Helen running along a beach

How to stretch hamstrings

Runners have notoriously tight hamstrings, for a good reason! With that repetitive contraction of the hamstrings over the miles, it’s to be expected that runners have tighter than average hamstrings.

And, in part, this is good because it strengthens them and it’s that combined strength of the hamstrings to flex the knee with the glute max to extend the hip, that gives us a powerful, efficient running form.

But… if the hamstrings become too tight, we’re at greater risk of injury eg. tears, pulls and strains; plus, it’ll cause instability in the core, by pulling on the pelvis, which is bad news for posture and alignment.

The best thing to do? Make a post-run yoga stretch routine part of your running ritual every time, and make the time for regular targeted yoga sessions, like this one, 2-3 times a week to balance out all the running time.

In this video I’ll show you 3 great ways to effectively stretch and lengthen the hamstrings after and in-between running.

It can take time but if you do these poses on the regular, your hamstrings will be much happier, as will your running gait and recovery. Grab a strap/ belt, and 2 blocks, or similar.

We’ll cover:

  • Down Dog
  • Low Lunge -> Half Splits
  • Strap on back
  • Bridge to finish for hip flexors – the topic for next week!

As always, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Please share this with a friend, and I’ll see you next time.


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Helen Clare

Helen Clare, founder of Helen Clare Yoga and Run Better with Yoga, is a trail runner, senior yoga teacher and yoga for athletes coach, living in Cornwall, UK.

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