Hamstring Stretch Goals – HOW FAR SHOULD YOU GO?

For the splits the goal is easy to understand: 180 degree split, with one leg is in straight line with the other.

But what is the optimal or maximum goal for the hamstrings or the hamstring?

It is known that there are variations in ratio between the torso and the legs.

Just because one person can do something as far as hamstring stretch is concerned, does that mean that another person can achieve the same thing? And what is that optimal achievement there?

The short answer is: When you are working on your hamstring flexibility, to bend forward in half with straight body.

In other words, bending at your back and touching your head to your knees with straight legs it’s not the same as touching your whole leg with your whole front of the torso.

In the second example where the body is straight there is a greater demonstration of hamstring stretching results as opposed to when the spine is severely flexed or curved forward.

Hamstrings Intermediate

Enjoy a complete follow-along workout for fast hamstrings flexibility tailored for intermediate students. A lot of people hold back because of a purely psychological barrier or as runners like to call it – ‘when they hit the wall’. But we’ll help you push through this and overcome every obstacle along the way! 

You can count on Zaichik Stretching to connect you to your own body and mind. You’ll start to understand your body language and correctly assess your capabilities to know just how far you can go.

How far can I get my head to my feet?

Another common question that comes up is: “How far can I get my head to my feet? Can everyone do that? I’ve seen people do that, but maybe I just have long legs and short torso. I can get flexible. But, no matter what I do, I will not get my head to my toes?”

I recall during one of my seminars, a student was sitting on the floor with her legs straight. She bent forward and touched her head to her toes. Another student looking at her, said “I could never do that, I have long legs”.

However, during one of the shoots, several years later, one of the models who was very flexible and had long legs, was able to place her body completely flat on her legs. She was not able to touch the top of her head to her toes. And she assured me that she will never be able to do that. But the distance between her head and her toes was minimal. I told her that if she were to improve her ankle flexibility she would then be able to place her head on her toes.

Zaichik Stretching Techniques

In the EasyFlexibility system we have special stretching techniques known as ZST’s (Zaichik Stretching Techniques). One of these techniques called ~Harmony~ ZST was a perfect fit for this person’s issues. I had her do 5 rounds of ~Harmony~ ZST followed by supporting exercises. Lo and behold, as I have explained to her earlier, she was able to touch her toes with the top of her head.

So, for example in standing position which we did not test with her only sitting, any person with very flexible hamstrings should be able to place their head very close to the floor.

If you want to take your flexibility to the maximum level, going beyond touching your knees to your head, or touching your head to your shin just below the knees, touching your toes with the top of your head would be your next goal.

To learn more about forward bends and how to perfect your hamstrings flexibility, we invite you to register for our EasyForward Bend Online Training Certification Course. This course goes in depths into everything you need to do to be able to do, and teach others to do perfect forward bends.

The purpose of this certification is to learn how to master and teach a PROPER COMPLETE forward bend or forward fold.

What is a proper and complete forward bend or forward fold?
 This is when your spine is absolutely straight and the whole flexibility of the forward bend comes from your hips. This is learning how to not simply touch your fingers to your toes not touch your head to your knees but your whole straight torso from your stomach to your chest is making full contact with your straight legs without any gap.

In this course you will learn Zaichik Stretching Techniques for each muscle group, level by level. Zaichik Stretching Techniques allow you to see the progress with every training session. You will also learn a variety of specialty proprietary supporting exercises, that develop the strength, and help the body to adapt to newly and newly founded freedom in your hamstrings.

The EASY Forward Bending Certification Course is unique in that its the first certification that comes with animated as well as human demonstrations of Zaichik Stretching Techniques to make sure that you do them optimally and get the most benefits.

This certification course will help you to lengthen your muscles one by one to quickly develop and support flexibility necessary to do a perfect, beautiful, straight back, head to feet, forward bends.

Can My Hamstrings Get Flexible Without Stretching?

