The hamstring muscles are a problem for a lot of people. If they are tight or you had injured them in the past it’s good that you visit a physical therapist to help you get back in form without further endangering your muscles but if you’re not a fan of going to a physical therapy and your doctor already recommended you to do some stretches in order to better your condition then we got a few exercises that would really help you.
First let’s shortly explain why it’s good to stretch your hamstrings. This particular muscle group is located in the back of your thigh and has the role of flexing your knee joint but because they also go up to your glutes they help those muscles to extend the leg during activities such as running.
The reason behind stretching your hamstring muscles regularly are several but it’s mostly to prevent injury, prevent back pain, improve or maintain overall mobility in your legs and prevent muscles tightness. Here are a few exercises you can do at home in a sitting position.
Simple sitting hamstring stretch
This particular stretch is done by positioning yourself seated on the floor with both legs out straight. To do the stretch you need to reach with both arms out and bend your waist until you feel a pull in the back of your thighs. Make sure that you’re keeping your knees straight while bending and try to hold this position for thirty seconds if possible and repeat the exercise at least three times.
Hurdler sitting hamstring stretch
This stretch is a very simple exercise that’s easily done on the floor. All you need to do is sit on the floor with one leg out straight and the other leg bent at the knee with your foot against your inner thigh. When you’re in this position you need to extend your arms and reach forward over your straight leg while bending your waist as much as you can. Try holding this position for thirty seconds if possible and try to relax while in the position. Afterwards repeat the same with the other leg extended.
Seated towel hamstring stretch
The towel hamstring stretch is also very simple to do. All you need is to sit down with bot legs extended in front of you and a towel wrapped around one leg while using your arms to hold both ends of the towel. Slowly pull the towel in order to lift your leg up and make sure that your knee is straight while the other leg remains straight on the floor. Keep lifting your leg up until you feel a stretch in your calf and hamstring and than hold for thirty seconds if possible. Repeat the exercise at least three times on each leg.
Seated V stretch
The seated V stretch is performed by taking a seated position on the floor and spreading your legs to the sides while keeping them extended to make a V shape. As you keep your back straight you need to bend forward at the waist and use your hands to reach directly in front of you. Try holding this position for at least ten seconds and then tilt your body a little to the left leg to increase the stretch on your left hamstring. Hold the second position for ten seconds also and than tilt your body to the opposite side to increase the stretch in your other hamstring.
To do this stretch you’ll firstly need a chair on which you’ll take a seated position. While one of your legs is bent and with the foot flat on the floor you need to extend your other leg in front while keeping your toes point toward the ceiling and then place your heel on the floor. While making sure that your back is straight you need to lean forward toward your extended leg until you feel a stretch in the hamstrings of that leg. Hold this position for thirty seconds and switch legs. You can also perform this exercise with both legs extended in front of you but it’s much better to do it one by one.
Adding these five stretches at the end of your workout routing would gradually lower the risk of getting tightness in your hamstrings. These exercises are also especially good if you suffer from lower back pain because if you already have tight hamstrings they might cause the pain you feel in your back and doing these stretches will loosen them up and relief you of the pain. Also they would improve your general range of motion of your leg and improve your flexibility. So the stretches described above are not just good as a prevention but also as a treatment to lower back pain and tight hamstrings.