Hamstring, Glutes (Hips) Stretching !!
In continuation to my last post on “Stretching and Flexibility“, In this section I will be covering the postures and exercises for Hamstring, Hips and Glutes muscles stretch. As I covered in my previous post on stretching follow the basic rules while stretching – No bouncing while stretching, normal breathing, core engaged, and relaxed body. Hold every stretch for 20-40 seconds and repeat 2 to 3 times.
Standing Front Bend
This is very basic hamstrings and glutes stretch. You can start your stretching routine with this.
How to do this Stretch : Stand straight, then bend down reaching your hands towards your toes and head facing knees. Slowly slide yourself down ; bringing your forehead/noes towards the knees while keeping your legs straight ( No bending in knees). For deeper stretch, hold your toes or ankle with your hands and bring your head as closer to the knees as possible. Do not forget to breath normally.
This stretch works on the hip flexes, hamstrings, quads and glutes at the same time.
How to do this stretch : Hold palm plank position, than bring one leg forward, keeping other leg back. You can put the knee of back leg on floor. If you feel comfortable in this pose, you can bend forward and put your elbows down. Put the forearms down so that you end up in the elbow plank position. Sinking the hips lower will deepen the stretch.
Repeat the same thing with the other leg.
One of the best stretching exercise ever to stretch your glutes and hips.
How to do this stretch: Sit straight on the floor. Now keep your one leg forward and take other leg back, opening your hip-flexes. Look behind you to make sure your left leg is extended straight behind you, not out to one side. Position your front leg heel so it is in front of your back leg hip.Try to maintain equal weight in both hips. You can keep the torso up or rest it over the knee.
If you are flexible, you can bend forward, resting your chest on your front leg and arms opening to front upside.
Repeat on the other side.
Standing Leg-up Front and Side bend
This is basic hamstring stretch helps in opening up your hamstring muscles. This stretch work very very well on shortened hamstring muscles.
How to do this stretch : Stand with one foot on a higher surface, like a box, table or bar. Choose the height of the box/table depending on your flexibility. The higher the surface, the deeper the stretch will be. Lean forward, try to reach out to your ankle or toes (if possible) and stretch through your hamstrings. Keep your abs engaged and both the knees straight. If your toes or ankle is far you can put your hands on your shin or just above the knee. But in any case your should feel the stretch in your hamstring and hips.
Come up, keep the same posture and lean side wise down. Keep your both the knees straight and reach towards your toes. Bringing your head towards your knees.
Repeat the same on other side.
Supine Glutes Stretch
This stretch works very well on your Glutes and hips muscles.
How to do this stretch : Lie on floor or mat. Bend your knees with feet on floor. Now cross one leg over thigh of other leg. Hold the of thigh of lower leg with both hands and pull leg toward your torso and chest. Hold stretch.
Repeat with opposite leg
Sitting Front Bed stretch is simple but effective stretch for your hamstrings.
How to do this stretch : Sit on the floor. Make your legs straight open; keeping back straight, knees pressing down -touching the floor. Now take deep breath in and lean front by breathing out slowly and head down facing your knees. Depend on your flexibility, try to touch your ankle or toes or feet with your hands. Bringing your head towards the knees at the same time. Keep your stomach in and do not lift your knees from the floor.
Hamstring stretch using bend
For this stretch, you need a resistance band, jump rope or a long cloth/towel to help to deepen the stretch.
How to do this stretch: Lie down on your back. Keep one leg straight down on the floor and lift up other leg straight. Wrap the band, jump rope, or towel around the foot of the leg which is lifted up. Keep the knee straight, of both legs while holding onto the ends of the band/towel. Keep pulling the end of band/towel towards the floor; no bend in knee. Same time keep pulling the leg closer toward your face as you try and keep your lower back in contact with the floor.
Front Splits are one of the best stretches, considering you are more flexible and have fairly good hamstring flexibility.
How to do this Stretch : First get into a lunge position. Now slowly slide your front leg in front of you. And slide your back leg straight behind. Keep your back straight, chest up and open. No tilt in hips, they should be facing forward, now go down as far as you can. You can take your hand support to hold your posture intact.
Make sure to hold each stretch/pose for 25-30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times to get proper stretching effect.
The hamstring and glutes stretches are not limited to the ones explained above. I covered the few basics and advance here which are good enough to release your hamstring and glutes tightness and enhance flexibility.
HAPPY STRETCHING 🙂
NOTE: Along with good stretching, I suggest you to do proper ice compression on the sore/tight muscles. Consult your doctor if it is severe.
Refer my next post on Calf Muscles stretching. Stay tuned for my Leg Split Stretches series post for building split skills.
STAY TUNED !!
Do post your comments below.
STAY TUNED !!