I heard that you can get your hamstring flexible without stretching it. Is that true?

Many people are interested in the hamstring flexibility and this question of “Can my hamstrings get flexible without stretching?” has been asked numerous times over the years.

Just last week someone asked me this question. To which I had my own question. “If you are not going to stretch your muscles, what are you going to do, to get them flexible?”

If you are not going to stretch your muscles, what are you going to do, to get them flexible?

Some people believe that it is possible to get hamstrings flexibility simply by doing relaxation, mediation and breathing exercises. Others believe that massage will loosen up the hamstrings without stretching them. Still others believe that sitting in warm water with Epsom salt will loosen up the hamstrings. Or that doing range of motion exercises, strength exercises, etc, will loosen up the hamstrings.

So this individual told me that he heard that it’s the range of motion exercises that can get the hamstrings flexible without stretching them.

I was curious to see what he meant by stretching the hamstrings. Was it passive stretching, partner stretching, pnf stretching, ZST stretching, dynamic stretching? Not all stretching is the same.

I wanted to ask him what he meant by range of motion exercises. Because, in the EasyFlexibility system, range of motion exercises, such as a deadlift is different than a downward facing dog walk or L-inching.

Hamstrings Intermediate

Enjoy a complete follow-along workout for fast hamstrings flexibility tailored for intermediate students. A lot of people hold back because of a purely psychological barrier or as runners like to call it – ‘when they hit the wall’. But we’ll help you push through this and overcome every obstacle along the way! 

You can count on Zaichik Stretching to connect you to your own body and mind. You’ll start to understand your body language and correctly assess your capabilities to know just how far you can go.

If you want to improve your flexibility as fast as possible you would combine stretching exercises with supporting exercises.

If you familiar with how EasyFlexibility system was created, you would know that the ZST’s (Zaichik Stretching Techniques) came first, later on we developed the supporting exercises. The combination of the ZST’s together with, let’s call them “range of motion” techniques, for the sake of answering the direct question that was asked, gave better results than just the Zaichik Stretching Techniques.

We also tested it the other way to see what happens if a person does just the range of motion techniques without the Zaichik Stretching Techniques.

There were results. People in that test group did get more flexible from various range of motion exercises that were selected specifically for each muscle group. But ZST’s combined with the range of motion exercises, outperformed just the range of motion exercises. So, in conclusion it was determined that ZST’s are not as effective without the supporting exercises. And the “range of motion” exercises are not as effective without the ZST’s.

So the answer to this question is this: If you want to improve your flexibility as fast as possible you would combine stretching exercises with supporting exercises. This applies to hamstrings and all other muscles as well.

The EasyForward Bend – Hamstrings Flexibility Online Training Certification Course has just been released, after years of rigorous testing. If you would like to take your hamstrings flexibility to the next level, and teach the EasyFlexibility system to your students please take a look:

The purpose of this certification is to learn how to master and teach a PROPER COMPLETE forward bend or forward fold.

What is a proper and complete forward bend or forward fold?
 This is when your spine is absolutely straight and the whole flexibility of the forward bend comes from your hips. This is learning how to not simply touch your fingers to your toes not touch your head to your knees but your whole straight torso from your stomach to your chest is making full contact with your straight legs without any gap.

In this course you will learn Zaichik Stretching Techniques for each muscle group, level by level. Zaichik Stretching Techniques allow you to see the progress with every training session. You will also learn a variety of specialty proprietary supporting exercises, that develop the strength, and help the body to adapt to newly and newly founded freedom in your hamstrings.

The EASY Forward Bending Certification Course is unique in that its the first certification that comes with animated as well as human demonstrations of Zaichik Stretching Techniques to make sure that you do them optimally and get the most benefits.

This certification course will help you to lengthen your muscles one by one to quickly develop and support flexibility necessary to do a perfect, beautiful, straight back, head to feet, forward bends.

