Category Archives for "tight hamstrings"

Roll it Out! Full Body Ball Workout

Change up your gym routine by using various gym equipment such as dumbbells and bands. Use a Swiss ball for a full body work-out. Performing different types of exercises on the Swiss ball can help improve your range of motion, balance, and coordination. Engaging the core muscles while exercising on a large, unstable object such as an exercise ball is essential to performing the movement correctly and preventing injury. Try out the exercises below:

Push-Ups:

  1. Place both hands on a Swiss ball with your feet together to form a straight line from the top of your head to your toes.
  2. Engage the core and maintain a neutral spine. Keep your elbows close to your body and slowly lower your torso to the ball.
  3. Push up from the ball back to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Ab Roll-Outs:

  1. Place both of your forearms on a Swiss ball to form a 90 degree angle at the elbow.
  2. Keep feet and knees together on the floor.
  3. Engage the core muscles and maintain a neutral spine.
  4. Slowly roll forward by extending your arms and pushing the ball away from you. Make sure the knees and feet remain in contact with the floor.
  5. Slowly bring your body back to starting position by engaging the core muscles and pushing from the elbows up.
  6. Repeat for 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

Wall Squat:

  1. Wrap a closed loop resistance band around the thighs just above the knees. 
  2. Position yourself so that your low back is fully leaning up against a big exercise ball on the wall. Keep your posture nice and tall but don’t arch your low back when leaning upright against the Swiss ball. 
  3. Engage you inner core stabilizers by contracting your pelvic floor muscles and pulling your transverse abdominal muscles below your belly button inwards, hugging your spine. Remember to keep breathing. 
  4. Leaning your weight on the ball slide downwards doing a wall squat while you maintain static isometric pressure against the resistance bands. Keep your knees over your ankles and in alignment with your second toes. 
  5. Hold the wall squat for 10 seconds. Repeat this for ten repetitions doing three sets daily.

Hamstring Curl:

  1. Lie on the ground with the stability ball under your heels with your legs straight and your toes pointing up. Engage your inner core muscles below the belly button. 
  2. Extend your hips by squeezing your butt and lifting it off the ground. 
  3. Bring one knee towards your chest and hold it there.
  4. Bring the ball in towards you by flexing your other knee and then straightening it back to the start position. 
  5. Keep your inner core engaged the entire time. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions, 3 times per week.

Reach Outs:

  1. Keep your posture tall and your inner core engaged by pulling the muscles below the belly button inwards toward the spine. 
  2. Wrap a resistance band around your upper back. With your belly on the ball stay on your hands and feet. 
  3. Secure the band on the floor with your opposite hand. Reach your index finger forward, with the thumb up towards the wall on a slight angle out, and then come back down.
  4. Repeat this 10 times for 3 sets on each side.  
  5. To progress the functional core strength, reach your index finger forward while extending your opposite leg and heel back at the same time. Keep the hips and pelvis level. Repeat this 10 times for 3 sets on each side.

Plank Walk-Outs:

  1. Start by pulling in your inner core by making your waistline skinnier below the belly button.
  2. Then roll out into a plank position on the ball in full control with a flat spine. 
  3. Lift one leg off of the ball with full control while keeping your hips level with each other. Try to keep your toes pointed to the floor as much as possible and lead with your heal. 
  4. Do 3 sets of 5 repetitions holding for 5 seconds on each side to start. 
  5. Then progress to 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions holding for 10 seconds when stronger.

6 Stretches For Anyone With Tight Hamstrings

If you run, bike, are desk-bound all day, or have been sitting in a car or plane traveling, your hamstrings could use some extra love and length. It not only feels good to stretch this commonly tight area, but hamstring flexibility is also important for the health of your back, hips, and knees. Here are six easy and essential stretches that target the backs of your legs. To avoid injury, it’s best to do them at the end of a workout, when the muscles are warm.

Tipover Tuck Hamstring Stretch

This stretch is good for your hamstrings and also loosens tight shoulders.

  • Stand with your feet hips-width distance apart. Interlace your hands behind your back. Keeping your legs straight, bend at the hips, tucking your chin and bringing your hands over your head.
  • Relax the back of your neck, and if the stretch is too intense, release your hands, placing them on the backs of your thighs, and soften your knees. Hold for 30 seconds and slowly roll up to standing.

Scissor Hamstring Stretch

Easy to do anywhere and safe for injured backs, this hamstring stretch is great if you’re really tight.

  • Stand with your feet together. Step your right foot back about two feet and bend forward from your hip joint, keeping your back and both legs straight. After holding for 30 seconds, switch sides.

Standing Hamstring Stretch

If the previous stretch isn’t deep enough for you, then try this variation. It’s perfect for doing on a bench after a run in the park.

  • Prop your left heel up on a surface that is a little lower than your hip, such as a chair or bench. Flex your foot.
  • To increase the stretch, bend forward toward your flexed foot by creasing at your hips. Hold for 30 seconds and switch legs.

Modified Hurdler Stretch

This basic stretch is perfect for targeting one leg at a time, and is great for those with really tight hamstrings.

  • Sit on the floor and straighten your left leg in front of you. Bend the right knee, placing the sole of your right foot against your left inner thigh.
  • Fold over your left leg, keeping your back straight. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs.

Forward Bend With Rounded Back

This stretch targets both hamstrings as well as the lower back.

  • Sit on the floor, extending both legs straight out in front of you, legs together.
  • Fold your torso over your thighs, gently rounding the back but keeping the legs straight. Hold here for 30 seconds and then sit up.

Reclined Hamstring Stretch

Here’s a relaxing way to stretch one hamstring at a time.

  • Lie on your back. Raise your left leg as high as you can, keeping your pelvis flat on the ground. Hold your lower thigh and encourage the leg to move toward your head. Flex your foot to stretch your calf too.
  • To deepen the stretch, place a yoga strap or towel on the ball of your foot and use your hands to pull the strap toward you. After 30 seconds, switch legs.
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