Fitness Articles

Hamstring Stretch Yoga Exercises

By doing yoga exercises that target your hamstrings you can manage to alleviate tightness and drastically improve your flexibility. The hamstrings are actually the muscles that are located on the back side of your thigh and they connect your pelvis to your knee. There is more than one way to end up with your hamstrings being too tight even when people are stretching regularly since their childhood they still end up the same because it's hard to maintain the flexibility of your hamstrings. Eventually, as you get older you tend to be in a seated position more which is bad for hamstring tightness.

Even if you are regularly exercising it's more likely that you are going to do exercises other than stretching. The reason you should pay attention and not skip your stretching is because tightness in your hamstrings can cause back pain and sciatica. In order to improve your flexibility in that area you will have to start slowly and not force too much because you might strain your muscles. Consistency and patience is the key for you to see positive results.

The poses below are specifically arranged from easiest to hardest and if you're a complete beginner you should definitely start from the first pose.


Reclined big toe pose


Yoga For Tight Hamstrings And Hip Flexors


The starting position of this pose is lying on your back. The stretch in this position is quite gentle and the most accessible. If you have a strap it would be very useful yoga for tight hamstrings and hip flexors, Especially to someone with extremely tight hamstrings. You should use the strap in order to close the distance between your foot and your hands which will allow you to straighten your leg and enjoy the full benefit of the stretch. You don't have to use an official yoga strap for this. Any belt, scarf or towel will do the trick and work just as well.


Standing forward bend


Yoga For Tight Hamstrings And Hip Flexors


This particular stretch is a very good yoga hamstring stretch beginner,way to deepen your hamstring stretch because of the help that gravity lends you but if you have back pain already then it might not be comfortable for you so lying on your back would be a preferred way to do this exercise. While doing this pose it's important that you keep your knees straight and not bend them because if you bend them even slightly this pose will be less of a hamstring stretch. If you have to bend your knees because of back pain than it's much better to find a different exercise to stretch your hamstrings. If you're just trying to touch your toes or the mat and you bend your knees to do that, that's not the right way to do this and touching the floor is not the goal of the exercise. If you can't reach the floor just reach as much as you can but make sure you keep your knees straight.


Related Post:  Standing Hamstring Stretch Position 

Related Post:  Hamstring Stretches for Back Pain Relief


Standing wide legged forward bend


Yoga For Tight Hamstrings And Hip Flexors


Another great option for standing hamstring stretch yoga exercise is to take your legs out wide. A common mistake people do in this pose is that they try to take their legs out too wide in order to touch the floor with their head. Instead of doing this you should aim to keep your legs at an approximate 90 degree angle which will allow you to do a great hamstring stretch and it's also safer for you hip joints. In this position it's much easier to get your hands on the floor but it's not a big deal if you can't. Just make sure you keep your knees straight in order to stretch out your hamstrings. To reach the highest potential of this exercise you should keep your weight in the balls of your feet and you heel as for tight hamstrings and hip flexors.


Downward facing dog


Yoga For Tight Hamstrings And Hip Flexors


This pose is actually great for many parts of your body including your hamstrings. Putting your heels down to the floor is not the goal of this exercise, contrary to popular belief. What you need to do in this pose is to release your heels down while having your feet in a position where the heel is actually hovering off the mat. This way you are effectively stretching your hamstring and calves.


Head to knee pose


Yoga For Tight Hamstrings And Hip Flexors

Working with one leg extended instead of both is much easier to get a good hamstring stretch. In order to pull off this pose you'll need to rotate your torso and orient it over your extended leg as you come forward toward your toes. In case you feel back pain when bending forward you can use a strap around your foot. Hold each end of the strap with you hands and pull on it but make sure to pull as far as you can keep your spine straight and pain free.


Seated forward bend


Yoga For Tight Hamstrings And Hip Flexors


This is actually a seated version of the standing forward bend and it's extremely important to keep your feet flexed at all times in order to engage your hamstrings as much as possible. To begin, use a strap to hold your feet and pull on it to get yourself bent forward but keep in mind to keep you spine and knees straight. The goal of this exercises is not to get your torso as far down as you can but to actually feel tension and stretch in your hamstrings…yoga hamstring stretch beginner.


Wide legged forward fold


Yoga For Tight Hamstrings And Hip Flexors


For those that have extremely tight hamstrings just sitting in this position is actually a big challenge without getting into a forward bend. It's completely fine to just sit upright if that is your case. If you're comfortable sitting in this position than you should try to bend you body forward as far as you can with your arms extended in front of you. Make sure to keep you spine and knees straight as further as you can and stop the moment you feel that they bend.

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