L-Inching Excellent Hamstring Flexibility Retention and Utilization Technique

Stretching alone is NOT enough!

If you’re familiar with the EasyFlexibility system, you know that stretching alone is not enough. Even if you get flexible with Zaichik Stretching Techniques, you want to retain that flexibility for the next training session. Retaining flexibility is a huge component of any of the EasyFlexibility programs.

Retaining hamstrings flexibility has always been a big challenge and it has been a big issue for many people whom we were testing in our research for the EASYFORWARD BEND certification program.

While Zaichik Stretching Techniques allow for very quick flexibility gains, retention exercises which are part of the EasyFlexibility programs are just as important. If someone is only doing the ZST’s without the supporting retention exercises the flexibility gained will not be retained for the next session. This is why we have developed proprietary supporting exercises to help you not only quickly gain flexibility but retain it as well.

To get fast progress you need to start a little bit more flexible at the start of each session and end up a little bit more flexible than you did in the previous session, then you get fast results.

Hamstrings Intermediate

Enjoy a complete follow-along workout for fast hamstrings flexibility tailored for intermediate students. A lot of people hold back because of a purely psychological barrier or as runners like to call it – ‘when they hit the wall’. But we’ll help you push through this and overcome every obstacle along the way! 

You can count on Zaichik Stretching to connect you to your own body and mind. You’ll start to understand your body language and correctly assess your capabilities to know just how far you can go.

Hamstrings are very flexibility resistant.

Hamstrings are very flexibility resistant. If you do stretching exercises that lengthen your hamstrings and then sit down for a long period of time, or stand for a long period of time you will lose the flexibility gained. What will happen is your hamstrings will shorten at the knee or at the hip due to prolonged sitting or standing.

To prevent that from happening the body has to use the flexibility it has gotten in the training session. Movement and Habituation Techniques together with strength techniques such as Extended Length Conditioning and Short Range Conditioning Techniques help to retain flexibility gained.

These techniques teach your body to accept new ranges of flexibility

These techniques teach your body to accept new ranges of flexibility by sending a message that the new range is now normal for the body. They tell your body that “this is your new range. You are comfortable in this new length. It is not just something you get after stretching, but you can actually operate in it.”

These techniques allow your body to understand this. And the range of motion becomes new active range of motion. New deeper range of motion, in which the body can move. This, of course works not only for the hamstrings but for any muscle group.

Try this special L-Inching technique to retain your flexibility!

Today we would like to present to you one of the techniques that we’ve developed for the EASYFORWARD BEND Certification Training Course. We have tested many techniques and left the most effective ones for each level. The EASYFORWARD BEND course contains 4 levels from Beginner to Very Advanced.

This technique is very simple but it was tested to be very effective as of retention technique.

Here’s how you do this hamstrings technique to retain your flexibility!

Sit down with your legs in front of you

Begin to inch forward by “walking” your pelvis

Place your pelvis on the right side forward. Your right leg will move forward a little bit.

Do the same thing on the left side.

Repeat the same movement alternating sides

Keep moving forward and then repeat the movement by moving backward in the same fashion.

It will seem that when you perform this technique nothing happens. It will look as if you are not changing any position of your hip or the length of your hamstring, but you do.

Because every time your right leg goes forward your left leg’s lateral hamstring, gets a little bit more stretched. And then it contracts from that position, but it doesn’t contract forcefully it’s more of a movement type technique to get familiarized.

The goal is not to try to stretch very deep here the goal is to move in a new range that has been developed from just practicing ZST’s.

Here’s how to properly use the L-Inching technique for maximum flexibility retention.

So, if you are working on your forward bends, and increasing your hamstrings flexibility regardless of how flexible you are this technique will help to retain your flexibility. This technique is adjustable. You can adjust the position of your torso. You can adjust the angle of your knees. You can adjust if your feet are pointing or pulled back to your comfort level.

