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Improving Hamstring Flexibility

What have you all found to be the best method to improve hamstring flexibility? I have always had tight hamstrings, even in elementary school (always failed the sit-and-reach test), and I’ve never been able to improve my hamstring flexibility much.

I did martial arts for awhile and I was at my most flexible then but was still not able to kick above waist height without bending my back. We did a lot of static stretches in class as well as kicking, which probably falls under dynamic stretching.

I want to improve my hamstring flexibility because I can only half-squat at best and I have trouble doing a deadlift from the floor as well. I would also like to do hanging leg raises with my legs pointed straight out instead of with bent knees.

What can I do to make my hamstrings more flexible?

Dynamic leg swings and “leg kick-outs”.

Also foam rolling(use a PVC pipe/baseball and concentrate on the insertion points) and 2-3 sets of static stretching. I prefer the stretch where you lie on your back and with towel you pull up your foot stretching your hamstring. A lot of people will tell you that static stretching is a waste of time, but I have found it makes a big difference in my experience.

Uncle Bird.

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A youtube search is likely to provide videos, also google mobilityWOD

The best thing I have found for lower body flexibility is daily prolonged movement.
I can stretch and foam roll all i like, but if I’m on my ass for 12 hours a day I can’t move for shit.

1: Google ‘DeFranco’s Agile 8’ and follow everyday x2
2: foam roll everything religiously
3: walk at least a mile everyday, take the dog to the park and lunge accross fields etc

I’m not as good about stretching as I should be, but even with that being the case I’ve noticed significant improvement in my hamstring flexibility from doing straight leg deadlifts. Just go as low as you can without hurting yourself, as you get used to the movement your flexibility will improve.

[quote]Pintsize wrote:
I’m not as good about stretching as I should be, but even with that being the case I’ve noticed significant improvement in my hamstring flexibility from doing straight leg deadlifts. Just go as low as you can without hurting yourself, as you get used to the movement your flexibility will improve.[/quote]

I agree with this. Lifting in general seems to have improved my lower body flexibility a lot, and SLDLs seem especially good. It’s done more for me than static stretching ever has.

try a few sets of bird dogs, side planks and stir-the-pot and see what that does to your hamstring flexibility.

you might be surprised