The hamstrings are a big group of muscles and tendons that make up the back of the upper portion of the leg. They aid in helping to move the knee through its range of motion and extend the hip when moving the legs. The hamstrings are incredibly important in our ability to move - walking, running, and jumping can all happen flawlessly thanks to this important part of our anatomy.
The hamstring is often seen as a sprinter’s injury if it occurs but in fact, tight hamstrings are very common due to our sedentary lifestyle. The hamstrings attach at the sit bones, so when we are sitting, the hamstrings are considered stretched in this position. Being in this position over an extended amount of time can cause limited function and pain.
Tight hamstrings can affect the back and cause a range of mobility and performance issues. Of course, you might feel this tightness in your hamstrings, but it could also impair the ability of your knee to flex without pain or cramping. No one wants this to happen.
Stretching your hamstrings properly will not only ensure the long-term health of these essential muscles, but it could also prevent injury (for athletes and non-athletes alike) and help fight off delayed onset muscle soreness.
That being said, if you believe that you have an actual injury or trauma to the hamstring, please seek the help of a doctor or medical professional. It’s important to work with a physical therapist or specialist that can properly diagnose your injury and put you through the proper protocols for healing it.
But, for general hamstring tightness, a simple and consistent stretching routine will help keep those big muscles and tendons as supple as can be. Don't let them get tight - use the stretches below to MoveWell by keeping them loose and healthy.