One of the biggest issues most people have is tight hamstrings. There are a ton of hamstring stretches you can do, the main problem most people have is they expect perfect hamstring mobility right away.
This is not how it works. To get flexible and loose hamstrings, you need to do the following stretches DAILY and CONSISTENTLY!
Improving mobility in your legs is all about testing, stretching, and pushing your limits.
Main Hamstring Stretches
These are your bred and butter stretches.
For the most part, your hamstring stretches are going to be pretty basic. You’ve likely done the stretch where you pop your foot up on a bench and lean forward. We’re going to avoid that for now, as it can be easy to overstretch.
We’re also going to avoid the assisted stretch, in which a partner pushes your leg up. Unless your partner is a personal trainer, you don’t want to trust them to stretch you out.
Instead, we’re going to do the hurdle stretch.
- Put one leg out straight, and bend the other so your foot sits just above the knee.
- Reach forward and grab your extended foot.
- Avoid bending at the spine. It should all come from the hips.
Hold it for 20 to 30 seconds. Anything longer is overkill and potentially dangerous.
- Once that becomes too easy, grab a strap or a thick resistance band.
- Lie on your back, and loop the strap over the bottom of one foot.
- Raise that leg as high as you can, then use the strap to pull it a little farther.
This differs from the assisted stretch because you’re in control. It’s harder to communicate to a partner what’s too far.
Pushing The Limits
For a lot of muscle groups, you can stretch daily. You might include some in your morning routine. It’s not BAD to do your hamstring stretches every day, but don’t do them if you don’t have time for this next step.
The important thing to remember is to do these IMMEDIATELY after. Your flexibility gains won’t last long, so think of these exercises like putting your pottery in the kiln.
First, start off with some deep squats. You don’t have to do these with weight, but if you do, make sure it’s light enough that you can get really low into the movement. This is also going to work your hip mobility, giving you a to-for-one deal.
Second, we’re just going to do a weightless good morning. Again, you can add weight, but you’ll likely miss out on some range of motion. Make sure you stick your butt back, and drive back up with your hips.
Hamstring Stretches are important. Regardless of whether you’re actually tight or not, we all have something to gain.
However, your real progress comes with the process. One of the best habits to develop is a consistent yoga routine, but that’s not always an option.
For those of us with more limited time, it’s about sticking to a steady stretching and limit pushing regimen. If you can do that, you’ll see results in no time!