The muscles along the back of the thigh, our hamstrings, are common areas of tightness for many of our clients. It is very important to create length and eliminate restriction in this area, but they can be a difficult area to get results due to other contributing factors (i.e., an imbalanced pelvis). We encourage you to start by stretching the hamstrings, but if you continue to not get results let your therapist know and they can provide ideas or recommendations on other areas that may be involved.
There are many ways to stretch the hamstrings and we have included three of them for you to try. Each exercise will stretch the hamstring in a slightly different way. Try all three and find which one or two work best for you.
Click here for technique.
Some important tips:
* Slowly enter in and out of the stretch
* Move slowly through the steps and making sure to STOP when you feel a slight change or stretch. This is where your restriction is. Take a moment to breathe into the stretch and wait until you feel the intensity of the stretch lighten, that is when the body released the restriction. Now you can again move slowly until you feel the next restriction and continue to repeat the same process.
* NEVER force. You should only feel a light to medium stretch.
* During any myofascial self-treatment technique you should feel the intensity increase when you find a restriction, then decrease when it releases, then increase when you find a restriction, and then decrease when it releases. The intensity should go up and down. If the intensity is more of a constant then you have pushed too far into the stretch and need to start over and lessen the intensity. When opening up the fascial system less is more.
* It should ALWAYS feel GOOD.
Happy hamstring stretching!