“Tight hamstrings” is like gluten sensitivity: everyone thinks they have it, but no one really does.
There’s a big difference between tightness and tension…just watch.
Tension is something processed by nerves and results most often in a feeling of tightness; whereas actual tightness is more structural, meaning that something is constricted or not of an adequate length.
It is nearly impossible for this to be the case with your hamstrings because you wouldn’t be able to straighten your legs — or walk, for the matter.
Since your hamstrings aren’t actually tight — they’re tense — stop stretching them!
Do This Instead:
1. Loosen Foot Tension – Grab some kind of ball and roll your bare foot over it. Tension under our feet tends to build up and transfers up the leg making us feel like we have tight hamstrings.
2. Sciatic Nerve Flossing – Lie on your back, lift up your leg and hold onto the back of your knee. Straighten the leg and point the toes up and back towards your face. Flexing the foot back and forth stretches out the sciatic nerve which could be causing your discomfort and feeling of tightness.
3. Core-Activated Straight Leg Raise – Lie on your back and keep tension between your hands with a band (creating tension in the upper body “tricks” the nervous system into feeling that the body is more stable). Keeping the legs straight and the toes pulled back, raise your legs up and then lower and raise one at a time.
Give these magic movements a try. You’ll be surprised how quickly they can get you further down to your toes when you bend down!