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How to stretch out tight hamstrings – Better results!


As a doctor of physical therapy, tight hamstrings are one of the most common conditions I treat. They can be a contributing factor to knee pain, hip pain, and even lower back pain. It’s important that you keep tension out of your hamstrings and it’s important that you do it the right way to maximize effectiveness and minimize injury. Today I wanted to share with you six of the best ways to stretch out your tight hamstrings.

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✅ BEST EXERCISES FOR TIGHT HIP FLEXORS: https://youtu.be/zTPfzlZbtz8


How To Stretch Out Tight Hamstrings – The Best Home Exercises For Your Hammies:

1. Myofascial Release with Foam Roller – put a foam roller on the floor and sit with your hamstrings resting on top of the roller. Use your arms to lift your buttocks off the floor and roll back and forth over your hamstrings. This can also be performed with one leg on top of the other for a more concentrated/aggressive myofascial hamstring release. You should perform this for about 60 seconds on each side.

You can also do this with a foam roller over the edge of a bench to really enhance the release. This technique requires less upper body strength and is a little easier for a more efficient foam roll experience.

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2. Myofascial Release with Softball – you can also perform a myofascial release with a softball. Sit on a hard chair with your knees bent. Place a softball under your hamstring muscle and slowly extend your leg. This is a way that you can perform an active release technique to your hamstring muscle. Spend approximately 20-30 seconds on one area and then move the softball to another part of your hamstring. Repeat all the way up and down.

3. Seated Hamstring and Calf Stretch – when we talk about maximizing the stretch to the back of your leg, the hamstring is but one small contributing component. I try to promote stretching the “entire kinetic chain” – getting a good stretch from the calf, through the knee joint, and all the way up into the hamstring muscle.

Sit on the edge of a bed with your right leg on the ground and your left leg out straight. Grab a belt, towel, or sheet and put it around your foot. Now pull the towel to stretch your calf, focus on straightening your leg, and sit up nice and tall. You should feel a good stretch in your calf, behind your knee, and in your hamstring muscle. Hold 20 seconds and repeat three times.

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4. Active Knee Extension Stretch – A great stretch for those who might not be able to tolerate full extension (leg out completely straight). Lay on your back and, with your knee bent, grab with your hands behind your thigh. Hold your thigh in this position as you slowly straighten out your leg. Straighten your leg as much as you can until you feel a stretch behind your knee. Hold for 10 seconds and then release. Repeat 10 times.

5. 3-Way Supine Hamstring Stretch – A great way to stretch the entire hamstring group. Lay on your back with a towel, sheet, belt, or “Stretch Out Strap” around your right foot. Keep your left leg straight and down on the table, and use the strap to raise your straight right leg up towards the ceiling. You should feel a stretch behind your knee.

Now, unlock (slightly bend) your knee slightly and pull further on the strap. You should feel a stretch a little higher up the back of your leg.

Now unlock (slightly bend) your knee even more and pull further on the strap. You should feel a stretch even slightly higher up your hamstring muscle.

Hold each position 20 seconds.

6. Contract/Relax Technique – One of the most-effective ways to stretch your tight hamstrings by turning off the neuromotor component that often limits a deeper stretch.

Get into the same position as #5 listed above with your left leg straight, and a towel (belt, sheet, Stretch Out Strap) around your right leg. Use the strap to lift your straight right leg up towards the ceiling.

Now hold this position firm with your arms as you push down with your right leg. It should be as if you’re trying to lower that leg down towards the floor, but your arms are not allowing it. Contract for about 5 seconds.

Now as you relax, pull with your arms to “take up the slack” you just created and stretch your hamstrings even further.

Repeat this procedure one more time to get into a maximum stretch in your hamstrings.


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