Specific aggregates “Hamstring Stretch” that target the hamstrings can reduce stiffness and improve flexibility. The hamstrings are three muscles that run toward the back of your thigh, connecting your pelvis to your knee.
Due to repetitive movements or poor posture many people have tight hamstrings. There are several ways to end with hamstring tightness. Sometimes it comes down to just anatomy.
Getting started in childhood with activities like regular stretching, even dancing and gymnastics helps, but most people don’t do enough to maintain their flexibility. By the time adulthood rolls, you are sitting too much, which can lead to hamstring stiffness.
Even if you exercise regularly, some exercises such as running complicate the hamstring in such a way that they do not stretch. Relating to tight hamstrings.
Improving your hamstring flexibility is usually a gradual process, but it is possible with regular practice. Start slow and do not force anything because the hamstring strain is the last thing you want.
Use props when appropriate, be consistent and patient, and you will see results. 12 Yoga poses below for hamstring Stretch are arranged from beginner to more advanced.
The opening pose is definitely the place to start. Advanced status assumes that you already have good mobility in this area. Read the full instructions for each pose.
12 Yoga sequence poses for hamstring stretch
- Downward facing dog
- Triangle pose
- Standing wide legged fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)
- Skandasana (Ninja pose)
- Parsvottanasana (Pyramid pose)
- Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana (Standing split pose)
- Ragdoll pose
- Downward facing dog
- Ardha hanumanasana (Half split pose)
- Paschimottanasana (Seated forward fold or Intense Dorsal Stretch)
- Reclined big toe (Supta Padangusthasana)
- Corpse pose (savasana)
Step-by-step hamstring stretch sequence
1. & 8. Downward facing dog pose
The downward-facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) energizes and rejuvenates the entire body. It fully stretches your hamstrings, shoulders, calves, arches, hands and spine while creating strength in your arms, shoulders and legs.
- Separate your hands and knees in the table top position with your hands and knees shoulder width apart.
- Keep your hands slightly in front of your shoulders.
- Spread your fingers on your mat so that your middle fingers are facing forward. Press your palms firmly onto your mat.
- Curl your toes under. While exhaling, slowly raise your knees above the ground and send your hips towards the sky. Push your chest towards your thighs.
- Move in the direction of straightening your legs and lowering your heel, but do not lock your knees or try to force it.
- Tilt your sitting bones up and rotate your inner thighs slightly up and down, making you aware of your lower rib tendency as you find the length here.
- Gently pull the ribs back by toning your abdomen. Push your finger pad and your entire palm into the floor.
- Straighten but do not close your arms. Attach your upper arm muscles to pull your elbows slightly inwards and your shoulders out of your ears.
- Keep your neck neutral (align with biceps) while keeping your neck slightly turned back towards your feet.
- Hold for 5–100 breaths. To release, exhale while bending your breaths and return to your hands and knees.
2. Triangle pose
The triangle posture strengthens the legs and extends the waist, hamstrings and hips and opens the chest and shoulders. It also challenges and improves balance and stability.
- Rotate the right toes from the standing position of 3 feet with the feet like a star with five positions, the right wall and the left toes slightly inward.
- Exhale and press the left hips to the left as you slide both hands parallel to the floor to the right.
- Exhale and rotate the arms only, raise the left arm up and rest the right arm in front of the right leg, so that the palms are facing forward.
- Push the feet up, raise the knee caps up, so that the feet remain strong.
- Reach the tips of the fingers from each other, bringing the arms in a straight line with the shoulders away from each other.
- Push the left hip forward and the right hip backward.Inhale and hold for 3-6 breaths.
- To release: Inhale and move the raised arm up towards the ceiling, as you press the feet to return to the 5 pointed strands using the entire body.
- Repeat on the other side.
3. Standing wide legged fold pose (Prasarita Padottanasana)
The wide-legged standing forward fold is a calming forward turn that extends the hamstrings and back. This posture lengthens the spinal column.
- From the mountain pose (tadasana), expect to face the long edge of your yoga mat and to widen and parallel your legs, about 3 to 4 apart feet apart depending on the length of your feet (tall people will need one Should take a broader view).
- The inner (big toe) of the feet has a tendency to fall inward, so press down firmly and evenly through the outer (pinky toe) edges of the feet.
- Take a look at your feet and make sure they are actually parallel to each other and the toes do not point outward.
- Rest your hands on your hips and inhale deeply while lengthening the spine. Reach the crown (top) of your head and keep the chest open and full.
