Having tight hamstrings are a common problem for many people nowadays. If you have tight hamstrings or suffering from a hamstring injury such as a muscle strain, then acquiring the services of a skilled physiotherapist can help you recover faster from your injuries.
A trained physiotherapist can teach and guide you through some hamstring stretches exercises, to help you improve overall hamstring flexibility
Why Should You Stretch Your Hamstrings?
The hamstring muscle is located in the back of your thighs and is responsible for bending or flexing your knee. The hamstrings muscle also cross your hip joint at the back of your thigh which help your gluteal muscles extend your leg during activities such as walking, running, climbing up the stairs and squatting. Thus stretching your hamstring can
- Preventing injury
- Preventing or treating low back pain
- Stretching the hamstrings after athletic activity can help decrease delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in these muscles.
- Improving and maintaining mobility in your legs and thighs which can help you maintain optimal athletic performance.
1) Single leg Eccentric bridge
- Eccentric exercises are classified as a controlled lengthening contraction of the muscle. Eccentric training takes that reliance on the stretch-shortening cycle away, forcing the athlete to lean on and develop the muscles instead. Eccentrics are a great way to learn to develop control of a certain position as well.
- This exercise is great for runners and soccer players who complain of knee pain. This exercise is a great way for them to learn to control their pelvis with their hamstrings rather than their quads and hip flexors
How to do it:
Start on your back in the 90-90 position, pull your heels towards you and reach with your arms. Then lift your hips all the way up (don't arch the back!) straighten one leg and as best you can control the straightening of the leg on the rower. Warning this exercise is difficult and may take some practice to work up to.
A key here is that we are working on controlling the pelvis is an extended position with the hamstrings, this puts a log of pressure on them, so try the exercise first with both legs on the rower.
2) Hamstring mobility - Active Isolation Stretch
This pretty little number is a great active isolated stretch for the hamstrings.
💡Tips: Keep your stationary heel firmly pressed into the wall with your knee fully extended throughout this stretch
3) Hamstring & lower body Mobility drill by @docjenfit
Many limitations have less to do with “muscle shortening” and more to do with “muscle tension”
For this video, focus on:
- Increasing low back flexion
- Spinal segmentation
- Abdominal flexion contraction
- Relaxation in a forward fold to allow the body to feel safe and comfortable bending forward
Especially with hamstrings, if the body doesn’t feel safe and comfortable bending forward, your body will halt movement before your actual range.
4) 𝐍𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐢𝐜 𝐇𝐚𝐦𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 by @rehabscience
Now that is some hamstring strength!
- Did you know that the Nordic hamstring exercise was shown in one study to reduce hamstring re-injuries by close to 85%.
If you are feeling tightness in your hamstring muscles, do check with your doctor and visit your physical therapist to learn more about some of the best ways to improve your hamstring flexibility. Your Physiotherapist may prescribe exercises like the ones listed above to help you stretch your hamstrings.