Hamstrings of Your Youth

Strengthening and lengthening should put you back in balance

The human ageing process begins much earlier than any of us suspect. As yoga teachers, we see evidence of its presence in children ages 9 and 10 who can no longer touch their toes. Growth spurts, overuse and underuse can limit muscular flexibility and strength, particularly where hamstrings are concerned. This group of three muscles (inner, middle and outer) attach to the sitting bones, run down the back of the legs and insert behind the upper calf muscles. By the time many adults arrive at a yoga class, a lifetime of sitting in classrooms or in front of computers has, often severely, shortened and imbalanced their hamstrings.