Are Your Hamstrings Tight ?

You’ve probably felt that your hamstrings were too tight. It’s like they’re stopping you from the movement you want to do. There are videos filled with hamstring stretches trying to loosen those tight hamstrings. 


Why are so many hamstrings tight? 


They’re not tight. They feel tight, and that’s an important difference.


Most of my clients do not have tight hamstrings. The tension they felt was because the muscle was being held in a stretched position. We can sometimes spot this when the low back arches during activities. In another post, I’ll explain more about this hamstring tightness. 


Does that mean no one has tight hamstrings? It happens. Just not as often as we think.


Should you stop worrying about your tight hamstrings? 


No. It still means that there’s something going on. Even if it’s just a feeling of tension. A muscle that is constantly overstretched could lead to other problems.


The exercises below are a great starting place to work on the overstretched muscles. 


  1. Bridge/Pelvic lifts: Your goal is to keep the pelvis “solid” when going up and down. It starts to build hamstring strength and glute strength. You start with the hips bent and pelvis on the ground. The end result is shown in the picture. Aim for 3x10.





2. Deadbug: Your goal for this exercise is to keep the pelvis and lower back in one position while moving your arms and legs. This teaches your body that your arms and legs can be independent from your pelvis. Any arching or drop in the lower back arch is not what you want. You extend opposite arm and leg, (right leg and left arm in picture), then alternate. Aim for 3x10 per side.






3. Quad Stretch: The way I use a stretch in this case is to make sure I have exercises to strengthen (specifically increase endurance) instead of just stretch. In this case, we don’t want to stretch your overstretched muscle (hamstring). The popular quad stretch is best done 3x30sec.





The fastest way to see changes is to do these daily. exercises should be done daily. If you notice your lower back working a lot, you should stop and reset your technique.


These should get you started but if you have more questions please feel free to contact us to see how we can help you. 


L.



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