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Stretch Hamstring = Tighter + Increased Injury. Get flexible now with NO stretching!

Stretch Hamstring = Tighter + Increased Injury. Get flexible now with NO stretching!

I’ve been ‘getting down’ with my best moves! (video coming soon!) and turning up the volume on getting you hooked up with the most fun, elastic, strength & flexibility routine…

More on that later

Today. I’m getting serious.. about helping you to get flexible. And there ain’t NO stretching involved!!


I know ‘stretching’ has been the age old way of getting flexible…
But let’s face it. It’s out of date. It’s 2012. Comon’ people. No more hamstring stretches at the beginning of class pleeeeeaze!


Your legs know why. Let’s ask them!

Watch the video to learn why stretching your hamstrings is a BAD idea which will actually make you tighter, weaker and more prone to injury. (did you see the article in the NYTimes about yoga injuries?)

Not only that, but stretching can give you ‘jelly leg’ syndrome!

Learn how to get way more flexible. Instantly! (Without the jelly-leg syndrome.)

What’s the jelly-leg syndrome?

Remember to write me a comment after you’ve done the exercise and tell me if you can feel it. I am 100% positive you’ll be more elastic by the end of it.

Enjoy your flexible week!





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33 Responses to Stretch Hamstring = Tighter + Increased Injury. Get flexible now with NO stretching!

  1. Emily Suggs says:

    Thanks for this video! I have always had tight hamstrings and this information has totally shifted the way I am now working with them. I could totally feel the difference :)

    Yes! I would love to be a part of the heart workshop online series! Can’t wait to hear more about it!

    Thanks Laura


  2. elizabeth says:

    this is the best one yet laura! i wish i had known…3 years ago i tore my hamstring at the insertion point in a yoga class…it has bothered me ever since that day! i will try this for the week and let u know how it goes…very useful information and extremely helpful to me. thank u as always for your thorough, generous work.

  3. elizabeth says:

    also, just want to say that in comparing the 2 legs the 1st one felt like a different leg! lighter, yet anchored, and stable. i really noticed a difference after the “tradtional” stretch…ugh, how long i have been holding these old patterns.

  4. Great video Laura and so important.
    Also proprioceptive exercises you are showing actually are better for injury prevention than stretching…lots of studies now show that.
    And the other thing that gets narrowever when stretching are your blood vessels and lack of blood flow definitely will make you feel wobbely!
    Stretching can also reduce your ability to jump!

    • Thanks Eric! Do you have any links to that research? Right, yes, blood vessels too. Thanks for empowering this information to be shared! It’s changed my life beyond my wildest dreams! Thank YOU :) Love you xoxoxo

  5. keryn says:

    Hi Laura,

    I love your videos, so incredibly informative and playful! I would love it if you can speak more on the psycho – emotional aspects of stretching, that feel good factor. I think the biggest benefit I get from a yoga class, for example, is not the physical change but the mental/emotional shift I experience. Obviously I am taking the time to focus on the mind/body connection, breath, quality of movement, but the joy I experience from moving through those ranges of motion is so profound that I’m reluctant to give it up. Can you share more of your thoughts on that? Thank you!

    • Hi Keryn :) Can you come to BodyTalk Access tomorrow!?

      Good question~ It’s not that we need to stop moving in our full range of motion- quite the opposite actually. We will be moving MORE once we can embody our physical intelligence to a deeper level. If you noticed when you did the exercise, you actually got MORE flexible on the side you ‘squeezed’. So, you now have more range to move in and through- which is super important.

      The difference here is that you have achieved the flexibility in a healthy way, rather than forcing muscles to lengthen (and nerves and blood vessels to get longer and narrower which is dangerous.) As you understand you body more and move with greater awareness, this ‘feel good’ factor will grow- a lot… and become something you are feeling ALL the time! Not just when you’re in yoga class!

      There is much much more that I could say on this topic… so, maybe a follow up video is on the cards… but for now, keep improving your proprioception, and starting to recognize when you’re working WITH your body vs against it. TBC…

      Much love dear xox You coming to the shoulders and heart workshop next weekend?

      • keryn says:

        Hey Laura,

        Thank you for the prompt reply, it’s definitely a topic of interest to me and I hope we can continue the discussion. I will pass along the info for your workshop next week, hoping I can come with a couple of my students!


