Don’t Pull Your Hammy

Hamstrings

HamstringsStretching is important for our muscles’ health. There are two kinds of stretching important to understand: dynamic and static stretching.

Dynamic Stretching increases range of movement, blood and oxygen flow to soft tissues prior to working out. Dynamic stretching before your workout can improve performance and reduce the risk of injury. Dynamic stretching should raise your temperature a few degrees, warming you up and preparing your body for exercise.

  • Many STOTT PILATES® and GYROTONIC® exercises could be consider dynamic stretches, so do you homework!
  • Keep moving the entire time with controlled, steady movements.
  • Never be forceful, move in a jerky manner, or mobilize to the point of pain.
  • For an example of a dynamic hamstring stretch, do a light kick: Swing a straight leg forward with little explosive acceleration, gradually increasing the height.

Static Stretching tends to be what people think of as stretching. Most of us learned them in grade school. With static stretching you should feel your heart rate drop a few degrees and begin to cool you down. And are typically best to do after you exercise.

  • Use your breath to softly deepen into a stretch
  • Listen to your body and never stretch to the point of pain.
  • Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds while emphasizing breathing, deepening the stretch on the exhale.
  • For an example of a static hamstring stretch, sit on the floor with legs extended out in front of you, and gently reach for your toes.

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