why won't my stupid hamstrings stretch?
title says it all. no matter how much I stretch and make it hurt good it doesnt get anywhere! I can touch the floor with my palms but mostly by bending my back.
cant get my damned back straight on deadlifts its pissing me off
Maybe you should try some other hamstring stretches. As a geezer, I have used several over the years and change them up from time to time just for variety's sake. Some to try:
Site on the floor with both legs extended. Bend your left knee so that the sole of your foot (or shoe) is in contact with the inside of your right knee. Stretch forward with first your right hand as far as you can with a goal of grabbing the sole of your right sole. When you can do that try to get a grip with both hands. Switch to other leg.
Find a ledge, or squat rack safety bar, or anything just below waist high. Bring your right leg up to it and rest your heel on the ledge or bar. Stretch forward first with the right hand to try to grip the sole (like in the first exercise) and then with both hands later. Change legs.
I know a few others, but these might help.
Last edited by Mike O.; 12-23-2010 at 12:27 AM.
Reason: stop parsing out caps
I like the doorway stretch:
Another nice one is to lie on the ground with my legs flat against a wall, straight, all the way from my heels to my butt. I try to push my legs as far out as I can, as if doing the splits. Seems to hit some of the same stuff from a different angle, and lying on the ground forces you to keep a decent back position.
I seem to get the best results with these stretches the night before the workout.
One of the best hamstring stretches shown to me by a PT is called the Track Stretch. It's brutal but works well.
1. stand with feet about 16" apart one in front of each other and shouler width.
2. bend both knees and place hands on ground.
3. Leaving the rear leg bent at the knee drive your butt up towards the ceiling straightening your forward knee.
4. you should feel a stretch and all your weight should be on the heel of your forward foot. your rear leg should be relaxed and bent at the knee only using it for stability.
The reason this exercise works so well is it isolates that hamstring. Most hamstring stretches stretch the back or low back or glutes. This one immobolizes the pelvis allowing for the hamstring to only be stretched.
If you want you hamstrings loosened up you will need to stretch multiple times per day. holding each stretch for 30+sec at a time. I just read an interesting article on stretching in the NSCJ. It talked about stretching in males vs females. apparently females can increase flexibility with as little as 20sec per stretch daily but males need 30sec+ at a minimum for 6 weeks.
I would do multiple hamstring stretches 3x a day.
The doorway stretch is great. Do it a few times per day for three sets of a minute per leg at a time and hamstring flexibility will rapidly become sufficient. You don't need to be at the limits of your flexbility and pushing hard, just get a bit of a stretch and get comfortable with it. You don't need to be awesome, just sufficient. If you think that's a lot of dead time (6 minutes a pop maybe 3 times per day), grab a book or something.
Also, when you do hammy stretches, do them both with a rounded back and a straight back. I find that one way I feel the stretch at the top and the other way I feel the stretch closer to the back of my knee. I have no physiological reason behind this, it just does.
this feels good thanks a lot!!!
Originally Posted by CBB
I couldnt set my back straight for deadlifts until very recently. I also couldnt get very deep on squats, I needed to use a wide clumsy stance offering a very minal range of motion for the legs and poor quad recruitement.
I will teach you and important lesson I learnt, something that Rip mentions in his book but we can easily let get past us. Ask yourself "why do you want your hamstrings to stretch more?"
The truth is that we do not usually have a good reason. Hamstring extensibility is rarely the limiting factor which prevents good back extension for deep squats and deadlifts. This sounds surprising but it is true. Nearly everyone (even horribly inflexible people liek myself ) have good enough hamstring extensibility already.
The limiting factor is something else. It is tightness in the inner thighs, Calves and glutes. Your primary stretch of choice shoudl be the good old fashioned squat stretch. When you open up the hips like this you will be able to get very deep (like ATG) back squats, this hip mobility allows the thighs to kind of clear out of the way (side ways) which allows your torso/hips to sink between your legs a little which will allow you to get good back extension on deadlifts.