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Excuse me for my temporary hiatus since April, I recently graduated college, became a certified Athletic Trainer, and moved to Milwaukee to start my new job! Exciting times. While in my last few weeks at Gustavus Adolphus College, I had time to film some hamstring stretches. As skiers we know that we use virtually every muscle in our bodies, and some days we wake up with soreness and we’re not sure why. The hamstrings are such a big muscle group and usually are neglected by endurance athletes. Keeping hamstring flexibility and strength in your mind can help to alleviate other problems, like low back pain for one example. Below are 6 videos or hamstring stretches. Ideally, they would all be done together, so the overall stretch time is about 3-5 minutes. You will need a stretching rope, or any type of rope or cloth that is long enough and sturdy enough. Check them out!

Hamstring Stretch 1 : Srtaight leg

The first stretch is pretty easy. Make a U shape around the bottom of your shoe. Pull your leg up, keeping the knee STRAIGHT to get the best stretch. Don’t let your butt come off the table. Ideally you want to get the leg to 90 degrees or further. Go to the point of a good stretch and stop, hold that stretch for a long 3 second count, relax and bring the leg back down. Repeat 10 times.

Hamstring Stretch 2: Straight Leg

This stretch is the same except for the position of the rope. After making the U shape around the base of your shoe, wrap the cords clockwise around your ankle and over your calf. Grab the rope and pull the leg straight again, 3 long second hold, relax, repeat 10 times.

Hamstring Stretch 3 : Straight leg

Same as stretch 2, except for now bring the rope counterclockwise around your ankle and calf.

Hamstring Stretch 4: Bent Leg

This stretch is the same as stretch 1, just start with your knee and hip bent at 90 degrees. Hold for 3 seconds, relax, repeat 10 times.

Hamstring Stretch 5: Bent Leg

Same starting position, except wrap the cords clockwise.

Hamstring Stretch 6: Bent Leg

Same starting position, except wrap the cords counterclockwise.

 

The hamstrings are actually a grouping of three different muscles. The wrapping of the cord around your ankle and leg helps stretch those three muscles: biceps femoris, semimembranosus, semitendinosus. Enjoy the stretches, and stay flexible!

3 Responses to “Hamstring Flexibility”

  1. Peter Minde Says:

    Thanks for writing this. Would you be able to discuss muscle imbalances in a future post?

  2. Annika Says:

    I definitely can, what do you mean muscle imbalances specifically? For example, how having a weakness on one side can lead to problems elsewhere?

  3. Peter Minde Says:

    Actually yes, that’s exactly what I was thinking.

    Is there a way a layman can recognize issues caused by muscle imbalances and address them?

    Thank you,