Let me say that I am so excited to be joining the BSF team! I cannot to start coaching all you beautiful people and be a part of your journey to be the happiest and fittest YOU that you can be. Today, I want to cover a topic that plagues just about every person I have encountered as a trainer…the dreaded tight hamstrings. We have all been there. Walk into the gym, start stretching, try to reach down and touch your toes, and BAM! You can barely get past your knees, let alone reach your toes. We all blame it on tight hamstrings, and while that’s a possibility, it could also mean that we have a weakness elsewhere, but that’s a conversation for a different day. Today, I want to share with you my top 4 things I do to help my hamstrings.
4. Toy Solder/Zombie Walks
This is usually my first dynamic stretch I do every day. It is very simple movement.
Step 1: Raise your leg as high as YOU can. Read: Don’t try to be Misty Copeland and reach the ceiling. This should NOT hurt.
Step 2: Opposite hand reaches for your foot. Attempt to keep a neutral spine through the movement.
Step 3: Switch sides. I typically do about 10‐12 ‐ possibly more if I had a tough workout the day before. This video is an example. She is stationary, but I walk forward with each step.
3. Eccentric Stretch
I’d like to thank Eric Cressey for giving me a better title for number 3. As you will all soon find out, I tend to give exercises crazy names. Hold each move for about 10-20 seconds on each leg. I don’t do this one every day, usually just once or twice a week. Again, make sure you are feeling that STRETCH and not feeling any pain. I cannot reiterate that enough. We never, EVER want to feel pain during warm-up.
2. COLD Showers
I know, I know. Sounds crazy but funny enough, taking a cold shower has so many health benefits (besides waking us up in the morning!). I’ve been doing this since middle school cross country and I still swear by it to this day. No, I don’t do it everyday, but it’s great after a tough workout, or lots of squatting or deadlifting. Now, I’m a chicken when it comes to cold water so I typically only make it cold for the last 2‐3 minutes. I just let the water hit my legs and do some quick stretching. Such a simple thing will truly help with DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness.
Here is an article that shares a few other reasons why cold showers are so great for us!
1. Foam Rolling
I swear by foam rolling. It’s the very first thing I do before I warm up or even think about touching a weight. There are a bunch around BSF so there’s no excuse not to use them! Place the foam roller on the hamstrings and just roll your body back and forth, hitting from right above the knee to right underneath your glutes! BOOM! Before a workout, I do about 5‐7 rolls just to workout any soreness from the day before. After a workout, I will hang out for about a minute or so, really getting every little part of my hamstring and doing little pulses on any part that is extra sore.
Alright guys, these are my top 4 ways that I help my hamstrings out in the gym! Nothing crazy and something we can all do without having to go out and spend thousands of dollars. I look forward to meeting you all personally!