Which hamstrings stretching techniques should you start with?
The Zaichik Stretching Techniques (ZST’s) called “Peace”, is responsible for thousands upon thousands flexible hamstrings around the world. Peace targets both the medial and the lateral hamstrings, and takes advantage of the fact that the hamstrings is a flexor of the knee and extensor of the hip, no rotation takes place when performing this ZST.
It’s an important and necessary stretch for fast hamstrings flexibility. However, it’s a technique that takes a few attempts to get a feel for and learn how to do it properly. The biggest challenge of this technique is that there are two joints to be moved the hip and the knee. Joints have to be moved in proper relation to each other to allow the muscle to lengthen.
The simplest way to understand this technique is to start either standing with a foot resting on a chair or lifted object, or to do this sitting. While this technique is extremely effective when performed in a supine position or while lying down on the back, and the back is taken out of the equation while in supine position, the technique is more challenging to understand, while on the back and thus more difficult to perform at first. The actions of the joints are a lot more clearer, when a person is sitting or standing. In supine position its very easy to confuse the extension of the knee with extension of the hip and the knee together, and flexion of the hip with, again extension of the knee and the hip together. Any three of these actions can be used (just the knee extension, just the hip flexion, or the knee and hip movement together).
Mistakes are often made such as moving the leverage out of the stretch instead of into the stretch, moving the leverage too far back as there’s movement into the target, target and leverage is moved at the same time, and so on. In standing or sitting position usually dropping the knee down into straight leg vs flexing the hips are used as target and leverage. Either dropping the knee down or moving the body toward the leg can be used as target of leverage. Most beginners prefer to drop the knee as leverage and move the body forward as a target, this is simply because most people understand hamstring flexibility as moving the torso towards the legs, and thus both visually and kinesthetically this becomes their desired target.