If you have tight hamstrings then you are going to want to pay attention. In this video, I’m going to give you a day by day stretching plan for loosening up tight hamstrings. It will take just minutes a day and help even the tightest of hamstring muscles.
The goal of the 22 day series is to do two things.
First, give you actionable exercises and stretches that anyone of any ability level can perform in order to produce noticeable changes. The second is based on the science of habit forming. It is said that anything that can be done for 21 days straight has a higher likelihood of becoming a habit. If you can get into a hamstring stretching routine then you will likely be able to stick to it long term.
That said, there are three blocks of stretching and exercises being performed over the next 22 days.
Each block lasts seven days, with an initial test performed before you begin and a final test to see your improvements performed on day 22.
Each block consists of two dynamic hamstring stretches, ideally performed in the morning upon waking. One of these is going to focus on stretching with the knee held straight and the other with the knee bent but the hip flexed fully. The reason for these two different positions of the knee is that the hamstrings cross both the hip and the knee. You can get at different areas of the muscle better depending on the position you hold during your stretches. Both positions are key if you want to see your optimal hamstring stretch results.
The other half of the block is ideally performed before going to bed. These are the static hamstring stretches. This is the type of stretch that is held for 45 seconds to a minute and done to create long term muscle tissue length. Once again, one will be performed with the knee straight and one with the knee bent for the reasons stated above.
The exact hamstring stretching routine for the 22 days looks like this:
Block 1: Dynamic Stretches
– Leg Swings – 3 x the 8 each leg (forward / back) (side/side)
– Active Knee Extension – 3 x 6 each leg (hold each rep for 3 seconds)
Block 1: Static Stretches
– Standing Low Hamstring Stretch – 2-3 x 45 seconds each leg
– Knee to Chest Stretch – 2-3 x 45 seconds each leg
Block 2: Dynamic Stretches
– Downward Facing Dog – 3-5 x 8
– Wall Hinge – 3-4 x 8
Block 2: Static Stretches
– Wall Plant Stretch – 2-3 x 45 seconds each leg
– Band/Towel Stretch – 2-3 x 45 seconds each leg
Block 3: Dynamic Stretches
– Table Top Side to Side – 3-4 x 8 (left/right = 1)
– Bulgarian Hamstring Stretch – 3 x 8 each leg
Block 3: Static Stretches
– Doorway Stretch – 2-3 x 45 seconds each leg
– Standing High Hamstring – 2-3 x 45 seconds each leg
Make sure you try and perform this routine consistently for the entire 22 days. Block one stretches will be done on days 1-7. Block two stretches will be done on days 8-14. Block three stretches will be done on days 15-21.
The key to increasing flexibility of the hamstrings and any other muscle for that matter, is consistency. If you don’t stick to a regular routine then you are likely to not see the results you are looking for. I understand that stretching can be a bit boring. It is not as active as something like working out with weights or running. That said, without the attention paid to increasing muscle tissue length you are likely not going to get the most out of all the other activities.
Don’t undersell the importance of getting loose hamstrings. When the hamstring muscle is tight, you are likely to experience back pain and likely knee pain. It doesn’t take a long time to fix this problem if you do the right type of stretches. Hopefully, this video will show you the exact stretches to do for tight hamstrings so you can put this issue behind you once and for all.
Be sure to pay attention to the caveat regarding anterior pelvic tilt pointed out in the beginning of this video. That is an instance where the muscle may feel tight but not actually be short. It would benefit from actually stretching the hip flexors rather than the hamstrings. If this is your problem, be sure to check out that video linked at the end of this one.
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