A great way to stretch the hamstrings is with our exercise Single Leg Lowering. It’s the beginner progression for our SL Lowering series. I believe we got this from Gray Cook, but it’s been so long ago that I’m not 100% positive. It’s a great exercise for those tight in the hammies.
Remember to always stretch the front side of the hips (hip flexors) prior to stretching the backside. If your athletes are in anterior pelvic tilt, you don’t want to stretch the hamstrings until after the hip flexors have been allowed to relax. Stretching the hip flexors first will help to return the pelvis to a neutral position and allow for a stretch on the hamstrings. Otherwise, athletes are stretching an already stretched muscle. Check out the previous weeks posts for more info if your curious.
We utilize a hurdle or a door jam for this movement. A hurdle is great because athletes can keep it held tightly to the back of their thigh.
Start by raising both legs straight into air and bracing one leg onto the leg of the hurdle. Keep the hip and back of the knee flat against the surface of the upright. Keeping the toes pulled to the shin, lower the free leg to the ground. Make sure to keep the toe up and don’t let the hip rotate out. Keep both quads flexed hard the entire time, and try to drive the heel and back of the knee into the ground at the bottom of the movement. Return to the upright position for one rep. Generally, we perform 5-10 reps per leg after our dynamic warm-up.