Pilates Warm Up for Tight Hamstrings

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This Pilates Mat class is a short sports warm up that is excellent for anyone who has difficulty getting their legs straight due to tight hamstrings. You'll work out with Jody Gooding, a professional beach volleyball player whose long limbs make it especially important that his core is fired up so he has maximum power and control on the court. Jody has recently started practicing Pilates and finds it extremely beneficial to his performance and requested this warm up to use when he competes.

What Others Are Saying


  1. nilsmoenkemeyer

    Alisa, I have a question here, So Jody is keeping the knees bent most of the time. This leads me to the general question how to improve that.
    In my own workout I just can’t get my legs to straighten in the open leg rocker, should I just be patient and keep them bent and rather focus on the straight back? Same goes for the leg circles, if I dont bend them then they wouldnt come as high up to the nose. I guess it is all the hamstring, how can I stretch that better?Or should I keep doing it with bent legs and it will eventually get better?
    Sorry, I know that is a very basic problem, but this has been bothering me since day one…

    • Alisa Wyatt Author

      It’s a great question Nils. Joe Pilates often answered with “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” but I’m happy to give you some options ;). For Open Leg Rocker, try using a strap or a towel over each foot to hold in your hands so you can straighten your legs and rock that way. Flex your feet for maximum stretch and make sure you don’t throw your head backwards to rock, use your center! Don’t worry about making your back super straight in this exercise either, it’s more of a lift out of your waist that you’re going for while your pelvis stays curled under. Open Leg Rocker is a great exercise for improving flexibility in the back and hamstrings but if you’re tight in that area, it might always be a struggle. You’ll still be getting all the benefits even if your knees never fully straighten so stick with it!

  2. kikitea1962 7 years ago

    Always love watching you!! Great arms Alicia!!!

  3. sheilamcgregor 8 years ago

    Good to watch from a teaching perspective. Nice to see the corrections made to a clients form (one that is not so advanced &/or an instructor themselves). Great learning – thx Alisa!

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