This technique can be done by inching your legs forward and back 4 – 6 times in each direction. And after doing this a few times Intermixed with your stretching techniques you will notice that your flexibility retention increases.

Not only will your retention increase but your flexibility gains will also increase.

Try this technique and let us know how it goes in the comments below.

Choose Your Hamstrings Flexibility Program and Take Your Skills to the Next Level!!!

Hamstrings Beginner Level Program

Most people simply don’t know where to start when it comes to working on hamstrings flexibility. It’s tough being a beginner and that applies to every field. But that’s why we’re here to help!

Our highly-structured program works with people to guide them down the path of least resistance for visible, lasting and fast resThis is the surest, fastest way for beginners to start seeing some results immediately after starting.

Hamstrings Intermediate Level Program

Each of the exercises in the package targets a specific group of muscles for an optimally balanced workout. This allows for even spread of the applied pressure and ensures your entire body actively participates in the routine. We’ll help you work your way to success – one sweat at a time.

Our carefully structured routine prepares the body for what’s coming next by relaxing, stretching and flexing all muscles individually. If you’re committed to a goal you’ll do the smart thing and do it right – from start to finish. No excuses!

Hamstrings Advanced Level program

The Advanced Hamstrings routine is for those of you who are familiar with the Zaichik Stretching techniques and can comfortably implement the routine. It takes things up a notch by introducing muscle contraction in addition to muscle action for an even more intense workout.

Our Advanced Hamstrings program helps you develop full control and strength of the hip. This is the surest way to nail it the next time you’re put in the spotlight!

Hamstrings Double Stretch Program

Testing the flexibility of both hamstrings at the same time has been known as the standard bench mark of flexibility for generations. In yoga this position is practiced standing, sitting, laying down, etc. Here is a list of some of them.

The challenge here is obvious. Two legs have to be stretched at the same time, with all the muscles restricting the hip flexion, are now times two. Because of such a high resistance, trying to master double hamstrings stretch incorrectly, will force the more flexible part of the body to give, and unfortunately that is the lower back.

Arabesque Analysis

Arabesque Analysis: On the left, you see a picture of a beginner’s arabesque. And this
is a technique we are going to analyze. And for comparison, you’re seeing an
advanced student performing an arabesque on the right.

This analysis will answer the question “what is the
beginner lacking, in terms of strength and flexibility, to
improve her arabesque to the point where it looks like the one on the
right?”

First, let’s take a look at the hip joint.

You can see that the hip joint is not turned out.

So the muscles that need to be strong enough to turn it out are:

  • The deep six lateral rotators and ,

Notice that there are other muscles that turn out the hip but in hyperextended position like this, the hyperextension nullifies the action of turning out.

Arabesque Analysis

  • The gluteus maximus

In other words, for example, Sartorius turns out the hip but it would not work here because it is also flexor of the hip.

Want to learn how to do a perfect Arabesque?
Then checkout our Arabesque Strength & Flexibility Online Training Program!

Arabesque Analysis

Let’s take a look at the muscles that will prevent the turnout. Now, in this position, adductors are very important. All adductors are middle rotators, and the fact that adductors also flex the hip, put some indirect confrontation with this position.

In other words, we need hyperextended hip and we need a turnout.

The muscles turn in and flex. So all adductors need to be flexible to allow this to happen. This means adductors magnus, longus, brevis; and gracilis.

Next is pectineus.
Just like the upper adductors, it flexes the hip, it medially rotates the hip. So we would need a flexible pectineus to externally rotate the hip and hyperextend the hip.

Arabesque Analysis

Next is the psoas and the iliacus.

Both of these muscles are strong flexors, and although they’re weak lateral rotators, they still need to be stretched to allow the hyperextension of the hip.

Arabesque Analysis

Next is tensor fascia lata (TFL), this muscle also flexes the hip. While it is an adductor, it will keep the hip squared and we go into pure hyperextension. This muscle needs to be flexible because it’s also a medial rotator.

