How to Stretch your Hamstrings

Known as the three muscles that are located at the back of the thigh, the hamstrings are among the muscles that are really valued by athletes especially those that are involved in sports like basketball, sprinting, tennis and soccer.


Known as the three muscles that are located at the back of the thigh, the hamstrings are among the muscles that are really valued by athletes. Even those that are involved in marathons and dances treat hamstrings as one of their gems. Because of the importance of these muscles to athletes, it is very crucial that they keep these lose at all times as having the hamstrings tight will put them more at risk to tear or strain. In addition, it is also essential that they are aware of the difference between strain and injury so they can easily identify when they need to consult with a physician.

As it is essential to most of us, doing hamstring stretch or exercise can really help warm these up and avoid suffering from an injury. One of the common hamstrings stretches that you can always try is walking. However, when experiencing pain in the muscles, it is highly recommended to avoid stretching. Or, if you really need to do some stretching exercises, ensure that you practice normal breathing while doing the routine.

As a guide to your journey to loosening up your hamstrings and ensure that they are always in good shape to help you meet your athletic needs, here are some helpful exercises that you may find really helpful.

Lying Stretch to Loosen Your Hamstrings

Experiencing tight hamstrings? Worry no more. Just follow this first routine to relieve the muscles. This stretch exercise is also easy and can be done at home as there are little materials needed to complete it. Get a yoga rope and mat ready. Below are the steps to follow to perform the hamstrings stretch easily.

  1. Lie on the yoga mat with your back flat.
  2. Have your knees bent.
  3. Starting with your right knee, slowly move it towards to your chest.
  4. As your right knee reaches an inch away from your chest, extend your right leg.
  5. Use the yoga rope and place it around your knee.
  6. Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds.
  7. Go back to starting position and repeat the steps with your left knee.
  8. Complete the stretch with three sets for each leg.

Seated Muscle Stretch Exercise

If your muscles are too weak to stand to exercise, then you can always go for a seated stretch routine. Just as the first one, this exercise is very easy and simple to do. You can perform this on your own and at the comfort of your home.

  1. Follow the Indian sit position on a yoga mat.
  2. Again, start with your right leg. Extend it until your right knee is bent just slightly.
  3. Slowly, reach your right leg with both hands.
  4. Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds.
  5. Return to the first position and relax for 10 seconds.
  6. Repeat the steps but now with the left leg.
  7. Continue doing this hamstrings stretch exercise until you have completed three sets.

Seated Hamstring Exercise

If you are still in need for another hamstrings stretch exercise that you can do during your spare time at home, then here is the other seated routine to try.

  1. Get two chairs and position these with both facing each other.
  2. Ensure that the chairs have enough space between them to fit you in.
  3. Sit on one of the chairs.
  4. Starting with your left leg, extend it and place it on top of the other chair.
  5. Slowly move your body forward until you feel that your hamstring is being stretched.
  6. Hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds.
  7. Return to the initial position and relax for 10 seconds.
  8. Repeat the steps with your right leg.
  9. Continue doing the routine until you have completed three sets.

Down Dog Hamstrings Stretch

If you are into yoga and you want to introduce a new routine to your yoga friends and instructor, then you can hit two birds in one stone. Aside from meditating, you can also have your hamstrings stretched during your yoga class. Here are the easy steps you need to perform the Down Dog Hamstrings Stretch Routine.

  1. Lie on the yoga mat with your chest on the floor side.
  2. Slowly lift yourself by stretching and straightening your hands and knees until both arms and legs are fully stretched.
  3. Ensure that your spine is straight before you hold the position.
  4. Hold the pose for 10 to 30 seconds and breathe normally while on hold.
  5. Repeat the routine three times.

Discussed above are some common and easy to follow hamstrings stretches. To support these stretches, it is also good to know some preventive measures to help you alleviate hamstrings tightness. Below are some tips to assist you in this journey.

  • Before doing any strenuous physical activities or sports, it is important to perform warm up exercises. Whether, it’s easy calisthenics, light jogging or a few minutes of walking, this will help out loosen up the muscles in the thigh.
  • Having a balanced diet and being hydrated at all times are also essential to have the muscles replenished.
  • Above all, ensuring that you have regular exercise is essential to keep your hamstrings used to being worked out.

When to Seek Medical Help

As mentioned above, an injury is different from a strain. But the big question now is how do we know if your condition calls for a medical professional’s assistance. To help us with this, below is a roundup of symptoms indicating that you may be suffering from hamstrings injury.

  • sharp and sudden pain at the back of the thigh
  • tearing feeling
  • tenderness of the muscle
  • discoloration of the affected area
  • weak muscles

Once you have experienced at least three of the symptoms, it is best to seek medical help immediately. If medical assistance is not that accessible to your place or may take time before it reaches you, then try the first aid routine known as RICE or rest, ice, compression and elevation. Combine these with pain medications to manage mild pain and discomfort. If the pain continues, set an appointment with a physician and ensure to follow the recommendations as if the condition worsens, it is possible that the only treatment available is surgery.


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