How many times in my career have I heard about unbearable, tight, fatigued hamstrings? Literally countless.
The group of muscles in your upper thigh, particularly your hamstring, can be so easy to strain and so difficult to properly heal. Releasing the tension in your hamstrings is a way to bring mobility and comfort back to that area of your leg and ease much of the discomfort associated with long-term tension.
The hamstrings are part of the superficial back line of fascia, which means they are built with more endurance muscle fibers. Endurance muscle fibers, also known as slow-twitch fibers, are meant to be more resilient and durable. These fibers that make up our hamstrings do not fatigue easily and provide us with necessary support and stability for posture. So, naturally, there will always be some tightness in your hamstrings to help you hold yourself upright and help propel your body forward while you walk.
The problem is when they get too tight, causing hamstring strains, general discomfort, and decreased mobility. Sometimes the hamstring will get so tight it will actually pull your pelvis down and into a backward tilted position. This creates too much strain on the lower back and can be the cause of a lot of chronic discomfort or pain.
Does any of this sound familiar…?
I would venture to guess it probably does. So, how do you actually loosen up those super tight hamstrings that plague so many of us?
One simple yoga pose you can try is called “legs up the wall” or “waterfall pose.” This pose I find just straight up relaxing, in addition to helping stretch out the legs. Try it in three simple steps to feel a nice stretch:
- Scootch your booty so it is flush with a stable wall
- Climb your legs up the wall until they are flat against it, or modify as needed by bending your knees to ensure you are comfortable
- Hang out here for a minute or more, breathing and relaxing into the pose, feeling a comfortable stretch in the back of your thighs
One of the best things you can do, weekly if possible, is to devote some time to targeted hamstring release techniques. Targeting and really thoroughly stretching your hamstrings at least once each week will ensure you are making progress over time and seeing results in the form of decreased pain, lower back, and pelvic alignment, and much less leg fatigue. Set aside a minute to really get some solid work in, stretch with me, and get loosey-goosey hamstrings in under 20 minutes! I’ll guide you through every step to ensure you are maximizing the benefit of each movement throughout this sequence.
Last but not least, check out today’s Fix Yourself Fridays on my Instagram for another super-fast method for stretching those hamstrings. Let me know if you have any questions about effectively opening up your hammies, or if there are any other muscle groups you’d like to learn more about releasing from tension!