Tight hamstrings can lead to pain in your hips and lower back. So, on today's Fit Life we're visiting with Cady O'Quinn of Sumits Hot Yoga to look at three ways to stretch those hamstrings.
From table top position (see video), extend your right leg back. On an exhale, bend the knee, squeezing heel to glutes, as though you want to crush a grape between your calf and hamstrings. Hold for a breath, repeat three times. Return the right leg to extension, flexing the right foot. Lower ball of the foot to the floor and gently press back into the heel, stretching the calf. Hold for five breaths, then relax. Repeat sequence on left side.
Sit on the floor, or prop your seat up with a folded blanket. Extend right leg out, bend left knee and bring left foot to the inside of your right thigh. Sit up tall, and contract your right quadriceps, flexing the right foot, release. Repeat twice more, holding the last contraction for three breaths. Relax right leg, point your navel toward your right knee, and fold over the leg. Hold five to 10 breaths. Roll up slowly. Repeat on left side.
Lie on your back. Knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Extend right leg to the ceiling. Wrap your hands around a towel or a strap around the back of your right thigh, keep shoulders and hips flush to the floor. Flex the right foot, and keep the right knee slightly bent (or very bent, if this is too challenging). Drive the right heel away from the center of your body, using the hands to create resistance. Hold for a count of five, and then relax the leg. Walk the hands/strap up higher and the leg, and repeat, using resistance. One final time, reach as high as you can, keeping the knee soft, and drive the heel away, hold for five seconds and then relax. Repeat this sequence on the left side.