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.

  1. Get stronger. Develop greater overall strength, especially in the core.
  2. Fire up your core. Challenge and sculpt your midsection by working the deep core muscles of the body.
  3. Be comfortable. Most of the movements are gentle and are performed in a seated or supine (reclining) position. The impact is low and the weight bearing materials are minimal making this form of exercise incredibly safe and supportive. Plus, there are many modifications for the practice allowing you to work where you are at and slowly build the intensity. Due to its accessibly, Pilates is a great tool for physical therapy.
  4. Improve balance. Enhancing your abdominal strength and building deep core support will strongly benefit your ability to balance.
  5. Increase body awareness. Become more connected in mind and body.
  6. Move with greater ease. Re-train the body to maintain proper alignment to move more safely and efficiently – a great tool for injury recovery, sports and Greenville gym performance, proper posture, and overall health and fitness.
  7. Achieve body symmetry. Correct muscular imbalances and remove blockages i.e. tight shoulders, hips, hammies, etc.
  8. Pain relief. Do Pilates to find relief from certain types of back pain. Many people use Pilates to actually manage the symptoms of their back pain. For some, it has proven incredibly effective.
  9. Reduce your risk of injury. Creating a body of equal flexibility and strength strongly reduces your risk for injury while you’re working it hard at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym.
  10. Boost your game. Enhance your sports performance and your Greenville gym activity as a result of all the benefits Pilates will provide you, including greater agility, strength, balance, concentration, and flexibility. This is why many professional athletes turn to Pilates. It is a great preventative tool and also, great for overall mind and body enhancement.
  11. Learn to breathe. Pilates will teach you how to develop more efficient breathing. Each movement is connected with the breath, thereby enhancing mind-body unification and flowing, unforced movements. Also, breathing reduces stress and refreshes the mind and body.