Yoga for Hamstrings
Have a go at this 20 minute class, which focusses on lengthening the hamstrings. It’s a short, but packed sequence, with a couple of my creatively modified Sun Salutes, a dynamic standing sequence, seated sequence, some all essential core work and ends with some floor work using a strap.
I made this class with runners in mind – but it’s suitable for all!
Props: strap, you might like 2 x blocks
I talked about the reasons hamstrings so often get tight, in this recent blog post – one of them being lack of core strength, which is why I include core work in this video (actually, all my classes!)
Also in that blogpost, I describe how you can test your own hamstring flexibility! Here’s a recap:
Lie flat on your back:
- draw one knee in to your chest and hold behind the thigh.
- Slowly, start to straighten – the leg should go up to at least 70 degrees, with only a mild stretch.
If you can feel more, or the leg doesn’t want to come that high, then there is work to do!
Runners, and in fact anyone who suffers with tight hamstrings, will benefit from doing something like this video 2-3 times a week, plus a Yin based (much more relaxed approach) another 2-3 times per week. This Yin approach can just be lying on your back, holding the back of one thigh (as in the above test) and gradually lengthening the leg, progressively more each time – not trying to stretch but just feeling a gradual re-lengthening of the tissues occurring. Use a strap to hold the leg up for around 3 minutes. In addition, use PNF (proprioceptive neuro-muscular facilitation) techniques by actively pushing the foot into the strap to engage the hamstring muscles for 10 breaths, then relax and gently guide the leg in towards the body a little closer. Repeat 2-3 times. Relax completely lying down in between sides and internally observe the difference.
Get your yoga props and gear:
Manduka cork blocks https://amzn.to/2UJSdIf
Manduka strap https://amzn.to/2PDJhjK
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