4 Stretches to Combat Tight Hamstrings

Posted on 10 April 2015

Have tight hamstrings?  Try these Flexistretcher exercises to combat tightness and reach your performance potential:

1.) Supine Hamstring Stretch with your Flexistretcher:

Supine Hamstring Stretcher

SET UP:  Lie on your back and draw your right knee into your chest. Place the center of the Flexistretcher around the sole of the right foot. Take the loops in each hand and extend your right leg up towards the ceiling, straightening the right leg. Keep both hips pressed firmly into the floor.

ACTION: Flex the right foot, and gently pull down on the loops, and contract your right thigh. Relax the contraction momentarily and repeat the stretch moving the leg closer towards the upper torso.  Hold the stretch for 20 seconds.  Repeat with other leg.

VARIATIONS:

  1. BEND and STRETCH: With leg up toward the ceiling and hands in loops, slightly bend the leg and straighten using the resistance, pushing toward the ceiling.  Repeat 10x. lengthen leg out and straighten to the floor.  Repeat other leg
  2. LEG CIRCLES
  3. ADDUCTOR (INNER THIGH) STRETCH: Open the right leg towards the right shoulder, keeping the left hip firmly grounded, with the left leg actively pressing into the floor.
  1. ABDUCTOR STRETCH: Pull the right leg across the body towards the left shoulder, making sure that both hips remain in place on the ground. Actively press the leg long into the strap and hold for 20 seconds.

MODIFICATIONS:

  • Bend your supporting leg so that the foot is flat on the floor.

CUES:

  • Make sure that the supporting leg and hip are actively pressing into the floor.
  • Keep tension in the band for the duration of the exercise.
  • Control the return phase of every movement never letting the band snap back to place.
  • Flex at the hip rather than the spine
  • Keep the back in contact with the floor

NOTES:

  • While in this position practice the PNF stretching technique contract-release by contracting the hamstring as you push the leg into the strap and then releasing as your arms resist the motion.


2.) Seated one-legged hamstring stretch.Seated Hamstring Stretch

CUES:

  • Pull the pelvis back on the side of the front leg.
  • The torso should be centered over the outstretched leg as you fold forward.
  • Lengthen your leg and press in into the Flexistrecher to deepen the stretch.
  • Emphasize folding at the hip rather than rounding the spine.
  • Practice with a turned out (externally rotated) front leg. 

 

3.) Seated Leg Raise

Seated Hamstring Stretch

SET UP: Sitting up with legs straight in front of you, place the center of the pad around the sole of the right foot. Take the loops in your hands and choke up if needed.

ACTION: Without hinging back, pull your hands in toward you to lift the your leg up off of the ground. Make sure that the foot is flexed and pressed long into the resistance.  Maintain the tension by keeping the hands folded in, press the legs into the resistance to lower it to the floor. Repeat 10 times, and repeat with other leg.

REPS: 10 times each leg.

CUES:

  • Watch out for rounding the spine and make sure to engage your abdominals to assist with the lift.

MODIFICATION:

  • Bend the supporting leg in.

4.) SEATED FORWARD FOLD

Seated Forward Fold

SETUP: Sitting up, extend both legs in front of you and wrap the Flexistretcher center foam pad around both feet. Hug the legs together and choke up on the straps if you do not feel enough tension.

ACTION: Fold forward, with your chest toward your thighs, as you pull on the straps  to intensify the stretch. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

REPETITIONS: 5 times

CUES:

  • Actively hug the legs together and press them into the floor.
  • Pull up on the knees and lengthen through the heels.
  • Keep both hips pressed into the floor.
  • Maintain head in line with the spine. Think  “of hair line to toes”
  • Keep elbow hugged into your sides and drawing back as you fold forward.
  • Pull hips back and down.

CHALLENGES: To intensify the stretch, grab hold of the metal pieces of the Flexistretcher.

MODIFICATIONS: Slightly bend both legs or bend one leg in towards your center.



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