  6. ali says:

    OMG! Laura, this is so amazing! YAY for proprioceptors. This is a game-changer. Thank you as always for your perception shifting, embodying, expansive body-wisdom-techniques.


    (PS. found some shoes with sparkles and thought of you!)

  7. Linda Dubeau says:

    Hi Laura,
    I really enjoyed this video. I am very much interested in your on-line workshops. Please add me to your list.
    Merci beaucoup! Thank you!

  8. Hi Laura,
    I really enjoyed this video.
    I am very interested in your on-line workshop on yhis topic. Please add me to your list.

  9. Emily Anton says:

    Thank you Laura

    This video is great. Totally felt such a difference in my hamstrings! (and actually didn’t think I would).

    In the left leg (the one I squeezed) NO tension in my hamstring. Couldn’t even feel my hamstring pulling when I lifted my leg higher than the other one. The whole left side felt so much more relaxed afterwards.

    But my right hamstring STILL hurts, so much pulling and tension!! Then after stretching I couldn’t even stand on this leg!!!

    Went to an audition today and was totally thinking throughout the audition “why isn’t my leg going higher!” And I am normally a pretty flexible dancer without too much effort.

    …Perhaps should have watched this video BEFORE the audition. Oh well, lesson learned in any case. :)

    Love you lots and thanks again!

    xox Emily

  10. Reid says:

    I have to say that while I believe this one to be true, I followed along but did not feel a change in the kicks between the two sides. I did, however, feel a different when balancing on one leg: the one that had been stretched didn’t feel any different, where as the squeezey, juicy one felt more relaxed and more stable at the same time.

    Also, what if one is required to hold a splits for choreography? Would one need to stretch to acquire the splits if one doesn’t already have the capability?

  11. Barbara Hames says:

    What a fantastic video, Laura. I was totally amazed at the difference just squeezing and lifting made to the flexibility in my hamstrings. I’m gonna pass this on to my ballet teacher (and others). And YAY, I’m definitely interested in the online workshop.
    I’m gonna go fly like a bird, without stretching!

  12. Chantal says:

    Thank you Laura!

    Really needed this. Am a rather frustrated not-so-flexible awesome dancer and fellow BodyTalker and so glad to be on your email list. You are a light in this world and you are doing very important work. People need the information and love you have to share more than ever. Keep going strong and know you are loved and respected all the way in South Africa :)

  13. Yes please! Heart-shoulder connection! Love it!

  14. Hi, Laura. This video reminded me of a story about magician Penn’s red ball manipulation: http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/news/2008/nov/20/man-ball-hoop-bench-and-alleged-thread-teller/ . The problem with Penn’s trick was that only magicians could tell how good it was. Your vid is a bit similar: watching your right shoulder drop after working that side was truly magical: fluid, powerful, graceful. It was an authentic movement and just beautiful. 10 years ago, I would have never appreciated that shift of your shoulder.

    I was a bit disappointed when you did the left side: you rushed it a bit and the unwinding was far less pronounced. That’s a good lesson in and of itself.

    Your vid is an eloquent way of saying: we as a society really have no idea how our structures work. Thinking about “flexibility” or “strength” in the context of a single muscle is essentially meaningless. It’s all about the whole system.

    Buckminster Fuller talked about the complementary role of tension and compression in structure that you noted with your knotted band. Fuller wrote in Synergetics: “641.01: No tension member is innocent of compression; no compression member is innocent of tension” and “641.02: […] The visibly tensioned rope is compressively contracted in almost invisible increments of its girth dimensions.” Those and many other wonderful observations are noted in Professor Amy Edmondson’s “A Fuller Explanation”, a commentary on Bucky Fuller’s “Synergetics”. Edmondson and the publisher have the entire contents freely viewable by anyone on Google Books: http://bit.ly/AFEonGB (thanks, Amy!). The quotes I noted are from p. 272 of the book.

    I believe Fuller’s writing in 724.34 (see p. 282) is the holy grail about the behavior of tensegrity. It’s not a mystical thing, but very few geeks have ever heard of the stress-strain response of these structures. AFAICT, bodyworkers like you understand it far better than all the geeks put together. Your “grab the gluteus” exercise makes perfect sense when modeled with tensegrity structures and makes no sense otherwise.

