How to Stretch Your Hamstrings

How to Stretch Your Hamstrings

Some people are blessed with flexible hamstrings while others are not. If you are one of the members of “not flexible” group, do not fret anymore as there are many ways on how to stretch your hamstrings.

Hamstring stretch

Young woman in a prone hamstring stretch.

There are different factors that make hamstring tight such as improper training, decreased back, over work, injuries and inactivity. If you are bound to your desk all day, your hamstrings would love to be stretched. It does not only feel great but flexible hamstring is also vital to keep your back, knees and hips in good shape.

There are many ways to stretch your hamstrings. To prevent injuries, it is best to perform these tips once you are done with your workout so the muscles can warm up. How to stretch your hamstring

1. Bend Forward while Sitting

Bend forward while sitting

Bend forward while sitting

This exercise aims to stretch your hamstrings and benefits the lower back. Just sit on the floor and put your feet together while extending your legs straight in front of you. Next is to slowly bend your torso above your thighs to make your back rounded and reach for your feet. Stay in that position for thirty seconds then release.

If the back of your knees hurt, it is fine to bend your knees a little. Do not force your hamstrings to stretch when they still hurt. How to stretch your strings

2. Standing Hamstring Stretch

standing-hamstrings-stretch

standing-hamstrings-stretch

In this exercise, you will stretch your hamstrings while standing. It is best to perform this after warming up your muscles.

Using a chair, table or bench lower than your hip, place your left heel on top of the surface and keep your leg straight. Bend your foot towards you to stretch the hamstring. For additional stretch, you can also bend your hips forward and place your hands on your bent leg’s thigh or further until you can feel the stretch. Stay in that position for thirty seconds and release. Repeat the steps for your other leg.

3. Stretch on the Back

back-stretch

back-stretch

This is a comfortable way of stretching your hamstrings. It also targets the muscle fibers near the knee.

Simply lie on your back and lift your left leg in 90 degrees. Make sure that your pelvis is flat on the floor. You can also support your leg by placing your hands around your thigh to make a 90 degree angle. You can also flex your foot in order to stretch the calf. Hold the position for thirty seconds and then repeat the steps for your other leg.

You can take this exercise to the next level by using a towel or a yoga strap. Place the towel on the arch of your foot and pull the towel towards you.

4. Static Stretch - How to stretch hamstrings

This exercise is excellent for those who have very tight hamstrings and it works on one leg at a time.

static-stretch

static-stretch

To begin, simply sit comfortably on the ground with your left leg straighten out. Bend your right knee until the sole touches the inner thigh of your left leg. Slowly reach for your left foot using only your left hand while keeping your leg and back straight. After 30 seconds, release and repeat the steps for the other leg.

5. Tipover Fold

This stretch benefits both the hamstrings and shoulders which is perfect for people who are always busy working in front of computers.

To start, stand and keep your feet hip-width apart. Intertwine your hands at your back. Slowly bend your forward while keeping your legs straight. Your head should be in front of your knees and your hands should be above the head without letting go and tuck your chin. Stay in the same position for thirty seconds. Slowly go back to standing position.

If the stretch is too hard, you can release your hands when bending forward and place them behind your thighs. You can also bend your knees a little.

More Tips

  • Do not force to stretch. Stretching forcefully activates the “stretch reflex” and increases muscle tension. This repels the stretch.
  • Bend your knees before performing stretch exercises.
  • Relax your hamstrings by working on other areas of your body such as hip and back.
  • Do not hold static stretches longer than 30 seconds.

Conclusion

Stiff or tight hamstrings can feel uncomfortable as it prevents you from maximizing your body’s flexibility. With these exercises, you can make your hamstrings flexible so you can perform more physical activities while keeping your body healthier. Stretching your hamstrings can also benefit your back, shoulders, thighs and hips. For more hamstrings exercises, click here Best Hamstring Stretch Ever.

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