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46,222 2/24/12 12:04 A
I have suffered from chronic tightness of my hammies for many years (mostly due to running) and I find using a foam roller for myofascial release is one of the best tools for loosening them up. I have also included the link to SparkPeople stretch demos you may want to try. Just remember, just like strength training, you want to focus on stretching your opposing muscle groups, which means your quads. And because are muscles are intertwined with fascia, working on stretches for your back and glutes and calves, whether with a foam roller or manually should help, too.
You'd be best to do whole body yoga or stretching, not just focus in one area.
Your hamstrings will never get longer - what you're actually aiming for is that they are able to move further across the knee and hip joints. You don't actually lengthen anything with stretching (think of a rubber band - it never ends up longer no matter how much you stretch it).
Hamstring stretches can be done by placing one foot out in front of you and pointing the toes up, then with a straight leg and straight back, reach down and attempt to touch those toes. If you can touch them, move your hand even further till you feel the stretch.
Don't forget to do the whole body though - everywhere will benefit from a good stretching routine. :)
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