The Yoga Addiction
45: 3 Ways to Engage the Hamstrings
Vinyasa yoga has often been criticized for over-stretching the hamstrings as the practice tends to favor forward bends over backbends. Add in the modern-day desk job, sitting with knees bent and hips bent for hours a day--we often see some dysfunction in the hamstrings. In this episode, we break down the hamstrings in terms of isometric, eccentric and concentric work that we can do in a yoga class. Considering muscular action in this way can be very helpful in creating new variations and sensations in the body, and restoring healthy function to the hamstrings.
// IN THIS EPISODE //
- Where are the hamstrings and what do they do? (6:36)
- Hamstring tension that comes around from a desk job that requires sitting on the hamstring tendon all day (8:04)
- From an Ashtanga Vinyasa background, there is some debate about the higher ratio of forward bends to backbends, and hence overly-stretched hamstrings (16:09)
- Nat's ability to fold forward reduced as she sits (18:20)
- Low back pain and the hamstrings (20:14)
- What are isometric, concentric and eccentric muscle contractions? (26:13)
- Isometric hamstring contraction in (34:20)...
2) Laying Supine
3) One-Legged Downward Facing Dog
4) Bird Dog
5) Transition from One-Legged Down Dog to Warrior 3
6) Warrior 3
- Eccentric hamstring contraction in (47:13)...
1) Forward Fold (Uttanasana) lowering really slow
2) Flowing slowly in and out of parsvottanasana
- Concentric hamstring contraction in (55:13)...
1) Standing on one leg, flex knee then extend hip (tap knees)
2) Standing on one leg, flex knee then extend hip, then lower chest to Warrior 3
3) From Down Dog, squeeze knee to chest and heel to butt, then push back to Down Dog extend hip without losing flex knee
4) Table top - one leg up, put a block in the hamstring and hold it with the bent knee
// RESOURCES & LINKS //
Brought to you by Natalie Senger and Sandy Huen of The Yoga Addiction