PNF Hamstring Stretch
What we’re going to do, is we’re going to use her. Julianne has run track. She’s a cheerleader, and so she has a tendency to be tight in her hamstrings as well. Like I said, she spent a lot of time in school at a desk. Even though I’m a chiropractor, my kids don’t always sit with the best posture, so I’ve got to constantly remind them about that. So, the way we’re going to do the stretch, is we’re going to use two different ways to do the stretch. We can do both legs at once, or we can isolate, sorry, we can isolate one leg at a time.
We’re going to start out doing both legs, and so what I’m going to have Julianne do, and Julianne, she’s going to tend to be pretty flexible, and there will be compensations that she’ll do, to actually get more stretch faster, so I’m going to really hold you to exactly what I’m asking you to do.
What I want you to do, is I want you to put your hands on the front of your legs, and ride the front of your legs, going down with your hands until you feel any kind of tension at all on those hamstrings. So go ahead and do that now, and as soon as you feel tension, I want you to stop.
Okay, and so she’s going to feel the tension in both hamstrings. I want you to put the weight of your body on your legs, on your hands, and just hold that. And so, we want to hold that tension for 10 seconds, and at the end of that 10 seconds, she’s going to tighten up both hamstrings lightly. So, go ahead and tighten those hamstrings for a three count, two count, one count, and then relax the hamstrings. Stay right there with your weight on your legs until you feel it relax, and then go down further, until you feel it tighten up again.
Sshe says she feels that because she made a noise there, and so again, she’s … Go ahead and back off a little bit. Come back out of the stretch. Put your hands right there. So, you don’t want it to be overstretched. You want to maximize the stretch, but you don’t want to overstretch, because the muscles will have a tendency to protect themselves. The muscle spindle cells and the Golgi tendon organs are going to try to protect that muscle, so it won’t let you go any further, because it’s trying to prevent ripping and tearing overstretching.
So again, she’s been there for at least 10 seconds. Again, we want to go back into that hamstring, tighten those hamstrings up, which will extend the knee when she does it. She’s going to do that for a three count. I want you to take a big, deep breath too, okay? And then, at the end of that three counts, she’s going to relax it, and then go down further again until it feels like you’re stretching, but not overstretching.
Can you put your weight on your leg? There you go. And this is the last one. So, I start and finish with a stretch, and then the last thing I want you to do Julianne, is I want you to bend your knees slightly as you’re coming out of it, and then go ahead and come on up. There you go. So, before you come up, you don’t want to take a fully stretched muscle and load it, so you want to bend the knees, and squat the hips, and then stand back up.
So this is what I want you to do next, I want you to put your bottom right here, sitting facing that way, please. So swing that way, okay? And now you’re going to swing more, and bring this leg up on the table, leaving the right leg on the ground, right? So, and you can move your hips a little bit to the side. So, this is a way to isolate, if you have one leg that tends to be tighter than the other one, it’s a way to isolate that one hamstring. She’s going to do exactly the same thing she just did on the standing stretch.
I want you to put both hands on this leg, on top of the other. All right, and then you’re going to keep your back really straight, and you’re going to lean forward until you feel it tightening up in that hamstring, and as soon as it tightens up in that hamstring, you stop. Okay? Good. Make sure you taking a nice, quality breath. Good. And you’re going to hold that for 10 seconds. You can even lean on your arms if you want to. So put the weight on your arm, and at the end of that 10 seconds, you’re going to tighten that hamstring. So squeeze that hamstring back here, which will straighten the knee. You’re going to do that for how long?
Three seconds, that’s right. Okay, and then relax it, allow it to relax, or allow everything to relax, and then move further into the stretch. There you go. Okay, and she went just a little bit, and so again, just fall into your hands, carry your weight, like that, and then you want to just allow that to relax as much as possible. Now for me, I’m not near this flexible. I used to be, but I’m not near this flexible, and so when I’m doing this, it’s going to take me a lot longer to get here. And then the last one, you want to tighten up that hamstring again. Good job. And then the last big stretch, see how far you can go. Nice. Okay, and so that’s a really good stretch, and she’s going to hold this one for a 10 count as well, and at the end of that 10 counts, I want you to walk your hands back up towards sitting.
If you want to learn more about how to do stretches properly, how we teach them here at Whole Body Health, using PNF stretching, check our links below, and look forward to helping you.