Arabesque Analysis

rectus femoris, while being a weak lateral rotator, it is a flexor of the hip but it is also an extensor of the knee. So with lateral rotation, and the fact that the knee is extended and the leg is kept straight, rectus femoris needs a little bit of flexibility here but not a lot.

Arabesque Analysis

Arabesque Analysis
Arabesque Analysis

Arabesque does rely on the Sartorius not as much as other muscles, like pectineus for example, but still to a pretty high degree.

It’s important to remember that, unless the ligaments are stretched, it is not possible to bring the leg to a horizontal line.

Arabesque Analysis

In general, acceptable range is up to 30 degrees, in most people, which means that, when the leg goes to parallel, there is a tilt of the pelvis.

Arabesque Analysis
Arabesque Analysis

This stretches the hamstrings muscle but not only stretches the hamstrings muscles, hamstrings must also contract in its long range.

Arabesque Analysis

This is called the eccentric contraction—when the muscles contract and lengthen at the same time. The axial fibers of the adductor magnus are also involved in this together with the hamstrings.

Arabesque Analysis

And now, because the center of gravity shifts to the side over the base of support, the abductors also contract—gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.

Arabesque Analysis
Arabesque Analysis

Want to learn how to do a perfect Arabesque?
Then checkout our Arabesque Strength & Flexibility Online Training Program!

Now, let’s talk about the core: the muscles that hyperextend the spine and the muscles in front of the body that needs to be flexible for the back to hyperextend.

Arabesque Analysis

With very few exceptions of extremely hyperflexible athletes, most people will need the back extensor flexibility, in addition to the leg flexibility, to keep the torso vertical while the leg is
horizontal.

Arabesque Analysis

The flexibility of rectusabdominis and the oblique muscles is important to allow the back to hyperextend unopposed.

Arabesque Analysis

Now, the muscle that is not always present—some people have it and some people don’t—is psoas minor.

Arabesque Analysis

Psoas minor also flexes the spinal column. Unless if you have it, you need flexibility of this muscle to hyperextend the spine.

Arabesque Analysis

Just by looking at the picture of a beginner student, we cannot know if she is lacking flexibility or she is lacking strength or both. This is because she might be able to do a good cover where her body is flexible enough at the spine and yet not have the strength to hold the body up.

The muscles that allow the torso to be vertical by contracting in the back are the extensors of the spine. These are the muscles that run on both sides of the spine, and when they contract, the spine extends or hyperextends.

Arabesque Analysis

The quadratus lumborum. This muscle is known for laterally flexing the trunk side to side, however it also assist in hyperextension.

Arabesque Analysis

And finally, latissimus dorsi. A lot of people don’t know this but, the way latissimus dorsi is attached, it can assist in hyperextension of the spine.

Arabesque Analysis

As a matter of fact, some people get cramps in latissimus dorsi and don’t understand why. But the reason is because the body cannot rely on the spinal extensors if they are too weak in that range or on quadratus lumborum. But if a person has a developed latissimus dorsi or lats, the body is trying to use that muscle. But it is not designed ideally for that position and thus, people get cramps.

Arabesque Analysis
Arabesque Analysis

Please notice that this isn’t overall kinesiological analysis. If tested closely, we might see that the beginner student might have some flexibility in some of the muscles or may need on all of the muscles mentioned. She might have strength in some of the muscles or she might have strength in none of the muscles in that range.

The overall takeaway is, if she develops strength in all the muscles mentioned and flexibility in all the muscles mentioned, she will be able to do a perfect arabesque just like the model on the right.

Want to learn how to do a perfect Arabesque?
Then checkout our Arabesque Strength & Flexibility Online Training Program!

Arabesque Analysis
Arabesque Analysis

Want to get Certified to Teach our program to your students?
Checkout our Arabesque Certification Training Online Seminar:

Read More: https://easyflexibilityblog.com/2022/01/27/front-rack-position-anatomy/