Hamstring tightness is EXTREMELY common. Having tight hamstrings not only limits your range of motion, but can also be a culprit in recurrent back pain. Finding a good way to stretch your hamstrings is actually easier than you think, and it is something you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Check out these 5 stretches and see what works for you!
1. Chair Hamstring Stretch – convenient stretch if you spend a lot of time sitting for work or school!
2. Sitting Hamstring Stretch – get down on the ground or your bed and get to stretching!
3. Standing Heel Prop Stretch – the most portable stretch…do it anywhere!
4. Supine Hamstring Stretch – the easy in bed stretch.
5. Doorway Hamstring Stretch – let the door frame do the work for you.
General rules for hamstring stretching:
- The stretch should be felt in the back of your thigh, sometimes in the back of the knee. You might also feel a stretch in your calf in some positions.
- The low back should not be flexed (bent forward). If you are trying to perform a hamstring stretch but cannot keep your back straight, try moving to a different position (lying on back is best to prevent this).
- You knee should be straight (or nearly straight) to properly stretch the hamstring. If you cannot keep your knee straight, loosen up on the stretch.
- Hold times for this stretch should be around 30sec-1min repetitions. I usually recommended performing 3 reps on each side. The stretch intensity should be a 5-6 out of 10 (meaning uncomfortable and intense, but not intolerable).
If you are having recurrent hamstring pain, low back/hip pain, or significant stiffness, call Compleo to set up a Discovery Visit and see if physical therapy is right for you!