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There is no denying it; yoga has become one of the most prolific health activities in today’s fitness world. While some who practice it are seeking mind, body, and spirit connection, yoga is also widely used as a stretching alternative for athletes. Whether you train for triathlons or just do the occasional jog around your neighborhood, yoga exercises can have a noticeable impact on your hamstrings, balancing your body and improving your performance.
Technically, the hamstrings are the tendons that connect the muscles of your upper leg to the bone that supports it. However, the term “hamstrings” commonly refers to the group of muscles in your upper leg, which is collectively called the posterior thigh muscle. The primary function of this muscle group is to help bend your knees. Additionally, it also helps straighten your hips.
Having strong and flexible hamstrings are vital if you are into activities that require running, jumping, or climbing. And it’s important to stretch them well before you engage in dynamic activities to take full advantage of their function.
The following three yoga poses will provide deep and effective hamstring stretches. Try practicing them regularly to keep your muscles loose.
Another great yoga pose that can benefit your hamstrings is the prasarita padottansana, or the wide-legged forward bend. This pose is essential for stretching the muscles on the back of your leg. It also stretches your spinal column and back muscles.
This next movement is a combination of two different poses. You will begin initially with dandasana, or the staff pose, and then shift to paschimottanasana, or a deep-forward fold, as you stretch your hamstrings. These poses are very useful in stretching the entire body, including your back, hamstrings, and even your heels.
To perform the dandasana pose:
The next step will be to shift to paschimottanasana:
All three of these yoga poses can help stretch your hamstrings effectively. They are easy to do and can be mastered quickly.