rounded back)
  • Kettlebell swings (rounded back)

Many others as well.

What’s my point?

Having tight hamstrings isn’t great!

In today’s article I will give you some insight, stretches, and how you can stretch your hamstrings properly.

If you are looking for an app for stretching and want to be guided through daily stretches then check out our stretching program within our fitness app.

Single Leg Forward Fold

Here is the single leg forward fold stretch.

Here is the stretch you were looking for.

The single leg forward fold.

But I’m going to challenge you to try a couple of things in addition to this hamstring stretch.

I actually do a full deep dive here on how to stretch your hamstring.

But let me give you a couple of things to think about.

  • Foam roll first
  • Then stretch (use the contract and relax method) more on that a little later.
  • Then with the new range of motion you have created perform some corrective exercises with a tempo to “retrain” your body and the new range of motion you have been given

Doing this will allow your body and your hamstrings to know that this is a “safe” range of motion for your body.

Want to just follow along with our stretching program within our app? Click on the photo.

Single Leg Forward Fold Alternative

Alternative #1

If you have a band and utilize the “contract and relax” method you will get such a great stretch in your lower back and hamstrings.

Check it out:

Try this.

What you will notice is I’m being intentional with my stretch.

Versus just sitting on my butt and reaching for my toes.

I use the band to help me pull my chest up, flex my quads which will cause the hamstrings to stretch even great.

Take a deep breathe…

…and then sink deeper into the hamstring stretch.

Repeat this contract and relax method for 2 minutes while focusing on your breathing and watch how much further you get into the stretch.

Alternative #2

single leg forward fold
You may need to try this.

If getting on the floor and elevated your butt still has you into a really rounded back position then you may just need to find a box, your couch, or anything elevated and apply the same principles.

Gradually work your way down like this:

  • lower surface
  • even lower surface
  • sit on the ground but elevate butt

Because if you are just doing this stretch with your lower back being completely rounded I would submit to you that you probably aren’t getting the stretch in your hamstrings and need to address your mobility.

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Conclusion

The single leg forward fold is a great stretch for your hamstrings and your QLT (your deepest ab muscle) in your lower back.

This is why doing the stretch with a little twist can feel sooooo good.

I gave you three videos to reference:

  • Single leg forward fold (no band)
  • With a band
  • And an elevated surface

If you want to skip looking up stretch exercises and are ready to just follow a program that will guide you through it all then check out our fitness app that has a ton of resources including a stretch program!

personal trainers
Your coaches Kevin and Katie

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you do a one legged forward bend?

Well, often times you will find that one side is tighter than the other. So it's important to focus on mobility and flexibility in both sides so you can address deeper issues that may arise. It's the same reason why you don't just do back squats or goblet squats all the time.

Performing single leg strength work is essential to prevent muscle imbalances that can occur and performing single leg stretching exercises can help to "prevent" that.

What does forward fold do?

Forward folds help to stretch your hamstrings and lower back. Be sure to practice the contract and relax method I mentioned above to get the best bang for your buck however.

Why are forward folds so hard?

Most of us sit a lot. When we sit our back, hip flexors, hamstring just get tighter and tighter. Having stiff hamstrings is something I think we all deal with. I have even heard others say that sitting is the new smoking!

How do we fix it? I encourage you for every hour that you sit...

...that should equal at a minimum 4 minutes of stretching. If you sit for 8 hours you should stretch for 30 minutes. I know. But it's important.

If you have any additional questions comment down below and I'm happy to help ya out.

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