How To Stretch Your Hamstrings | Foam Rolling Hamstrings
A question athletes often ask is how to stretch the hamstrings. The hamstrings are an essential part of the body that help to propel the body forward during explosive movements. Overtime the hamstrings can become tight or create trigger points that cause pain and tension. Tightness in the hamstrings can often lead to low back pain or changes in the way the body moves, creating pain in other areas. One of the best methods to loosen the hamstrings is by using a Recovery Foam Roller. Adding compression and manually stretching the muscle fibers increases blood flow to the area causing a complete hamstring stretch.
Foam Rolling Hamstrings Technique With 2 Legs
The first step to successfully foam roll your hamstring is to survey the area. You will begin in a seated position with your hands on the floor. Place the Recovery Foam Roller under your knees. Slowly begin moving the Recovery Foam Roller up toward your butt looking for any tension or trigger points throughout both of the hamstrings. Be sure to rock your weight from side to side searching for tension along the outside and inside links of the hamstring.
After rolling the entire length of the muscle several times it is time to focus on the adhesions you have discovered. First you will begin with static holds on each trigger point. To complete a proper static hold you will simply roll the Recovery Foam Roller on to a painful area and hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds. As the area begins to loosen, you will begin moving into a deep tissue massage. A deep tissue massage is completed by rolling one to three inches back-and-forth over the painful area within your hamstring. By stretching the hamstring with the Recovery Foam Roller you are increasing blood flow to the area and compressing the muscle for a complete stretch.
You will continue this method throughout all the trigger points on your hamstrings until the pain begins to go away. The first couple times you complete the hamstring foam rolling exercise you will find discomfort and pain throughout the 2 to 3 minute process. Overtime this will begin to dissipate and the rolling will become more of a maintenance hamstring stretch.
Alternate Methods of Foam Rolling Your Hamstring
There are several methods for properly foam rolling the hamstring. The key is to use the one that best suits your needs. More weight on a trigger point can cause damage. It is important to understand the difference between these methods and be able to utilize the method best suited for how your hamstrings feel.
1. The first is by using two legs at the same time to evenly distribute the body weight. The same method will be used for all three of these methods to stretch the hamstring (Survey-Target-Massage-Stretch).
2. The second method is sitting off to the side of the Recovery Foam Roller. In this position one leg will be used. You will complete the same procedure for the hamstring stretch but in this method the opposite leg, that is not on the Recovery Foam Roller, will be off to the side helping to distribute the weight evenly between the ground and the leg. This is a little more intense than two legs on the Recovery Foam Roller, but is a step below stacking your legs on top of one another for maximum compression.
3. The most penetrating method is to stack the feet, one on top of the other, to add more weight to the trigger points in the hamstring. This method will be done one leg at a time. It is important that individuals that are new to the Recovery Foam Roller begin with two legs. More tension is not always best. Trigger points are pain spots within the muscle that occur from tightness. Over compressing the areas can often cause inflammation and backfire completely. You need just the right amount of weight for the deep tissue massage to be properly completed. There will be pain and discomfort but it must be manageable in the chosen body position.
Hamstring Stretching Is Just The Beginning
This is a demonstration on how you can stretch your hamstrings with a Recovery Foam Roller. By maintaining well stretched and loose hamstrings you will find less back pain and more mobility while training with weights, sprinting, or completing power jumps. If your hamstrings continue to tighten after exercise, you should roll the connective tissue around the hamstrings. Muscles throughout the body affect nearby muscle groups. Spend time rolling your glutes, as well as your calf muscles, for a complete hamstring stretch. Also refer to the Rejuvenate Stretching Sequence for a full body Recovery Foam Rolling workout. The Rejuvenate Stretching Sequence will walk you through each muscle group and show you how to utilize the Recovery Foam Roller. Technique is key to alleviating tension and pain. The Rejuvenate Foam Rolling workout will help you understand the proper techniques for each muscle group.
Recovery Training Equipment