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15 Yoga Poses to Stretch Your Tight Hamstrings

You don’t want to exercise with any muscle groups feeling tight. That’s why it’s advantageous to incorporate yoga into your regimen. 

You can practice yoga before doing cardio or lifting weights so that you’re more flexible for the remainder of your workout. Specifically, it would be wise to target hamstrings so that you don’t accidentally pull something. 

Yoga and Your Hamstrings

There are specific poses that target your hamstrings. Some may be easier for you than others, so it’s a good idea to try a bunch of them out to see which ones work best for you.

The Best Yoga Poses for Tight Hamstrings

Try the following poses to get relief in your hamstrings. You can even get a partner involved if you’re worried about how far you can stretch on your own.

15. Downward Facing Dog Pose

You can target your hamstrings with this pose by bending one knee toward the ground. It stretches out the hamstring in the other leg. It also strengthens your arms if you’re looking to add definition there. 

This is also a great warmup pose before you start your main yoga stretches. 

14. Standing Forward Bend

This stretch effectively calls you to touch the ground while standing. It stretches your hamstrings while also stimulating your kidneys and liver.

13. Reclined Big Toe Pose

You’ll need a yoga strap to accomplish this pose. It allows your toe to shoot straight up into the air, which is great for relieving headaches. 

12. Intense Side Stretch Pose

You need to be careful about how you move your spine with this pose. When done correctly, it improves both digestion and balance. If you need help getting into the right position, you can slightly bend your front leg. 

11. Half Splits

While one knee touches the ground, you extend the other leg forward as you would a split. The same way you would feel a burn in both legs with a full split, you only feel it in one with this pose.

10. Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend

All your feet and hands will touch the ground in this pose. It’s ideal if you suffer from tight hips or hamstrings. Bend your knees slightly if you need to ease it somewhat to be more comfortable.

9. Head to Knee Pose

For this pose, start in the staff pose with your legs extended. Move your hands behind your hips so that your palms are flat on the mat. 

Inhale deeply to lengthen your spine, pulling one knee toward your body. Lower the other leg down so that the outside of your leg rests flat on the floor. 

8. Seated Forward Bend

The seated forward bend is a foundational pose that’s great for calming the mind and stretching out your shoulders, spine, and hamstrings. For individuals with longer hamstrings, the pose will come more naturally. 

7. Triangle Pose

This beginner pose targets the hamstrings while also forcing you to work on your balance.

6. Pyramid Pose

The pyramid pose consists of a deep forward fold that stretches the hamstrings and hip muscles. Since it follows tight parameters, you must mindfully cultivate strength and stability.

5. Standing Split

As a more intermediate pose, the standing split stretches practically the entire backside of your body, including your hamstrings. 

4. Monkey Pose

This is effectively a seated version of the front splits. Both legs are extended, forcing you to relieve tension in your hamstrings.

3. Standing Split

Meanwhile, a standing split forces one foot to hit the floor while the other’s extended into the air. It’s the same basic stretch but for people who want to challenge themselves. 

2. Standing Big Toe Pose

You challenge your balance with this pose, all while relieving the buildup in tension behind your legs. 

1. Heron Pose

The heron pose asks you to bend one knee while taking hold of that foot with both hands. You then firm your shoulder blades on your back, open your chest, and inhale to straighten the leg while keeping the spine long. 

Relieve Tight Hamstrings Today

If you regularly feel pain on any part of your body, from the hamstrings to the tailbone, there’s a yoga stretch out there for you. It's important to relieve your tight hamstrings, because these could lead to more serious issues like knee pain.

Talk to a professional if you need any guidance, and you can soon be on your way to feeling much better after your workouts.


Pizer, Ann. “20 Ways to Stretch Your Hamstrings With Yoga.” Very Well Fit, 15 Jan. 2020.