My hamstrings always seem to get tight after long runs.
Do you have any key stretches or tips focused around hamstrings?
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Deserae: You can try different stretches for your hamstring, however you also want to make sure you’re hitting your quads and hips as everything is connected. Strengthening exercises and rolling will help. You also want to consider your form, as imbalances can cause issues, and of course the longer you run the more you’ll feel the impact. It might be worth it to either videotape yourself or get feedback from friends on your form to get an idea of where you’re struggling.
Krissy: In addition to stretching and foam rolling, I’d offer some strengthening exercises for your hammies and glutes.
Dead lifts -Olympic lift, form is super important.
Jane Fondas – lying on your side, hips aligned, lift your top leg using your glute to lift the leg. Do set that lift the leg directly up, then drop the top leg behind (put the top leg toe to the bottom leg heel) to change the angle, then bend hips and knees to 90 degrees and do clam shell lifts – lift knee, then lift toe, return toe, then return knee.
Lateral jumps – like a skate skier side to side, land on the leg strong with you hips and body aligned. “Stick it” if you will…
These are all MUCH easier to demonstrate than write about. I hope this gives you some ideas to start.
Sophie: Having just come off a 6-month hamstring injury, I am now a convert to pre- and post-run dynamic stretches, warm-ups and cool-downs to keep my hamstrings strong and happy. Before every run I try to get my hamstrings and glutes firing with a 5-minute lunge routine and a set of single leg Romanian deadlifts without the weight. After my run I swear by a set of leg swings (front to back and side to side), long, slow bodyweight sumo squats to open my hips, and I pull out the handy foam roller right there in the parking lot and work my hamstrings, glutes and IT Bands for about 5 minutes. I also strength train 2x weekly and always include hip and glute strengtheners (bridges, clamshells, single leg deadlifts with weight, and deadlifts) as well as use a stretch band (lying on my back, I do the hamstring stretch routine found in Hit Reset: Revolutionary Yoga For Athletes by Erin Taylor (nfi).