scottcraft

My hamstrings....

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My hamstrings are very tight. What do you guys do or recommend to help with flexibility outside my practice? I do routines for leg and hip flexibility, but I'd like to see if there are other things that would help them. 

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It takes (a lot of) time ...weeks or months of work to ease them up

There's no magic bullet or button to press....just do all the poses, rag doll, forward fold, downward dog, etc., do any, or every, pose that works the hamstrings. 

Don't try to force it, slowly ease into it breathing into the stretch, slowly, get to the resistance point and then wait, then try to go another inch

Unfortunately, the only thing that you can do is practice every day and be patient, it will take time

As a brilliant philosopher once said..."Practice makes progress"

 

 

Edited by LarryD517
EricaKaye and scottcraft like this

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Thanks Larry! It is getting better, but like you said it is taking time. At this point in my practice my entire body is pretty tight, so I'm trying to work on it all but I'm putting more emphasis in hamstrings than the rest. 

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Larry used to have a really good link in his signature. But we don't have signatures with the new version of the website.

This is the link Long and Strong by Roger Cole Yoga Journal

It for all muscles not just the hamstrings. Maybe try to not focus on the goal and enjoy the process because it can take a very long time, years for some types of opening.

 

yogafire likes this

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Maybe try to not focus on the goal and enjoy the process because it can take a very long time, years for some types of opening.

Have to keep reminding myself that...it's frustrating to achieve a modest level of flexibility in one area (I can now touch toes with only a microbend in knees)...yet feel like a beginner in other areas (shoulders tight, so most binds are nearly impossible).

The thing I like about yoga is...you can (almost) never feel like you've mastered it as there's always a new challenge

Edited by LarryD517

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Thanks for the link! Last night after I did a couple of videos I was practicing my forward fold and I realized I'm just being impatient with my progress because in reality I am doing really well. I've started taking pictures of myself in various poses so I can keep track of my progress a bit better. I wish I would have made some pictures at the very beginning, but I didn't know I was going to enjoy yoga so much. 

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All new practitioners are inflexible, but worse, guys (I'm guessing by your screen name that you're a guy) facing a new challenge have a warrior attitude. Instead of gently easing into it...we want to power through it with brute force and determination (think of the Rocky movies 'workout scenes') which is, pretty much, in yoga the worst thing we can do.

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All new practitioners are inflexible, but worse, guys (I'm guessing by your screen name that you're a guy) facing a new challenge have a warrior attitude. Instead of gently easing into it...we want to power through it with brute force and determination (think of the Rocky movies 'workout scenes') which is, pretty much, in yoga the worst thing we can do.

Yes, I'm a guy and I do get that warrior attitude sometimes, lol. I'm not too bad about it though, I can't afford to get hurt and not be able to go to work. 

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I think the best "pre-routine" warm up is ragdoll. Just hang there, let your arms droop and sway side to side.

If you do this for a minute, or so,  you'll warm up the hamstrings and give them a nice stretch. Later exercises will be easier.

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Same here http://forum.yogabycandace.com/topic/467-abandoning-downdog/

It's improved a lot relative to what it was, but I'm still very tight and am a long way from being able to have my torso flat in worrier 3 for instance. Based on current progress rate it's probably going to take a year to get that far.

One thing to check is make sure you are bending from the hips rather than the low back, and shift your pelvis backwards as you do so to correct your centrer of gravity. If you don't you will lock early as your body is stopping you falling forward. You should feel a definite pull on the back of the legs.

Also make sure you are bending from the hips in your 'day to day' forward bending, i.e. picking something up or getting something out of a low cupboard, it makes your body use that range of motion basically for free as you where doing it anyway. Practising forward folding positions whenever you can will help.

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Thanks for sharing that link Robert. I did a really good warm up before my yoga class this evening and I was fairly pleased with my hamstring flexibility. By no means was it great, but I was able to put most of my fingertips on the floor during my forward folds. I am still unable to put my heels on the floor in downward dog, but it's getting close. I've been practicing at home on the days I don't go to a class and all the work I've put in is paying off. Thanks for the help!

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Try rolling a tennis ball under your feet. For one thing it's a great massage but it also opens up the hamstrings.

The hamstrings are the worst for me. So for me, progress has been made faster by using a strap. Or a blanket in my case. If you don't have a yoga strap use a blanket or towel or belt. Lie down and put one leg in the air with the strap wrapped around the bottom of the foot and pull it in. 

This video is one of my faves for stretching legs. And she demonstrates the pose above with a strap and definitely explains it better than me! ? https://youtu.be/Ct_2QLE6uOk

 

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Try rolling a tennis ball under your feet. For one thing it's a great massage but it also opens up the hamstrings.

The hamstrings are the worst for me. So for me, progress has been made faster by using a strap. Or a blanket in my case. If you don't have a yoga strap use a blanket or towel or belt. Lie down and put one leg in the air with the strap wrapped around the bottom of the foot and pull it in. 

This video is one of my faves for stretching legs. And she demonstrates the pose above with a strap and definitely explains it better than me! ? https://youtu.be/Ct_2QLE6uOk

 

I need to try the tennis ball trick and get a strap. I think I need to focus on my calves also. Thanks for the tips!

afriske likes this

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