HOW TO FIX YOUR TIGHT HAMSTRINGS

Updated: Oct 19, 2021

Do you struggle with tight hamstrings that are limiting your performance or impacting your daily life? Maybe you suffer with back pain, knee pain or you are simply struggling to perform basic day to day tasks.


Hamstring flexibility and strength is important for:

  • Stability of the knee joint.

  • Power to run, jump and perform explosive movements as they flex the knees and extend the hips.

  • Decelerate and control of our centre of mass - think running/ football etc.

  • Functional day to day life - standing up, sitting down, bending over, climbing the stairs etc.

  • Posture

  • Injury prevention

  • Pre-requisite for specific goals such as L sits, press to handstands and compression work.

Tight hamstrings cannot be fixed by stretching alone. Stretching certainly has its place but it wont necessarily fix your tight hamstrings. When our muscles feel tight, a lot of the time this is a response from our brain telling our body to protect itself when it feels threatened. This can be a result of a past injury, or a lack in strength and stability because without strength, there is no stability. You brain is sending you a message to protect you from a possible injury.


The hamstrings consist of :


▪️Semimembranosus

▪️Semitendinosus

▪️Biceps femoris

They originate at the sit bone, and biceps femoris also at the back of the femur, they insert at the Tibia and Fibula (below the knee at top of the lower leg). Why is this important? Understanding where a muscles originate and insert helps us to understand whats going on in our body while we move or what might be restricting us in our movement.

The hamstrings flex the knees and extend the hips. They also allow for medial and lateral rotation of the lower leg. If you have tight hamstrings, you may experience lower back pain or knee pain, and in a world where we sit down so much it might be time to help those hamstrings out!


There are loads of exercises we can do for tight hamstrings and here are some simple and effective movements below.

 

Try some of these to help improve your flexibility and strength, elements of our mobility.


▪️Hips elevated hamstring stretch


Perform these with or without a banded anchor. You can also perform good mornings from here with or without load. Add a knee bend here to help you hinge at the hips if that feels too much with straight legs. The elevated platform will make this feel more accessible at first. Over time you can lower the platform, but make sure you are hinging at your hips, not rounding your lower back. Think about trying to tilt your pelvis forward.


Complete:

  • 2 minutes as a minimum, with or without a banded anchor varying your stance from wide, medium and narrow.

  • 3 x 15 Good mornings with or without load