Lay with your back flat on the ground and pull one of your legs towards you.
The PNF-Cycle should you’re going to perform look something like that:
Push for 10s into the resistance of the band.
Next, pull your leg with the band and your hip flexors towards you for another 10s.
Last but not least sink into the stretch and catch your breath.
You’re going to repeat this funny cycle for another 2 times after you made sure that you’re still breathing. Little Disclaimer – I lied to you it’s no fun at all. Expect you’re kind of masochist – maybe then.
You’ve probably seen this exercise before – some guy with weight rounding his spine enormously so that every unknowing would shout shocked at him: don’t do this it’s bad for your back!
Buuuut – it’s not. Done correctly the Jefferson Curl is a fantastic exercise for healthy hamstrings and a bendy spine.
In the beginning – don’t do this. It will save you a lot of pain and useless Stretching. Your limiting factor will be your hamstrings most of the time. In rounding your low back you are compensating and missing the target.
Later on, you can experiment with it to get deeper into positons. Or to add a more dynamic component to it.
If you’ve never done something like the Jefferson Curl it will be tricky in the beginning. Promised.
So start out slow and controlled. Start using weight* when you really figured out the movement pattern.
Never load a dysfunctional movement pattern
I think it was Kelly Starret who said that. True anyways
Your Posterior chain is extremely strong and explosive – these guys on your backside react very well to loaded stretches and high demands.
Schedule your Mobility Work
Give yourself some time, when done with your strength training, to work specifically on your worst mobility issues. It doesn’t have to be much time. 15-20 minutes should do the job totally. Done consistently these minutes go a long way.
How often should I work on my Pike Position?
How hard do you want it?
I wouldn’t do this routine more than 2 times a week. If you are serious – work without additional weights* and do some lighter more passive work.
You are in this mobility game for long-lasting benefits. Trying to skip the process will only get you injured.
Nonetheless, I would integrate some light exercises into your everyday life. Just do the three warmup movements as a desk break or after waking up.
A great pro-tip is it to stretch yourself in your set breaks. For example – I really like to stretch myself in between when working on L-Sits, or Hanging Leg Raises.
Think: ‘Movements – not Muscles’
I tried to use the term stretch your Hamstrings as less than possible.
Cause – your body doesn’t work in isolated muscles. And solely just one muscle is causing issues.
I know – it sounds just like some medical slang. But these small improvements in thinking go a long way.
A few words to wrap up this Post
I hope you could take a few points home with you.
Be free to try out every exercise and use the ones that work for you. What works for you can be very different from what worked for me. But fortunately, there are a few exercises with which you can’t go wrong. One example would be the basic Pike Stretch or the Jefferson Curl.
I just want to encourage you to try out as many exercises as possible. Being curious about that grants experience. Start out with my few favorite ones, so that you don’t get lost in the vast sea of mobility possibilities, and you should see good results. If you are on the lookout for many more, check out Thomas Kurz’s amazing book Stretching Scientifically*
What do you think about this routine? Did you try it out or do you have any questions? Please HMU! 🙂