Do you have trouble with tight hamstrings? Do you struggle to touch your toes?
Our hamstrings are a very important muscle group in the body that is used daily for walking, running, sitting etc. and if you have tight hamstrings you’re not alone! Here we have 4 yoga poses that you can do to help stretch your hamstrings and gain some more flexibility and quality of movement which will in turn reduce risk of injury.
Runners lunge- Start off in a kneeling position (on a soft surface) and extend your right leg in front and rest the heel down, you might like to have a small bend in the knee and a wall or chair next to you to help balance if you can’t reach the ground. Next slowly point your toes toward your face. You can then start to lower the torso over your leg, avoiding excess rounding through the back. Hold for up to a minute and repeat other side.
Head to knee pose- Don’t let the name of this one throw you off. From a seated position on the ground with your legs extended in front of you, bring your right foot to the inside of your left thigh. Reach your arms up to lengthen the torso, turn to face your left leg, and start to lower the hands to hold your shin, ankle or foot, or hold a towel or band to loop around the foot. From here, keep breathing and each exhale you might be able to soften the chest closer to the thigh. Hold for up to a minute and repeat other side.
BEGINNERS- use a band, strap or a rolled up towel to help you get the stretch if you cant touch your toes.
Wide leg forward fold – For the wide leg forward fold, take your time to slowly get into the position with your feet, toes pointing in slightly. From here bend the knees as much as you need, bend at the hips and rest your hands on the ground or a yoga block or a step. From here keep breathing, tuck the chin to the chest. When you’re ready to come out of the pose, take your time (especially if you have low blood pressure). You can rock the body weight forward into your hands, bend the knees and heel toe, heel toe your feet together, and either stand or sit down.
Reclining staff pose- for this one you will need a yoga strap, or resistance band or a towel. Lay down and bring the knees toward your chest so you can reach your strap around the soles of the feet, get a good grip on the strap as you start to bring your feet flat to the ceiling as if you were standing on it. Keep hips back and shoulders on the ground, and a small bend in the back of the knees. Over time you can start to straighten the legs when your flexibility allows.
There you have 4 easy stretches you can do from home that will help you stretch your hamstrings!
See if you can do this 2-3 times per week and let me know how your flexibility improves!