Helen Clare running along a trail in the evening light

How to fix tight hamstrings

Do you suffer with tight hamstrings?

If the hamstrings tighten and shorten too much from repeated contraction and/ or over striding when running, they’re more susceptible to injury and can negatively affect our posture.

Whilst yoga and stretching can do wonders for releasing tension here, it might also be that you need to look at altering your running technique…

In today’s video, I explain why it might be your running form, more than anything, that’s causing your tight hamstrings. And, I’ll show you some things we can do to help, including a cool running drill!

Now that you’ve watched, I’d love to know – do you have particularly tight hamstrings? Are you doing regular yoga to help? And do you think making a few changes to your technique might help things? Let me know in the comments below!

All my best,

Helen

Useful Links for tight hamstrings

Best hamstring stretches video
Get on Track online program
Instagram @runbetterwithyoga
Run Better with Yoga Community Group 

How to fix tight hamstrings transcript

The hamstrings help us move forward by bending the knee and working with glute max to extend the hip. They also slow down the action of the leg straightening. If the hamstrings shorten too much, from repeated contraction and over striding, they’re more susceptible to injury, and negatively affect our posture.

But the very reason why so many runners suffer with very tight hamstrings, often originates in their posture! If we can find great posture first of all, and take that into our running, there’ll be less over striding and all muscles can work better as a community taking the correct amount of load, keeping us healthy.

First, find great posture by standing tall, connecting to core and glute strength, checking the front ribs are in to align over the hips. You’ll feel a very subtle synching in through the belly and a lengthening of the spine.
This is the posture that we want to keep as we run.
Use the power of the glutes with the hamstrings to lift the heels behind.
To practise, try: hop hop lift, hop hop lift, hop hop lift, switch sides.
Really feel the hamstrings and glutes working together, whilst you maintain your posture and stay connected to your core.

This action of focusing on the quick pull-up of the hamstrings gets us to feel how the hamstrings and glutes should be working together. If you can take that sensation into your running, it means that your way less likely to over stride – when the hamstrings have to do even extra work in decelerating that knee extension and bringing the leg back for another gait cycle.

Altering your technique, in combination with yoga to re-lengthen and release, will have a greater, lasting impact. Check out the links to some of my yoga classes for the hamstrings in the show notes.

The most benefit though comes from a well-rounded yoga practice, which you can get with my Get on Track program, that helps you start and maintain a whole body yoga routine around your schedule. To help you get on track for 2020 there’s a special January offer on this course, so be sure to check it out at https://runbetterwithyoga.com/get-on-track/

Give that drill a try and let me know what you think! Join our RBY Community group on facebook, or leave me your thoughts, comments and questions on the blog at runbetterwithyoga.com. You’ll find all the links in the show notes. If you want some personal feedback, find us on social and tag me at @runbetterwithyoga in a video of you doing the drill, and I’ll give you some tips!

Here’s to running with ease and joy – see you next time.

#runbetterwithyoga, hamstring stretches, hamstrings, helen clare, natural running, natural running technique, run better with yoga, yoga for running


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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