The hamstring is a group of muscles located at the back of our thighs. Hamstring tightness is a problem that plagues those of us living a sedentary life. As we sit upwards to eight hours a day, our hamstrings are in a shortened position for most of the day. As a result of this, the muscle group get tight.
Another reason that may cause hamstring tightness is during this period of covid-19 pandemic, we are all exercising more. A lot of exercise forms that involve stop start movement such dancing or running involve the hamstrings and can cause tightness.
This article will discuss several methods you can use to keep your hamstrings loose. Before we get to it, let’s discuss why you should even do it!
Benefits of keeping your hamstring loose
Keeping your hamstring loose have numerous benefits. Here are some of them:
- Preventing low back pain – because the hamstrings are attached to your pelvis, hamstring tightness reduce the mobility of the pelvis. This in turn puts pressure on your lower back, causing back pain. Strengthening and stretching the hamstrings can keep them from getting too tight and give additional support to the back and pelvis.
- Preventing injuries – a lot of hamstring tears and strains are purely due to a tight hamstring. Simply keeping your hamstring loose can prevent you from suffering these injuries.
- Improved performance – having a loose hamstring also improves the range of motion of your hip. This can mean that you can kick a ball harder or even just make everyday tasks such as going up stairs easier.
- Improved posture – as we said earlier, the hamstrings are attached to the pelvis. Hamstring tightness can also cause the pelvis to rotate backwards and flatten the curve of your spine. The result is poor sitting and standing posture. Loosening up the hamstring fixes these issues.
How to fix hamstring tightness?
There are several ways that hamstring tightness can be fixed. One of the best that you can do is stretching. Here’s a how you can do a simple stretch that requires nothing but a wall.
Lying hamstring stretch using a wall
- Find an open doorway.
- Lie flat on either the ground or a mat, with the back flat and the left leg fully extended on the floor. The left leg should pass through the doorway.
- Lean the right leg against the wall next to the doorway.
- Adjust the distance between the body and the wall to achieve mild tension in the right leg.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
- Repeat three times
When should I seek professional help for hamstring tightness?
Make an appointment with your doctor or physio if you hamstrings that are often tight and painful. Pain that doesn’t go away may be a sign of injury.
Other symptoms that may signal an injury are:
- sudden, sharp pain
- popping or tearing sensation
- swelling or tenderness
- bruising or discoloration
- muscle weakness