Haleiwa Massage Muse Tip of the Day: Hamstring Stretching

Woman stretches after receiving North Shore Hawaii massage

I suffer from chronically tight hamstrings. If you are anything like me,  you cringe at the thought of doing a Downward Facing Dog in public. Take a few minutes everyday to bring your awareness to this muscle group by doing some static stretching, dynamic movements, or yoga. Make sure to follow these six simple tips for safe and effective hamstring stretching.

6 Tips for Flexible Hamstings

  1. Use a combination of static stretches and dynamic movement. Try not to rely solely on stretches that are sustained for too long a period of time. Try following static stretching routines with range of motion activities.
  2. Do not lock your knees when performing a stretch. Keeping a straight leg does not involve locking your knees. Try to be mindful if you have a habit of this.
  3. You can always use your surroundings for assistance. For example, use a doorway, wall, rope, or band to provide resistance for proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. This will help increase your range of motion. 
  4. If you have difficultly stretching your hamstrings, you can always bend your knee slightly. As flexibility increases, you can begin to straighten your leg more and more.
  5. You should never force a stretch. It does not make your efforts any more effective and can actually cause harm.
  6. Remember to relax and enjoy the sensation of stretching. Breathe deeply and remember that you are taking the time to stretch your body because it feels good!
There are so many resources for safe stretching available on the internet. Take you time to find a method that you enjoy doing. This will motivate you to make stretching part of a daily routine.

Sonia Beauchamp, LMT