by Lindsay Nova February 09, 2021 3 min read

Let’s face it, tight hamstrings are an epidemic in the modern world. There is a lot of sitting- driving to work, sitting at the desk, lounging on the couch. So, coming to an aerial yogapractice may highlight the fact you have tight hamstrings. Aerial yoga does have a tendency to show where we may need some improvement.

Tight hamstrings are often seen in combination with a tight lower back. So, it’s also important to free up the hips and spine when working with the hamstrings. All of our body parts are interrelated, after all.

Others may come to the aerial hammock because they already have their splits and want to go deeper. Either way, the hammock is going to benefit the seeker. Let’s look at some ways you can use the hammock to deeper your hamstring stretching!

Standing Leg Extension

Girl doing a Standing Leg Extension

@aerialyogaelaine in our Pink Champagne Aerial Hammock

Stand with the hammock in front of you. Place one ankle in the hammock loop. Some rules of thumb:

  • Keep the hammock as a small band for a deeper stretch
  • Spread out the hammock as a pocket over the leg for more support and less intensity
  • Remember, both options are great!

Swing the leg side to side to loosen up the hips while you maintain your balance. Then hold the hammock with one hand and twist to one side and the other. Make sure you hold for a few breaths. Come back to the center and fold forward over the leg. Stay for 5-10 breaths.

You can also try this seated for a yin variation and hold for longer to really get juicy!

Swinging Splits

Girl doing Swinging Splits

Start in the same position as Standing Leg Extension, except this time hold onto the hammock and slide the hips forward and down into a split position. Remember, it’s not a stretching contest and stay at your edge without going over. Take 5-10 breaths, keeping the chest lifted and core active.

Reverse Splits

Girl doing Reverse Splits

@aerialyogaelaine in our Height Adjustable Portable Aerial Rig

Keep the foot in the hammock loop and simply pivot around so the hammock is behind you now. Fold forward and place the hands on the floor. Begin to walk the hands back as you straighten the front leg. If needed, place your hands on blocks for support. Stay for 5-10 breaths and slowly walk the hands back forward.

Why These Stretches Work

The last two poses in particular work with a concept that circus artists and aerialists call oversplits. This is when you see an artist such as an acrobat performing a split that is over 180 degrees past the straight line. Their secret? They use the concept of oversplits in their training. 

Traditional circus training on the ground will put the front or back foot on a block (or three) while doing the splits as they push the hips down to the floor. We are essentially using the same concept with the hammock!

Now, you may just be working on getting your full splits and that’s fine! The concept of the oversplit still stretches your muscles and fascia deeper with the effect of gravity pulling down on your body toward the empty space below. 

It’s always a great idea to try your ground splits after these stretches on the aerial yoga hammock and see how much they improve! You might even find any issues in the lower back or hips also begin to relieve themselves as the hamstrings open up. You really can’t go wrong stretching out the hamstrings in today’s culture!

Lindsay Nova
Lindsay Nova

Lindsay Nova's life mission is to help others find their wings and FLY! As a full-time traveling (and now, online) aerial yoga teacher, she loves spreading the joy of yoga and aerial all over the world through her specially curated teacher training immersion programs that cultivate positive transformation.


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Uplift Active Aerial Fitness Blog

5 Beautiful Beginner Knot Moves
5 Beautiful Beginner Knot Moves

by Mary Jo Gruber April 27, 2021 2 min read

One of the greatest things about aerial silks is the variety of ways in which you can use your fabric to create stunning flows and elegant poses. And in this blog, we've gathered knot poses that can help you add a dynamic twist to your aerial practice. 
Read More
How to Land Your First Aerial Performance
How to Land Your First Aerial Performance

by Quynbi Ada April 19, 2021 3 min read

With the relatively recent proliferation of aerial arts, many hopefuls wonder about how to get their foot in the door and start dazzling audiences from above. In this blog, we've came up with some tips on how you can land your first aerial gig. 
Read More
Optimizing the Breath in Aerial Arts
Optimizing the Breath in Aerial Arts

by Quynbi Ada April 13, 2021 3 min read

Breathwork is wonderful to practice on the floor. In this blog, we've gathered a host of benefits offered by this practice from daily life to stage.
Read More

Join the Uplift Active List!

Studio Quality

Our equipment is top quality, independently engineer load tested and certified, and comes with a 1-Year Warranty. It's built to last for many, many years!

Fast and International Shipping

We can ship to almost every corner of the world! Plus, it's fast. We work with the best supply chains to get you your order as quickly as possible!

Expert Help

From finding the right gear for your space, to providing the best tips on how to use it, our aerial equipment experts are here to help. We also provide training tutorials to help in your journey!