Hamstring stretches are helpful when you’ve got tight hamstrings. This post will show you how to do five hamstring stretches for tight hamstrings.
The hamstrings are the muscles at the back of the thigh. They can get tight especially due to prolonged sitting which can lead to lower back pain, hips, knee or and ankle discomfort.
Watch the video or read more below:
Here are the hamstring stretches you should try:
Exercise 1: Roll-down
Stand with your back against a wall (or an imaginary wall) and start by taking the head off the wall, then the upper and then the lower back. Reach down as far as you’re comfortable. This will get you a stretch down the back of your legs.
If you’re feeling a tightness somewhere else, like your back for example, then it’ll mean you’re tighter in the back than the legs.
Repeat 5-6 times, daily if possible.
Measurement is key, so see where your fingertips reach and recheck after 3-4 weeks of stretching.
Exercise 2: Roll-down Legs Crossed
Stand against the (imaginary) wall and cross your right leg over the left, making sure there’s a gap in between your feet (for balance). Roll down (peel the back of the head off the wall first, then the upper and then the lower back) and reach down as far as you’re comfortable. This should get you more of a stretch on the left leg.
Repeat with the left leg crossed over the right.
Again, you can use measurement of where your fingertips get to, so you can check your progress.
Exercise 3: Laying down Stretch with a Theraband
You’ll need a prop – a towel or strong stretchy-band for this one. Laying down, loop the band/towel around your foot and slowly straighten your knee. You can use the band to help increase the stretch you’ll get on the back of the leg.
Try this on the other leg and monitor, is one tighter than the other? Or are they both the same?
Exercise 4: Foot on a Chair
Stand facing a chair and place your right heel on the chair. Check that your hips are facing forwards – this helps to focus more on the back of the thighs/hamstrings. Lean forward and try to touch your toes. This should get you a stretch on the back of your right thigh.
Hold for 20-seconds, repeat 5 times.
Repeat on the opposite side.
Exercise 5: Squat with One Leg Straight
If you’ve got any hip, knee or ankle problems and this is too painful or uncomfortable, then please choose another stretch variation to do, which doesn’t involve the knee bend (see above).
From a high-kneeling position with your right leg out in front of you and using your hands on the mat, if needed, to help support you. Lower yourself so you’re sitting on your left heel. This should get you a stretch down the right leg. Repeat on the other side.
Hold for 20-seconds and repeat 5 times.
Two Choices When Trying to Stretch:
A. Static Stretch
Get yourself into the position that’s stretching the back of your thigh, and hold it for 20 seconds. Repeat five times.
B. Dynamic Stretch
These stretches keep the movement flowing rather than a static hold.
For example, the standing roll down can be a dynamic stretch. Breath out as you roll yourself down and breathe in as you stand yourself back up again.
Repeat the dynamic stretch 10-15 times.
Things to consider:
A. Give yourself some time consistency
B. Do some repetitions
C. Recheck in 4 – 6 weeks time to evaluate improvement.
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Trying out different exercises is key to improving and maintaining the body’s flexibility, which in turn can help with recruiting muscles efficiently.
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Remember – Listen to Your Body!
Please remember to listen to your body. Get any aches and pains checked out sooner rather than later.
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