- While exhaling, hinges on the hips and begin to bend forward towards the feet.
- If you can move your fingers or palms to the ground – if it is not yet accessible to you, place your fingers on the block or bend slightly at your knees.
- Take a few deep breaths as you allow your body to be comfortable in the posture.
- If you can comfortably move the palms to the ground, you can start moving your hands between your legs, elbows bent and the top of the head between your hands towards the ground. Otherwise, feel free to stay where you are.
- Pull your shoulders away from your ears and move the weight slightly forward in the balls of the feet to avoid bending backward into the knees.
- Stay in the posture for five to 10 full, deep breaths.
- To come out of the pose, move your hands back to your hips, engage your core, and get up to stand on a sigh.
- Walk or put feet back on the mountain pose.
4. Skandasana (Ninja pose)
Ninja Pose additionally includes balance, forward-bend, twist, hamstring stretch and strength.
- To do a ninja pose, bend the left leg and keep the right leg straight as you lean down from the ground and lean to the left.
- Try to bring your bum as low as possible from the floor while keeping the spine straight.
- There is no need to be completely on the bottom of the left foot, if it is easy you can stay on your toes.
- Flex the right foot and try to point the toes up towards the sky, protecting the knee in the process.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
5. Parsvottanasana (Pyramid pose)
Pyramid poses are also known as: Parsvottanasana, intense or acute side stretch posture, intense flow stretch posture that combines the benefits of three major movements: forward bending, backward bending, and balance.
It requires intense focus and a very calm mind to balance and stay in perfect alignment. This pose is particularly helpful in the hamstring stretch and shoulders together.
Parasvottanasana gives balance and full body coordination, calms the mind, and improves later habits.
- With the downward-facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), bring your right leg inward to your right hand.
- Come at your fingertips.
- Move your left leg forward about a foot. Slightly out your left toes and lower your left heel so that the sole of your foot is flat on the mat.
- Straighten your right leg.
- Raise your torso in standing position.
- Place both hips on your hips to ensure that your hips point toward the front of the mat.
- Inhale to lengthen the spine.
- On the next exhale, deepen your right hip as you lean forward on your right foot. Keep a flat back while shortening yourself. When you come to your full extension, it is okay to let the spine round a bit.
- Lower your hands to the floor. Stay on your fingers or level your palms on the floor.
- At each breath, lengthen the spine. You can also return to a flat. At each exhale, lean forward a little deeper.
- To keep your hips square, place the right hip backwards. Micro bend your right knee so that it does not lock. Hold for about five breaths.
- To keep the body in balance, repeat to the left.
6. Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana (Standing split pose)
Standing split pose stretch the entire back of the body, especially on the hamstring and calves. It strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles, and also extends the muscles of the waist.
- Start in Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog).
- Inhale, look between your hands, and move your right leg forward.
- While exhaling, press your knee through your right leg to stretch and lean forward through your hips. To extend the knee, raise your left leg upward, reaching the toes.
- Inhale, allow your spine to lengthen, and reach through your raised leg.
- Exhale and draw the abdominals inward. Start rounding the upper spine and pull your crown towards your toes. Drop your hands to the thigh, calf, ankle or floor. Feel free to place micro bands in the knee.
- Hold this pose for 5-10 slow breaths.
- To exit, pull your hands up to your hips while exhaling and extending the spine. Press through your feet to get up in Tadasana (mountain pose).
- Exhale and release your arms into your arms or uttanasana (bent forward).
7. Ragdoll pose
Keeping the micro-bend in the knees is really important to protect the hamstrings, and always work within the pain-free range.
- Start with feet hip-width apart and flex the knees.
- Bend forward from the hips, allowing the head to hang between the upper arms.
- Cross the arms and hold each elbow gently with the opposite hand.
- To release the back, slowly sway from side to side.
9. Ardha hanumanasana (Half split pose)
Half split pose can also be known as Half Monkey pose or its Sanskrit name, Ardha Hanumanasana.
Half-Monkey-pose is particularly beneficial for runners because it improves flexibility in the hind legs, especially in the hamstring, and opens the hips.
This asana relieves the sciatica pain, tone the reproductive organs, stimulate the abdominal organs, reduce stress and fatigue. It improves overall balance and alignment, and stretch the lower back.
- Start in a lunge with your right foot forward and your knee on the ground.
- Shift your hips to stack on your left knee, and straighten your front leg to a place where you feel the stretch, but not the tension.
