Too much length or too much strength in a muscle group and you will start to lose functionality. Over emphasis on one or the other is a non-optimal balance for your body and for your performance. Your tissues want to have both strength AND length - they want equilibrium.
Take my favorite series - Supta Padangusthasana A, B & C, where we can use it to create both length and strength. To see this in video form, click here.
Here's how to do it:
With a strap around the ball of the right foot, lengthen your leg towards the ceiling. Press out through the heel and with the strap create the subtle action of pulling the leg towards your chest and with the leg, resist that. Create the action of your leg trying to get back down to the floor. Hold for a few breaths. Here, your hamstrings are engaging (strengthening) in their lengthened position.
Next, take the leg out to the side - strap in the right hand. Same idea here. Create the opposition of the strap pulling the leg down and the leg resisting that and trying to get back up to vertical. Hold for a few breaths and feel the length and simultaneous strength of the inner leg muscles.
Finally, take the leg back to center and slightly across your midline. Switch hands with the strap - so now it’s in the left hand. Same idea. Strap is creating the action of pulling the leg towards the floor but the leg is resisting that and trying to get back up to vertical. This is now creating length AND strength in the outer hip/leg muscles.
Repeat on the second side.
Creating strength in a muscle while in its lengthened position is a valuable thing to do. This helps muscles have control in their new range of motion and that’s what we want. This helps with our performance in sports and also in daily life, while also decreasing the chances of injury.
Try this out and let me know how it feels for you!
As always this is just my own opinion based on my experience and knowledge at this time. There’s always more to learn and consider. Not all exercises work for everyone, so please listen to your body and do what is best for you.