The Best Hamstring Stretch Ever

May 6, 2013

The truth is that the whatever hamstring assessment has led you to believe they are tight is flawed for 2 reasons (see Sparta Point)
  1. The flexibility test itself is bad.
  2. It is not just your hamstrings that are tight.

Thankfully there is a stretch you can "test" yourself on every day, and it improves more than just your hamstrings.

The Stretch is Global...Like Everything

The Heel Press is more than just a hamstring stretch. It is a specific exercise that focuses on maintaining posture and stability through the spine and torso while challenging range of motion through the entire posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, calves, and feet). This principle fits perfectly into the flexibility philosophy that we discussed last week (see Sparta Point).

While this exercise may seem very simple, the attention that is given to quality execution is what makes it so valuable. The awareness to separate upper body posture from lower body range of motion is a fundamental concept that carries over into every movement that athletes perform.

Whether a sprint, deadlift, or vertical jump, the heel press reinforces body control and range of motion through the entire posterior chain, especially for those lacking DRIVE in their movement signatureTM

The Video

Coaching Keys:

  • Start in a perfect push up position - engage abs and lock in your torso
  • Push the hips up and back as far as you can without losing spinal position
  • Cross one leg over and raise tall on the toe and sink deep in the heel
  • Always maintain control of the low back, thoracic spine, and neck position

When you take a deeper look at the intricacies of the heel press, you will see that it is way more than just a great calf and hamstring stretch. It is really a foundational learning tool for understanding the effects of angles on force production (GRF) and movement signaturesTM.

Check back next week for The Best Hip Stretch Ever.

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