- Flex your right toes towards your face so that the sole of your foot is away from the mat.
- Place your hands directly under your shoulders, either on the floor or on the blocks.
- Make sure you keep a length in your spine, both front and back.
- Keep your right knee straight upwards, to prevent at least one small bend from behind your knee. Keep your quadriceps busy.
- Press down through your fingers to keep length in the torso and engage the muscles in your abdomen.
- To deepen the stretch, start moving your hands towards your feet.
- As you work in the pose, focus on pulling the pinky leg of your right foot towards your face and pressing forward with the ball of your foot under the big toe.
- Hold the pose for 60 seconds before bending the front knee again and returning to a lounge. Repeat on the other side.
10. Paschimottanasana (Seated forward fold)
Seated Forward Fold Pose (Paschimottanasana) is a classic pose of Hatha Yoga. It gives a good stretch to the entire back of your body, from your calves to your hamstring (back of the thighs) to your spine.
- In staff pose (dandasana) sit on the edge of a blanket with your legs extended in front of you.
- Reach actively through your heel. Beginners should bend the entire knee, eventually straightening the legs as the flexibility increases.
- Breathing in, move your arms to the side, and then upward, lengthen your spine.
- Exhale, lean forward from the hip joints. Do not bend at the waist. Extend the front of your torso.
- Instead of tying your nose to your knees, imagine your torso coming to rest.
- Allows for your flexibility – hold onto your shins, ankles, or feet. You can also wrap a yoga strap or towel around the soles of your hands, holding it firmly with both hands.
- Keep the front of your torso longer; Do not round your back. Let your stomach touch your feet first, and then your chest.
- Your head and nose should touch your feet last.
- With each inhalation, lengthen the front torso. With each exhalation, bend slightly deeper.
- Hold for one minute. To release the pose, pull your tailbone towards the floor as you inhale and lift your torso.
11. Reclined big toe pose (Supta Padangusthasana)
Supta Padangusthasana or Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose is for those who have lower back pain and tight hamstrings.
This pose stretch the hamstring and calves. If you are involved in running or playing, it is common to have too much hamstring, including too much running.
This posture can help reduce back pain by addressing flat low back posture. Traditionally, this mudra is said to improve digestion.
- Spread your legs and lie on your back.
- Bend your right knee and hinge your leg in your chest.
- Place a your yoga strap around the ball of right foot and hold the ends of the strap with each hand. If you do not have a strap, a belt will work.
- Holding the strap tightly, straighten your right leg towards the ceiling. Raise your right leg upward and raise the leg upward, but keep the hip joint ball in the socket and keep both sides of your butt evenly on the floor.
- Keep your left foot flexible and press your left foot towards the floor.
- If you want, you can move back and forth between a flexible and pointed leg.
- Hold your foot for five to 10 breaths.
- To come out, bend your right knee back into your chest, bring the left knee to join it, hug your legs a bit, and then raise your left leg up.
- Do one stretch for each leg.
12. Corpse pose (savasana)
The deep relaxing aspect of Savasana is considered therapeutic for stress. It could be best for you after all hamstring stretch poses.
When you are under stress, your sympathetic nervous system produces a “fight or flight” response that can stimulate your mind and body, causing anxiety, fatigue, depression, and illness.
In contrast, the practice of sedation stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system – known as the “rest and digestion” response.
- Turn your palms upward but do not try to keep them open. Allow fingers to curl.
- Tuck your shoulder blades on your back for support. It is a similar movement to tuck shoulders under bridge pose, but less intense.
- Once you set up your organs, release any effort by keeping them in position. Relax your entire body including your face. Let your body feel heavy.
- Let your breath happen naturally. If your mind wanders, you can bring your attention to your breath, but try to pay attention to it, do not deepen it.
- Stay for at least five minutes. Ten minutes is better. If you are practicing at home, set an alarm so that you are not forced to check the time.
- To come out, first start deepening your breath. Then start kissing your fingers and toes, slowly awaken your body again.
- Stretch your arms upwards to stretch the entire body from hands to feet.
- Bring your knees to your chest and roll off to one side, keeping your eyes closed.
- Use your lower hand as a pillow while resting in fetal position 7 for a few breaths.
- Using your hands for support, return yourself to a sitting position.
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Written by Amit Kumar. He is a certified Yoga Instructor; Diploma in sports & exercise and nutrition; Diploma in fitness and weight loss; Diploma in Nutrition; Diploma in Nutrition, Food, Science and Menu Planning.