Working out hard on the lower body has its benefits, including bigger muscles and improved speed.
Unfortunately, tight muscles often go hand-in-hand with that hard work. Kneeling Hamstrings help to alleviate the tension.
Physical therapists utilize this exercise to help patients who are struggling with too much tension in their hamstrings. That tension leads to all kinds of issues, up to and including nerve trouble. Its origins are in yoga, which focuses on lengthening and strengthening muscles.
How to Kneel for a Stretch
This is a simple exercise that just about anyone can do. Here are the steps to stretch out with Kneeling Hamstrings. This is a wonderful exercise in part because it does not require any equipment to perform it.
- Get down on one knee, preferably on a mat.
- Stretch the other leg out in front of you, with your heel on the ground and toes pointing towards the ceiling.
- Tighten the core and elongate the spine while you fold down from the hips. Your torso should come all the way down to your front leg.
- Be careful not to round the back, and take a deep breath as you extend further into the stretch. Hands are reaching towards the lower foot.
- Flex the front foot, then point it towards the ceiling in alternation. Go slowly so that you can feel each stretch deeply.
- Switch sides and repeat with the other foot forward.
Get More out of your Hamstrings
The hamstrings are closely associated with the bones in the legs and the joints that are adjacent to this muscle. Muscle fibers change their lengths when they contract and release, as during exercise. This pattern of tightening and loosening is what makes the bones inside the legs move, and it’s how we move around at all.
When muscles are tight and tense, that’s because the muscles get stuck in their shortened state. Stretches like the Kneeling Hamstrings lengthen those muscle fibers. With time, stretching can actually lengthen the resting length of a muscle, as well as improve flexibility. That’s why it’s important to stretch when the muscles are a little warm. Before you do the Kneeling Hamstrings exercise, it’s a good idea to do a little warm-up to get those muscles warmer so that the fibers are longer. This can help you to get more out of the Kneeling Hamstrings, as this is a static exercise.
Useful for Everyone
Just about everyone who works out gets tight hamstrings from time to time. Naturally, athletes get a lot of tension in their hamstrings. However, even if you don’t work out you can benefit from this exercise. We all use our hamstrings a lot in everyday life while walking and moving through our days. Relieving the tension in the hamstrings is great for everyone!
Don’t ever force this stretch, instead breathe and allow it to come however it needs to come. It’s also important not to hold your breath, and keep breathing with long, deep breaths. Consistency is another important part of the Kneeling Hamstrings. If you do this once, you’re not going to get great results. Do it every day and you’ll feel the difference in your hamstrings.
We all get tense! Whether you’re new to the gym or an experienced athlete, Kneeling Hamstrings can help you to get more out of your life through flexibility.