Day 8 – The Pressed Ham

Stretching your hamstrings is not enough, you need to massage the tissues to increase the blood flow and release the knots that form in the muscles. I like to use a Yoga Tune Up® Alpha ball because it’s big and gets deep into the hamstring. Also the ball allows me to massage my muscles in ways that a foam roller can’t. Sit up on box or a bench and place the ball under the back of your leg. I like to move my leg side to side so the ball strums across the muscle fibers. I work from the attachments by the sitting bones down to the back of the knee. I also move from the inner to the outer thigh catching some adductors as well as the IT band.

The sciatic nerve runs through the hamstring so keep your leg relaxed and bent and stop rolling if you feel sudden tingling or numbness. Don’t be afraid to lean some weight into your leg with your hands if you find a good spot. I like to get an oblique vector on my hamstring and press down to plow the entire muscle mass off axis. Super intense and effective. Also you can try contracting and relaxing hamstring to get a PNF stretch.

Check in and check out with a standing forward bend. You should find that you have more range of motion after a good roll.

The rules for the Ball Fucking Harder Challenge are easy. First, I recommend getting some Yoga Tune Up® balls to roll on. All you have to do is post a pic or video of yourself doing the technique and tag me (@coachpanda). Use the hashtags #ballfuckingharder #30daypandachallenge #supplepandas #pandiculation. The challenge is even better when you share it with friends so tag your friends to play along.

Day 8 of 30. The Pressed Ham from Force Distance Time on Vimeo.

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