Our hamstrings are often short and tight which can cause a lot of back pain and even knee pain. Sometimes just stretching the muscle is not enough, you also need to mobilize the nerves. This sequence has helped several of clients who had back pain and postural issues due to tight hamstrings. It has been a life saver for me when I sit all day working or do a particularly hard workout. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.
- Lie on your back, knees bent, with a towel roll underneath your lumbar spine (opposite your belly button, towel should be the width of your fist).
- Take a stretching strap and place it on the ball of your foot and straighten your leg to a point where you have no tension on the hamstring (back of thigh), figure 1
- Straighten the bent knee, figure 2 and pull the strap to you so your toes are facing you and pull the leg toward your head until you feel a good stretch.
- Slowly let the leg out to release the tension as in figure 3. Do not hold at any point, simply mobilize the leg and the nerve, and breath in as you pull the leg toward you and breath out as you release the leg. Do this for 10 repetitions.
- Next, get as much tension on the leg as possible, figure 2 and take the leg across the body, figure 4, and back to where the leg is right above the hip, figure 2. Do this for 10 repetitions.
- Lastly, get as much tension on the hamstring as possible and pull the leg toward you bending the knee and release, figure 5. Do this for 10 repetitions.
Non-sustained, keep moving through timed with your breath.
Opens tight hamstrings and calves and can assist with sciatic nerve pain.
If you have sciatic nerve pain and this makes it worse, stop the stretch and speak with your physician or personal trainer.