Lack of Flexibility Can Mean Weakness in Those Muscles.
Do you feel like you are inflexible? I know that many of us do! And those of us that are inflexible have that friend that can do the splits both ways and put their feet over their head! Go figure. Lack of flexibility means that your muscles have very likely become weaker. And why is this? The human body is amazing in that if you don't "use it," you "lose it." The human body adapts to whatever activity level we are engaging (or not engaging) in. And that is why we become inflexible if we are being too sedentary. In this video, Andrea Metcalf shows us how to loosen tight hamstrings. The hamstring is a large muscle that starts at your bottom and heads down the back of your thighs. Here are some ways to loosen up tight hamstrings.
Exercises to Strengthen Hamstrings
First of all, test yourself on your hamstring flexibility. Stand upright with feet together. Then bend at the waist and see if you can reach your toes. If you cannot reach your piggy's, then your hamstrings are tight. This is a common problem among women but not insurmountable. The following exercises will help you loosen up and strengthen your hamstrings.
- Lie down flat on your back with feet together and knees upright. The ideal starting point for this exercise is to have your feet, knees and hips at a 45 degree angle (see video). With arms/hands on either side of you facing down, lift hips up and down for 20 repetitions or 20 times.
- After you have mastered the above exercise, instead, place your feet on a medicine ball instead of the ground. Lift hips up and down for 20 repetitions. This is a more advanced exercise which will require you to keep balanced while you do the pelvic tilts. But this is a good thing! Many other muscles will be recruited to complete the task.
- Finally, place the heels of your feet on top of the medicine ball and roll ball forward and back using heels, while lifting your hips. From experience I can tell you this is a killer, but in a good way! You can also do this with a larger body ball with the same effect. Be sure to watch Andrea Metcalf's demonstration for full benefits.
Weak hamstrings can lead to knee and hip problems. But with these exercises you can strengthen your hamstrings and become more flexible, keeping you feel and looking younger.