Relieve Tight Hamstrings in Just 5 Minutes
In less time than it takes to brew your morning cup of joe, you can put those steely, tight hamstrings to ease. What more could you ask from your morning routine? Try this quick and easy routine to alleviate that, oh so annoying tightness running down the back of your legs.
You’ll be surprised at how a 5 minute morning stretch can impact your life and help you kiss those tight hammies goodbye.
Step 1: Simple Yet Potent Stretch For Lower Back And Legs
Your first step in alleviating the tension in your legs is to stretch your hamstrings and lower back. Your tool for the job? The standing pike stretch from our GB Stretch Courses. This simple yet effective gymnastic exercise requires no equipment and can be done any time of the day.
Now let’s get into the pike stretch. Start by standing with your feet together and now hinge from your hips while keeping your back nice and flat. You should feel a mild to moderate stretch in the back of your legs. Once your hips have reached their limit you can continue folding forward, bringing your chest to your thighs and head towards your toes.
Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds. And remember to keep your hips directly over your ankles and your knees as straight as you can get them to ensure that you are feeling the stretch in all the right places.
Step 2: The Real Culprit to Tight Hamstrings
Now that your legs are nice and limbered we can move down to an unusual suspect that's causing the relentless tension in your hamstring muscles. Your calves! This muscle group shares a very close relationship with your hamstrings. More often than not, they are causing the stiffness that runs down the back of your legs.
For this next stretch, we will place the focus on your Achilles tendon. The Achilles is a thick, fibrous cord that sits right above your heel and this stubborn little guy can be quite tough to stretch because of its strength and size. Luckily, we have the perfect exercise to help loosen that bad boy up.
Stiff ankles got a hold on you? Try this unique stretch variation from our GB Stretch Series to loosen them up.
To perform this Achilles stretch, start by kneeling with your front foot flat on the floor so that your knee is tracking over your toes. Tuck your other leg to the side to get it out of the way. Lean forward so that your front knee travels towards your toes and beyond. You should feel a nice stretch in the back of your ankle.
Hold this stretch for another 30-60 seconds on each leg.
Step 3: Make Your Flexibility Stick (The Forgotten Step)
After your calves and hamstrings have been nicely stretched, it’s time to solidify your new range of motion with some active flexibility exercises. By strengthening your hip flexors in the front of your legs, you will be able to keep those hamstrings supple for hours to come.
If you want lasting changes in your flexibility, then this step is a must with NO EXCEPTIONS. Increasing your active flexibility will build strength through a greater range of motion, allowing you to use your flexibility to do more fun activities. Like walking, running, and just about everything else. Not to mention you will develop some killer core strength in the process.
After you complete your kneeling Achilles stretch, grab a seat with your legs held straight in front of you. This is called seated pike position. Now comes the hard part. Lean forward and place your hands next to your knees. Use your lower abs and thighs to lift your straightened legs up as high as you can without leaning backward. Try performing 10 repetitions and feel the burn!.
Note: If you are unable to perform even one repetition (don’t worry it is surprisingly really challenging) try lifting just one leg at a time.
The Steps To Flexible Hamstrings
- Loosen up your lower back and hamstrings with a gentle standing pike stretch.
- Give some attention to your ankles with the ever so potent kneeling achilles stretch.
- Strengthen your core with seated pike lifts to help make lasting changes in your hamstring flexibility.
Looking for the fastest, most effective way to get flexible? Check out our GymnasticBodies Front Split Stretch Series to liberate those tight hamstrings once and for all.