Today we're going to go over some ways to maximize your hamstring flexibility. We're just going to start with just warming up the hamstrings. You actually want your muscles to be fairly warm before you start stretching them, so we're just going to start with a few squats. So you're going to stand with your feet shoulder width apart. The weight is going to be in your heels when your legs are bent and the weight'll be in your toes when your legs are straight.
So you're going to go ahead and squat back. Trying to almost put, like you're sitting on the wall. Your knees are directly above your heels. You're squeezing your booty tight. Driving your heels into the ground evenly, but you're not collapsing in your chest, so you want to keep a curve in your back. Trying to fire up those hamstrings. Get them to work. Get some oxygen and blood into them. You're going to put your hands on the floor and slowly press your tailbone to the ceiling.
Now when you're legs are straight, you want to make sure that the weight in is in the balls of your feet. So now your quadriceps are tight, which will allow you to open up and lengthen through your hamstrings, contracting the opposing muscle. So we're just going to do that a couple of times. Let's do that again. Squat down. Push the hips back. Curve the back, keep the belly nice and engaged. Drive those feet into the floor. Hands on the floor. Tailbone presses up and now we're going to do another little thing to try to help you out with the range of motion of your hamstrings.
Go up on your toes nice and high, like a ballerina. Make sure your ankles aren't sickled. Go up on to your fingertips, pulling your belly into your spine, hollow out your stomach. Now straighten your back, so your chest passes your fingertips and you're going to reverse body wave down your thighs. You're going to put your naval on your upper thighs, your lower rib cage on your knees, your upper rib cage on your shins and the crown of the head points to the floor.
As you lower your heels, but keep the weight in the balls of your feet. Start trying to take that roundness out of your back, so you're completely hinged at your waist, and you want your hipbones directly above your heels, not behind your heels. Now you can add to this stretch by reaching around and grabbing your heels and hugging your elbows close to your shins or to your calves. Drive your shoulders and your elbows up to the ceiling, as you continue to fall into the balls of your feet. Trying to get your nose to touch the floor, so pull those shoulders up into your back. Shoulders and elbows go up to the ceiling.
So now there's one stretch. I'm going to show you one more. We're not done yet. So the other one would be starting in a kneeling position. You're going to take your left leg out in front. When you do this you want to try to have your hips squared off. You should only, if you have your profile in the mirror you should only be able to see one glut, one butt cheek. So you're going to pull your hip back so that standing leg is parallel to the poles, perpendicular to the floor.
Lift up through your midsection, creating space in your vertebrae. Press your left hipbone behind you. This leg is nice and straight and hinge forward. Don't let that hip drop. You don't want it to drop down to the ground. You want to keep your hips parallel to one another. You need to keep your hips squared off to properly stretch your hamstrings. So you can work another area of your hamstrings by pulling your toes back to your face.
When you do that, the left hip pivots back and the right hip pivots forward. Your back still remains flat. Now when you feel like you're flexible enough, you can start trying to achieve a split from here. So you want to point both of your toes. Push your palms into the floor. Lift yourself up onto your back toe and reach your toes away from one another and try to sit down into your split the best you can.
Once you're in your split, you want to make sure that you're squared off, so you want to try to pivot your left hip forward and your right hip back. I'm probably a little curved in my spine more so than is necessary, but that's just me. So you want to try to maybe avoid not arching your back too much. So keep squeezing your right butt cheek and reaching that right leg out behind you, and pressing your right hip into the floor.
So to maximize this stretch, you can challenge your hamstrings a little more by hinging at the waist and laying your torso right on to your leg. Make sure you're still pressing that right hip down to the floor and squeezing your right glut to shoot that back leg out behind you. You can also take your torso and put it on one side of your leg. You can also take your torso and put it on the other side of the leg. Trying to press that right hip down to the ground.