Linzi

Hamstring help!

3 posts in this topic

Hi all, 

I'm sure this topic has came up a bunch of times but I would really appreciate some help. I have very tight hamstrings that I have been trying to open up with daily yoga for the past 5 weeks. I'm finding the poses that are supposed to really stretch my hamstrings aren't actually activating them at all. For example, in a standing forward pose I feel just behind my knee and my calves stretch a lot but I feel no activity in my hamstrings. I'm making sure not to lock out my knees and I'm allowing them to bend but I can never seem to feel any stretch even though I know they are very tight. 

any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks :) 

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Everyone starts with tight hamstrings, welcome to the club

How long do you sit in poses? The best beginner advice to hamstrings I can give is to do legs up the wall for a MINIMUM of five minutes a day every day of the year (if possible). 

Read up on yin yoga. Unlike the trendy "boutique” yoga studios where they race from pose to pose...to give you that sweaty, "go for the burn" alternative to SoulCycle,  a slow, pensive practice where you stay in each pose for a few minutes will help your body open up and relax. 

Make sure your back is a straight as possible. The goal isn’t to touch your toes, it’s to bend at hips with a straight back. If you only go forward a little bit...great! Celebrate that. Bend your knees and stay there for minutes at a time. The straighter your back, the more you will feel it in your hamstrings  

If it’s in the budget, attend classes or take a private lesson to learn the best way to work with your body's limitations  

See the third tip in my signature for tips on hamstrings. 

 

Linzi likes this

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The burn you are feeling at the back of your knees is actually your hamstrings, just the lower part. Remember, your hammies make up most of the back of your leg. It's not just one tendon. It's a group of muscles that start at the back of your hip and wrap around the sides of your knee at the back. Your hamstrings are huge muscles.

Here's a good image showing the anatomy of the back of the leg and the hamstrings:

9361591_orig.jpg

Your hamstrings are large muscles. Keep at it and they'll loosed up. It took a good year for mine to loosen up!

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