Tight hamstrings are an all too common concern for athletes, gym enthusiasts, and avid runners. The solution? Stretching. Lots of stretching. One of the best realms to get your stretch on is yoga. Plus, you’ll soak up all the mental, spiritual, and physical benefits of the practice while you’re at it.

What’s wrong with tight hamstrings anyways?

Sometimes your tight hamstrings might get lucky. They might not provoke injury or aches and pains. Other times, however, you might not get so lucky. Tight hamstrings can be more prone to severe strains and can contribute to other issues such as back pain. Also, tight hamstrings can limit your sports performance and/or your Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym performance. The only way around these issues, as mentioned, is to improve your flexibility via stretching.

To target the hamstrings, here are some accessible yoga poses (with accompanying video demos) you can implement pre- or post-workout at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym.

  1. Standing Forward Fold. Note: You can just hang loose here like a rag doll or you can take a more active variation of the pose by grabbing onto the backs of your legs or ankles to pull yourself deeper. You can also grab onto the big toes or even step on the hands to go even deeper. Wherever you are, you should feel a strong stretch, yet experience no painful sensations.
  2. Wide-Legged Forward Fold. Note: Again, you can take this pose deeper by grabbing onto the backs of the ankles, the calves, or the outer edges of the feet. Don’t be intimidated by the tripod headstand in the video. Just skip it or go for it!
  3. Half Split.
  4. Full Split. Note: Only work into this pose if half split is incredibly accessible for you.
  5. Reclining Big Toe Pose.
  6. Seated Forward Fold. Note: You can take a more active approach by grabbing onto the outer edges of the feet to pull yourself more deeply into the posture.
  7. Seated Wide-Legged Forward Fold. Note: Again, grab the feet to pull yourself deeper.
  8. Head-to-Knee Forward Bend.
  9. Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose. Note: Attempt this only if #8 is a breeze for you.
  10. Pyramid Pose.

Regular practice of these simple poses will create happy and free hamstrings and reduce your risk for injury and back pain.