Have you been working on your adductors and the Zaichik Butterfly Stretch presented in the last article, but still need a little extra length to get those perfect lines in your aerial straddle? If your straddle lines are already straight but you're trying to get it flat to 180 degrees (or further!), stay tuned for next week’s edition for a more advanced stretch.
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Our next stretch to help you achieve an amazing aerial inverted straddle will focus on the hamstrings. They are 3 muscles in the rear upper thigh: the semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and the biceps femoris. The hamstrings help to flex the knee; since we are doing the opposite here, we need them to lengthen. Often our hamstrings are tight, which causes the knee to bend when we go upside in our straddle.
Zaichik Stretch for the Hamstrings
- Lie on your back and bend one leg into your chest. Place one hand underneath your knee and the other hand on your ankle. Press your knee as close to your chest as you can.
- Extend your leg while keeping your knee into your chest. This will create space for the next part. Do not move the knee away from your chest- your leg will probably not straighten completely in this phase.
- Next, extend completely through your knee joint, and you can press the knee away from the chest to make this happen
- Repeat 4 times, and then do the other side
Watch the video below to see how this works:
Why does this exercise work?
This Zaichik Stretching Technique trains our hamstrings to lengthen the leg completely through the knee during extension of that particular joint. This will help you tremendously when you go to perform your straddle ups and want them to look fabulous in the air and upside down!
To continue perfecting your straddle on the ground to make it even better in the air, come back next week for another stretch to continue advancing your progress.
Check out our Hamstrings Intermediate Flexibility Program to get started at home today!
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- Tags: adductor magnus, adductors, aerial arts, circus, frog, hamstrings, inversion, silks, straddle, trapeze, upside down