    • Hi Phil! Wow, what a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing :) and yes, Bukky Fuller certainly had the science and now we get to really embody that!
      Good insights and I super appreciate you noticing the physical shifts in my body. And yes, you totally called that on me not spending the same attention on the second side! I’m of to rectify that now :) warmest wishes Laura

  15. elizabeth says:

    laura, i feel like i need to do this one a few times! i’ve had a lot of tension the past few months, so i really noticed it when “cleaning” my chest area out…

    any ideas for opening/widening the pelvic floor without stretching?! this has alwasy been a “problem” area for me…im working my way towards doing a split so i don’t want the same thing that happened to my torn hamstring to happen here….interesting that we need to “stretch” our hearts, diaphragms and lungs but not our muscles…at least not in the traditional way. very cool concept and a BIG shift in thinking ! thanks as always for your great vids :)

    • Hi Elizabeth :)

      Thanks for sharing your experience and I’m so happy that this helped you!

      Yes, I have a LOT to say about the pelvic floor and how to really create a dynamic, strong, elastic base there… but it all starts with understanding what it is, what it looks like and then how to move it functionally. Then the flexibility will ‘appear’ and be available for you in movement.

      It isn’t that stretching all muscles is bad- it’s just that usually, the way it is done is not aware of what is happening- and there are other MUCH better, faster ways to improve flexibility.

      STay tuned for the ‘flexibility hour video’.. this will give you a lot more info towards the place you are looking to get to.

      I am also due to schedule a pevis workshop- that will be HUGE in you reaching your flexibility goals…

      Anyway, all TBC and I’m so happy that these videos are helping you so much!

      Love, Laura xxxo

  16. Line Rafi says:

    Thank you so much for your inspiring videos !

    Question: Even after this kind of (‘non’:-))-stretching one has not yet adressed the imbalance or weakness that makes/keeps the (smart) hamstrings tight in the first place… is that right?

    My hamstrings are rather tight. My own conclusion has always been that they need to be because my hips/spine are very mobile. As soon as I start stretching my hamstrings (old school style) I feel trouble/ instability in my back. My main focus is therefore on core strength/ intelligence & pelvic ‘neutral’ /stability…. I’d like to have more flexible hamstrings though, for when I dance

    I would love to hear more of your thoughts and ideas on the imbalances and weaknesses underlying (or ‘above’-lying ) !

    Thank you again for your creativity



    • Hi Line

      My pleasure :) Thanks for participating and sharing! And GOOD questions and good intuition… The answer you really want is what to do about it and how to reach your flexibility goals by creating more integrity in your whole body.

      If you keep watching and participating in the Action Ship videos, there will be more snippets of how to get there. And stay tuned for some more in depth workshops. It’s really all about awareness and understanding how the body functions… and then embodying THAT! Which is more than I can teach you in short vids…

      This would actually make a good Action Ship topic. If you can post this on my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/laurahamesfranklin with some more details as to how it feels, and where you would like to be… I can go more in depth.

      And stay tuned for the ‘stretching video!’

      Thanks for your kisses and creativity appreciation!


  17. Amber says:

    Thank you so much! I didn’t realise that stretching your hamstrings is bad until I found your amazing video! Before I found this method I was stretching my hamstrings daily and I would wake up the next day with my back aching, calves hurting and hamstrings hurting. I aspire to be able to do the splits and I am so happy that this new method works and is safe.

    • Laura says:

      YAY Amber <3 Love reading this and so happy to read about your experience. Keep sharing! And if you have any Q's for future videos I'd love to hear them. Here's to your happy hamstrings! <3

  18. Barbara says:

    …I forgot to say: with pandiculation, you can give the muscle(s),that you first contract and than gradually lengthen (as mentioned above with full attension in that muscle(s)), some resistance by your hand, or against the floor, or from gravity. With pandiculation I lengthened my shortened hamstrings easily, without injury. I also reduced tension in my right hip. It is a wonderfull technique, therefore I mention it. Every body should know it. Of course it is important to use also other ways to improve dynamic aligment of your body, as you explain !

    Best regards, Barbara

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