No matter how flexible you are, there is always room for improvement unless you're a contortionist, in which case, your hamstring flexibility is probably on point. For all the non-contortionists out there, this fast stretching workout can help you loosen up one of the stiffest parts of your body, which will enable you to perform a variety of everyday tasks easier and in more comfort.
Can you touch your toes? Probably not, just like the majority of people. And that's sad as a more flexible hamstring would not only enable you to feel more comfortable, but it can even increase hamstring muscle performance. Another study concluded that "after four weeks of stretching, there was a statistically significant improvement in hamstring length using active stretches."
Interested but not sure where to start? How about giving this 6-minute hamstring and quadriceps (front of the thighs) stretching workout a try? Not all exercises are beginner moves, but you can always adapt them to your skill levels. Can't do splits? Do runner's lunges instead.
Once you are finished with the below workout, check out these FightCamp blog posts: What is strength conditioning? and An advanced shadowboxing workout to step up your boxing game. Why FightCamp? Because they provided the readers of T3 with the stretching workout, of course!
Are you ready to get flexible? Watch the exclusive video below presented by always positive Raquel "Rocky" Harris!
How to this 6-minute hamstring stretching workout
This stretching workout is fast and straightforward: there are only five exercises performed without a break, back-to-back, so to say. Rocky recommends using a wall for some of the moves, and we'd hope everyone has a wall they can use for this kind of activity.
Here are the exercises:
- Standing Hamstring Stretch (30 seconds on each side): Facing your wall or bag, lift up one knee in front of your opposite hip, abduct away and extend your leg simultaneously. Place your heel on the wall with your leg extended in front of you. To deepen the stretch, turn the standing leg 45 degrees outwards.
- Front Quad/Hip Stretch (30 seconds on each side): From a standing position, face away from the wall. Next, lift your knee up to your side then adduct towards your spine. Next, extend your leg upward towards the ceiling and place your instep on the wall. Bend down and extend your standing leg to lengthen the stretch.
- Seated Hamstring Stretch (60 seconds): From a seated position, extend your legs out in front of you. Inhale, on exhale reach your hands forward and lower your cheek, neck, then head to your knees.
- Middle Split (60 seconds): Start standing. Bend forward and place your hands on the floor. Next, use your feet to slide your legs parallel into a straddle position. Transition onto your forearms to deepen the stretch.
- Side Split (60 seconds): Start in a kneeling position with hands to either side of you. Next press your hips towards your glutes and transition onto your front heel. Extend your front leg then use your heel to slide the front leg forward into a side split.
In the video, Rocky says you can perform the workout as many times as you wish; however, we would advise everyone to be careful as you can easily overexert the hamstrings/quads by stretching them for too long.
It's also worth mentioning that some of the stretching exercises in this workout are advanced moves, and you shouldn't try replicating them if you haven't got enough strength and/or flexibility. Be sensible.
T3 x FightCamp workouts
We have a massive library of FightCamp workouts on T3, all with follow-along videos that you should most certainly check out. Please find the full list below:
- 10-minute medicine ball workout by the talented PJ Sheridan
- 10-minute jump rope workout by the awesome Tommy Duquette
- 12-minute boxing full-body workout, also by Tommy
- 10-minute kickboxer’s warm-up drill by the ever so flexible Aaron ‘Speedy' Swenson
- 8-minute core workout (bodyweight exercises only) by the skilful Flo Master
- 20-minute kickboxer strength and flexibility full-body workout, also by Flo Master
- 10-minute core workout to accentuate your six-pack and increase mobility by the brilliant Coach PJ
- Fast-paced boxing HIIT workout by the peppy Coach Rocky
- Another 10-minute core workout by the always inspiring Shanie "Smash" Rusth
- 200-rep kettlebell full-body workout, also by Shanie
- MMA-style full-body conditioning workout by Shanie
- 7-minute boxing footwork workout, by Jess "Pocket Rocket" Evans
- 20-minute full-body boxing HIIT workout by Flo Master