The methodologies of achieving flexibility are being re-evaluated. Although stsatic stretch may work for some people, others may find thata passive stretch of a cold muscle will have only minimal benefits.
A few methods may be helpful. Active warm up of the muscle to be stretched can be effective. In the case of the hamstrings, simply taking the leg from a bent to atstraight position a few times, prior to holding the stretch, will create some warmth in the muscle, which is necessary for optimal flexibility.
Foam rollers are hot nowadays. The technique is called self myofascial release. Check this out;http://www.smiweb.org/rehab/guides/roller_guide.pdf
The theory behind SMR, is that it works with the fascial system of the body. By applying force to a knot or adhesion in the muscle, the collagenous fibers which caused the adhesion are set into an alignment which is straighter in relationship to the muscle or fascia. Its important to find the tender spot, and hold the roller in position for about 20 seconds.
Another excellent technique is PNF, proprioceptive neuromuscular fascillitation. Normally, this is done with a partner. But you can use a towel or a band around your foot. Lie prone. Hold the towel or band in a stable position. Attempt to press your heel to the floor. the, relax the leg and GENTLY pull it towards you.
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