Who here has tight hamstrings? If you answered no – share your secret with me! If you answered yes – you are definitely among the majority!
Try these 7 stretches to lengthen and increase flexibility in your hamstrings.There is also a nice little play with balance in here too.
No props are required, simply roll out your mat and give these a go.
- Reclined Leg Stretch Series – Lower down onto the back, with knees bent and soles on the mat. Bring your right knee to right shoulder, maybe clasping hold of the big toe with the two peace fingers. Keep the elbow inside the knee. Soften the shoulders and head to the mat. Straighten the left leg out on the mat ahead. Keep hold of the big toe and start to straighten the right leg up (if too intense slide hand to the shin). Push into the left hip as you start to open the right leg out to the side. Push into the heel, as if you’re pushing into the wall. Bend the knee and return foot to floor. Switch sides.
2. Leg Lowers for Core – Extend both legs up to the sky. If it’s too intense for the back, bring the palms under the sacrum to support. Point the toes. Lower the right leg to hover a few inches off the floor. Lift up. Alternate, lowering the left leg. Repeat a few times. Maybe add a curl up, lifting the head and shoulders off the mat.
3. Three-Legged Dog – Come to hands and knees. Walk the hands ahead of the shoulders, tuck the toes, and lift the hips up and back to down dog. Extend the right leg up to the sky. Bend the knee, opening the hip up. See if you can lift up to the fingertips on the left hand.
4. Heel Raises – Step the right foot through between the hands. Push into the feet and lift up. Spin the left toes out at 45 degrees and bend deep in the right knee. Right ankle under the knee. Try lifting the right heel off the mat, hovering on the tippy toes. Lower the heel down, step the left foot up alongside the right. Bend the knees and sink the hips in chair pose. Find steadiness. Then try to lift both heels up off the mat.
5. Seated Hand to Big Toe – Step the left foot back again. Lower the knee down. Shift the hips back to come to a seat, with the left foot inside the right thigh. Bend the right knee to clasp big toe with the two peace fingers. Lift and extend the right leg up. Clasp foot with both hands if you can. Roll shoulders down and away from the ears, proud chest. Push right heel into the hands.
Repeat 3 through 5 on other side.
6. Three-legged Dog with Foot Grab – Step back to downward dog. Kick the right foot up, bend the knee and open the hip. Reaching the toes towards the glutes. Come up to fingertips. Try this time to start walking the fingers back. Maybe see if you can lift the left hand off the mat, reach it back and clasp hold of the right foot. Pushing hand into foot it you can get the hold. Try on the other side.
7. Pigeon Pose – From down dog, right leg rises again. Bring the right knee behind the right wrist. Extend the left leg back. Fold down. Hold for 10 breaths or so, slowing the heart rate down. Repeat other side.
These 7 poses come from a half hour intermediate Vinyasa flow class I uploaded to my YouTube channel.