When you are stretching your hamstrings from a seated position, you must make sure you are moving forward from the hips, as in Picture 2, keeping your back straight, rather than collapsing and allowing your back to round, shown in Picture 1.
As the previous blog talked about how to stretch your hamstrings while laying on your back, this time, lets look at the seated stretch. If you allow your back to round, you are moving through and stretching your back muscles as well as your hamstring muscles.
If we use the “Stretching with Intention” approach, then this won’t give us the results we want…..which is a nicely, stretched out and flexible hamstring. In addition, your back is not in its best position and this may result in injury.
To properly stretch your hamstrings: once you are seated on the ground, take your hands and lift away the flesh from your buttock muscles. You want to feel your sitz bones (the bones within your buttock flesh that you are sitting on) connect to the floor. Inhale and grow taller, exhale and keeping this height, lean forward from the hips, not the back. Try to bring your lower belly down towards your thighs rather than your chest or head. If you want, have a belt looped around the soles of your feet so you have some assistance. As you inhale, try to lengthen and rise up out of your hip sockets and as you exhale, relax and see if you can stretch a little further.
If you want to change the stretch on your hamstrings, you can bend your knees a little allowing you to lean forward a little further. Still focus on bringing your lower belly down first.
Stay for 5 long breaths
Picture 1…Bad Hamstring Stretch