Molly McNamee | Top 4 Hamstring Stretches
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Top 4 Hamstring Stretches

Let’s talk about the hamstring muscles. The hamstring muscle group is located on the back of the thigh. It helps you walk, jump, squat, and basically do any lower body movement you can think of. Stretching this are will prevent injuries and lower back pain. Not to mention it will help you move more effectively.

We all need to stretch this area more.

If you need more stretching in your life, as most of us do, you should check out the MFit Membership. MFit Member workouts include a full warm-up and cool down to take care of those tight muscles. Members also receive a daily stretch routine after signing up.

That daily routine includes some of the stretches below. If your hamstrings are tight today, give them a try. Actually, try them even if they aren’t tight so that they stay that way!

Standing Forward Fold

The standing forward fold is one of the most simple hamstring stretches. All you need to do is stand with straight legs, lean forward and try to touch your toes. If you can’t touch your toes, just keep trying. You can also put your hands on a yoga block if you are unable to reach the ground. I enjoy this stretch because gravity can help you get more flexible. If you focus on relaxing your head, neck and shoulders, gravity will pull them down towards the floor and force you into a deeper hamstring stretch.

Hurdler Stretch

The hurdler is a seated hamstring stretch. It is great for stretching one leg at a time. It is good to incorporate unilateral stretches into your routine, so you can feel if one leg is tighter than the other. If you find one leg is tighter, spend an extra 30-seconds stretching out that leg and evaluate why it is tighter to begin with. It is possible you are favoring one leg as you move throughout the day.

Lying Hamstring Stretch

This is another seated stretch. Lie down on your back with your legs extended out in front of you. Grab one leg either holding onto the thigh, the ankle or the calf. The stretch gets more intense when you grab closer to your foot. If holding onto any part of you leg feels impossible, you can wrap a long towel or yoga strap around your leg to get a better grip. The goal of this stretch is to pull your leg as close to your chest as you can. The catch is, you need to keep your leg straight the whole time. Be gentle with your muscles and be cautious not to over stretch on this one.

Standing Single Leg Hamstring Stretch

This stretch is great for beginners. Find a tall or short bench and put on foot on it. Now reach towards the foot. It’s as simple as that. The shorter the bench, the less intense the stretch will feel. The taller the bench, the more intense the stretch will feel. While you are holding this stretch, and the other three, do not bounce. Find a stretch and continue reaching further. But do not stretch and release over and over.