How Do You Loosen Tight Hamstrings?

Medically Reviewed on 2/22/2021

Loosen hamstrings

Tight hamstrings, sore feelings along the back of the thighs could be felt by everyone.
Tight hamstrings, sore feelings along the back of the thighs could be felt by everyone.

Tight hamstrings, sore feelings along the back of the thighs could be felt by everyone. Below are a few common ways to loosen tight hamstrings:

  • Increasing strength: Strength exercises done the right way may gradually increase the strength in both the hamstrings and glute muscles. Request a physiotherapist or a gym personal for exercises that may suit to strengthen both muscles.
  • Pilates and yoga: Yoga and Pilates both improve flexibility and strength over time and are wonderful for motor control. Since weakness can cause tightness, either of these disciplines is helpful.
  • Stretching: The importance of stretching before starting exercise and cooling down after cardio cannot be overemphasized. Always make sure you stretch both the quadriceps (muscles in front of the thigh) and hamstring (muscles at the back of the thigh) before you begin the run.

Hamstrings are a group of three muscles in the back of the thigh that run from the hip to the knee. We use these muscles for walking, running, and jumping. They extend the hip and flex the knee at the beginning of each step. Unfortunately, the hamstring is prone to injury. They are vulnerable to developing tightness in these muscles. Activities that involve a lot of stop-and-start movements, such as dancing and running, may also cause tightness in your hamstrings. Since everyone uses the hamstrings in everyday movements, it is important to keep these muscles loose. In fact, tight hamstrings are more susceptible to strain or tearing.

Stretches are one of the best and easiest ways to treat tight hamstrings. You can do them almost anywhere and require little or no equipment at all.

Standing stretch:

  • Stand with your back in a neutral position.
  • Cross your right foot in front of your left.
  • Bend at the waist and slowly lower your head to your right knee.
  • Be sure to keep your back and knees straight to avoid hunching over your leg.
  • Hold this stretch for 15-30 seconds.
  • Repeat with your other leg and again with both legs two to three times.

Seated stretch:

  • Sit with your back straight and right leg extended. Bend your left leg, so the sole of your foot rests against your thigh.
  • Slowly reach toward your right ankle while keeping your neck, back, and knee straight.
  • Once you feel the stretch in the back of your thigh, hold the position for 30-60 seconds.
  • Repeat with your left leg and then again with each leg a couple more times.

Seated stretch alternative:

  • Get two chairs and position them facing each other.
  • Sit in one chair with your right leg extended onto the other chair.
  • Slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch in your hamstring.
  • Hold the position for 10-30 seconds.
  • Repeat with your left leg and then again with each leg a couple more times.

Lying stretch:

  • Lie flat on a mat with your legs fully stretched out.
  • To stretch your right leg, hold the back of the right knee with both hands then pull the leg up toward your chest.
  • Slowly straighten the knee until it feels it is stretching.
  • Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds.
  • Repeat with your left leg then repeat with each leg two to three times to loosen up hamstrings.
  • Yoga stretches are a great way to deal with tight hamstrings.

Extended triangle poses:

  • Start in a standing position. Then move your legs about 3-4 feet apart.
  • Reach your arms out parallel to the ground with your palms facing down.
  • Turn your right foot in toward the left and your left foot out 90 degrees. Keep your heels in line with the other.
  • Slowly bend your torso over your left leg and reach your left hand to the floor or a yoga block for support. Stretch your right arm toward the ceiling.
  • Hold for 30-60 seconds or as your instructor directs you.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Foam roller:

They can help stretch out any loose muscles you may have. You can pick up a foam roller just about anywhere, and they are relatively inexpensive.

Roll out your hamstrings:

  • First, sit on the floor with your foam roller under your right thigh. Your left leg may stay on the ground for support.
  • Next, with your arms behind you, roll your hamstring. Start with the back of your thigh from the bottom of your buttocks to your knee.
  • Now, focus on your abdominal muscles during this exercise. Keep your tummy tucked in and your back straight.
  • Then, continue slowly rolling for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Repeat with your other leg.
  • Perform this activity 3 times a week.

Foam rollers help with tight hamstrings and relieve back pain. It loosens various muscles in your body, including your glutes, calves, and quads. However, if you continue to encounter tight hamstrings, it is crucial to speak to a specialist.

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Medically Reviewed on 2/22/2021
References
City Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic. Tight- Hamstrings? https://cityphysiotherapy.com.au/tight-hamstrings/