“Your hamstrings should be like rubber bands, not guitar strings.”
– Erin Taylor
Reset: Standing Straddle Forward Fold
Why: The first thing you should do post-run is get your body outside its usual (forward-oriented) range of motion. By stepping your feet wide apart rather than keeping them hip width when you bend over to reach toward the floor, you accomplish this while stretching your hamstrings. Added bonus: stretch smart with a little “bend and stretch.” The simple maneuver of bending and straightening your legs a few times when you first come into your forward fold is way more effective and functional for restoring fluidity to the hamstrings than jacking your knees back and yanking on those tired muscles.
When: Pre- or post-run
- Step your feet wide apart and parallel.
- Walk your hands down your legs, bending your knees as much as needed to rest your fingertips on the floor — if that feels too far to reach, rest your hands on a block or other prop.
- Try to keep your torso close to your thighs — bend your knees more if needed to make that happen.
- Bend and stretch your legs 5–10 times and then be still.
- Press down evenly through your feet to gently deepen the stretch rather than trying to force your knees back more.
- Drop your head to relax your neck.
- Hold for 5–10 deep breaths.
- Flexible Running Hamstrings — encourage your hammies to become more elastic and increase the fluidity of your stride
- 5-Minute Hamstring Reset — quick fix for stiff hamstrings
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