The term “hamstrings” refers to a group of three thigh muscles that run from your hip to the knee. The muscle group plays a vital role in helping us walk, run, or sprint. However, hamstrings are more susceptible to extreme injuries and tightness. People who routinely participate in sports can experience tightness or injury in their hamstrings.
Since hamstring muscles are used every day, it is essential that you relieve any tightness that can cause injury. Something as simple as stretching can relieve any strain on the hamstrings.
While keeping the hamstrings’ importance in mind, there are several stretching techniques used to alleviate stress. The hamstring stretches can keep your muscles flexible and increase their mobility.
Hamstring Stretching Techniques
You can experience different intensities of pain based on the wear and tear of your hamstring. A hamstring stretch reduces any stress on the muscles and should not cause any pain. Remember to stretch until there is a mild tension in the muscles; going past that point can be dangerous for you.
Lying Hamstring Stretch
It is a much simpler method and can be easily done at home. You can do a lying hamstring stretch either on the bare floor or a mat. Here is how you can do it:
- Lay flat on your back while stretching your legs completely
- If you are stretching your right leg first, place both your hands behind the right knee. Bring the legs closer to your chest and start stretching it slowly.
- Keep your leg stretched for ten to thirty seconds before switching
Hamstring Stretch Using a Wall
You can use the assistance of a wall to loosen the pressure on your hamstrings.
- Find an open doorway or a wall corner
- Lay on your back with one leg fully extended and passing through the doorway
- Lean and extend the other leg against the wall and adjust the in-between distance to create tension
- Remain in that position for ten to thirty seconds and repeat it three times
Sitting Hamstring Stretch
If you are uncomfortable about extending your leg in the air, you can use this technique to flex your hamstrings.
- Sit on the ground with one leg extended and the other bent inwards (also known as butterfly position)
- Stretch the extended leg with a slight bend in the knee
- Bent forward while keeping your back straight
- Maintain the stretch for ten to thirty seconds and repeat it two to three times
Benefits of Doing a Hamstring Stretch
Hamstrings are the most commonly used group of muscles, making them prone to injuries. Stretching your hamstrings routinely can improve their flexibility and decreases the tearing of the muscles.
Hamstring Stretches for Back Pain
Tightness in the hamstrings can compromise the mobility of your pelvis, increasing pressure on the lower back. Stretching your hamstrings can enhance muscle strength and prevent excess wear and tear. Tightened hamstrings are unable to offer the support your lower back requires.
Loosening your hamstrings can make them less susceptible to injuries. If you are an athlete, stretching your hamstrings can reduce muscles’ tearing during sprinting or other physical activities. You can also look into different sports massages to ease your muscle tension.
Increased Flexibility and Mobility
A hamstring stretch can cause your muscles to loosen up, hence increase your range of motion. The exercise can help you perform daily tasks, such as walking, bending, or standing up, easily.
Tightened hamstrings can cause your pelvis to move backward, which can affect the arch in the back. Keeping your hamstrings loosened can help you sit or stand straighter and taller.