How To Do Modified Hurdler’s Stretch Properly

If you have tight hamstrings and would like to focus on one leg when training, the modified hurdler’s stretch is an ideal workout.

This simple stretch lets you focus on working out one leg, which is why it is a staple for many athletes.

It provides an excellent warm-up and cool-down exercising routine because of its focus on the hamstrings.

But you may not be aware of the history of its invention. The modified hurdler’s stretch solved the knee’s increasing strain with the conventional hurdler stretch.

When performing the hurdler stretch, the bent leg becomes unnatural, increasing the knee strain.

Many athletes avoid the hurdler stretch because it can be dangerous to the knee. On the other hand, the modified hurdler stretch keeps the knee out of harm’s way while still providing a helpful hamstring stretch.

This explains why it is an everyday workout routine for athletes.

Here are steps to perform the modified hurdler’s stretch safely and correctly.

  • Straighten your left leg while sitting on the floor
  • As you bend your right knee, place the sole of your right foot on the inside of your left thigh.
  • Fold your left leg over, but keep your back straight.
  • Keep this position for 30 minutes, then switch it over.

WHAT MUSCLES DO MODIFIED HURDLER’S STRETCH WORK?

Stretching and warming up before any physical activity is essential. Your exercise intensity will vary depending on how extensive your pre-stretching and post-stretching are.

While you take a few minutes and let go of the day’s tension by doing the modified hurdler’s stretch, you work the following muscles.

HAMSTRING

Your hamstrings are responsible for extending your hips backwards. It is the most significant movement when stretching.

People who engage in running or sprinting sports may experience tightness or injury in their hamstrings.

Thus, stretching these muscles makes it easy to run or walk because they become more flexible.

HIP FLEXORS

The hip flexors are a group of five muscles that work together to raise the leg up toward the body. But, their primary role is allowing hip flexion.

LOWER BACK MUSCLES

Lower back muscles stabilize, rotate, and stretch the spine during a modified hurdler’s stretch.

MODIFIED HURDLER’S STRETCH BENEFITS

The basic hurdler’s stretch gives you more than one benefit – all you should do is have a proper technique.

What are the benefits of this exercise?

FLEXIBILITY

Flexibility and range of motion in the hips improves with hamstring stretches. Both of these advantages will make it easier to walk and lean over.

ALLEVIATES LOWER BACK PAIN

When hamstrings are too tight, the pelvis moves less, which strains the lower back.

To avoid the hamstrings from getting overly tense, it is crucial to work on strengthening and stretching them.

LOWERS THE RISK OF INJURY

When engaging in rigorous physical activity like sprinting, it is essential to keep the hamstrings relaxed. It reduces the risk of muscular tension or damage, and the modified hurdler’s stretch is an excellent fit for this.

BETTER POSTURE

Having tight hamstrings causes backward rotation of the pelvis. The natural arch in the back flattens, resulting in bad posture while sitting and standing.

However, loosening the hamstrings corrects posture inadequacies.

ALTERNATIVES TO MODIFIED HURDLER’S STRETCH

There are several alternatives to the modified hurdler’s stretch, all centred on working the hamstrings.

The following variations loosen the hamstrings making them more flexible. Here they are.

LYING HAMSTRING STRETCH

  • Extend your legs fully out of you while lying flat on the ground or on a mat.
  • It’s a good idea to place your hands behind your right knee and slowly straighten your knee until it feels like it’s stretching.
  • Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat during the stretch.

LYING HAMSTRING STRETCH – STRAP VERSION

Everything is the same as in the original version, but the strap adds some spice – resistance – to the workout.

  • Extend your legs fully out of you while lying flat on the ground or on a mat.
  • Strap across the ball of your right foot while bending to lengthen your right leg.
  • Both hands should be on the strap.
  • Extend the left leg with the flexed foot on the ground. The thigh and calf should be pushed toward the floor by this.
  • The right foot should be flexed as you slowly stretch your right leg. A straight right leg with a slight bend in the knee, with the bottom of the foot facing up, is ideal for this exercise.
  • The hamstrings will begin to tense as the strap is gently pulled.
  • Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat during the stretch.
  • Repeat a total of two to four more times.

SITTING HAMSTRING STRETCH

  • Sit on the ground with your left knee bent and your foot facing inward to extend your right leg. It’s referred to as the butterfly pose.
  • Bring your right leg out in front of you, knee slightly bent.
  • Maintain a straight spine as you take a forward bend from the waist.
  • Hold the stretch for between 10 and 30 seconds, depending on how long you can hold it.
  • You can do this two or three times.

MODIFIED HURDLER’S STRETCH MISTAKES TO AVOID

The modified hurdler’s stretch is a safer exercise routine for an athlete. However, the following mistakes could make it very unsafe.

HOLDING YOUR BREATH

Conscious breathing enhances the effectiveness of stretching. The muscles become stiff and resistive when you hold your breath during stretching.

On the other hand, breathing boosts blood flow and provides the muscles with oxygen.

STRETCHING WITH INJURY

Contrary to popular perception, extending an injured muscle does not help it heal faster. Taking a break will help injured tissues recuperate.

BOUNCING WHEN STRETCHING

Pulled muscles might result from excessive bouncing during stretching. The muscle tenses up as a defence mechanism to prevent the stretch from working.

IMPROPER TECHNIQUE

Stretching incorrectly at the wrong moment is another common blunder. Stretching comes in various forms. You can avoid injuries by selecting the appropriate technique for your fitness level and activity.

CONCLUSION

The modified hurdler’s stretch is an excellent warm-up exercise for anyone eyeing athletic performance. A beginner hacks it like a pro with the correct technique – which is all you need. There is no special equipment needed to perform this workout.