Have you ever noticed how some people are super flexible, even if they don't regularly stretch?
They can reach forward and place the palms of their hands on the floor, while you are struggling to touch your knees with your fingertips.
Some of us are just inherently stiffer in our muscles and joints than others. Whether you sit at a desk all day or play elite level sport, tight hamstrings are more common than not and can greatly reduce your mobility and make you susceptible to injury. If you suffer from back pain, there is a high chance that your tight hamstrings are not making it any better!
The good news is that with regular stretching your flexibility can improve. In fact, if you do all the right stretches you will notice a difference in your range after just one session.
The bad news? This won't last long! It's important to regularly stretch and for a decent amount of time.
I am going to show you four really effective hamstring stretches that when done right (and regularly) will help you achieve your goal of reaching your toes. Before you begin, make sure you do a warm up! Your stretching will be much more effective if you do and you also put yourself at risk of an injury if you start stretching cold.
1. Lying down bend + extend with towel - x20 each side
2. Lying down flex and extend foot with towel - x20 each side
3. Standing straight leg stretch (squeeze + release your quad muscle) x10 each side
Note: your front leg must be straight and your back leg must be slightly bent for this
stretch to work. Keep your back super straight throughout the stretch.
4. Resting squat to pike x20
To finish: reach for your toes! Repeat this hamstring stretch series as regularly as you like.
'You can find out more about Duo Pilates here.