Hamstring Stretches: Improve Flexibility and Mobility

The hamstrings run across the back of each thigh from the hip to the back of the knee. Tight hamstrings can cause back pain.

There are many hamstring stretches that are gentle and easy to perform. These stretches are most effective when performed for 30-60 seconds, but you can start with 10-20 seconds per stretch and gradually increase the duration.

Hamstring stretch for flexibility

Here is a hamstring stretch you can add to your morning routine.

  1. Start sitting on the floor, legs stretched to the maximum.
  2. Go for the calves with the hands, make sure to round the back.
  3. The legs should remain straight for the duration of the stretch.
  4. Try to bring your hands as close as possible to your feet without bending your legs and keeping your back round.
  5. Pull your toes towards you for maximum back stretch.
  6. Don’t block your breath, you breathe deeply.
  7. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds…

Hamstring stretch for flexibility video

Hamstring stretch for flexibility pictures

Hamstring stretch lying down

Hamstring stretch lying down
Hamstring stretch for flexibility lying down
  1. Lie down on the floor or on a mat with your back flat and your legs straight.
  2. To stretch the hamstrings of the right leg, grasp the back of the right knee with both hands, pull the leg toward your chest and slowly straighten the knee until you feel a stretch.
  3. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 3 times

Increase the stretch as much as you like by turning your toes towards you.

Hamstring stretch against a wall

Hamstring stretch against a wall
Hamstring stretch for flexibility against a wall
  1. Lie down on the floor near a wall recess or high piece of furniture. The back must be flat
  2. To stretch the hamstrings of the right leg, press the right leg against the wall. The heel of the right foot, the right calf and the back of the right thigh should be in contact with the wall. The leg must be well stretched.
  3. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 3 times

Increase the stretch as much as you like by turning your toes towards you.

Standing hamstring stretch

Standing hamstring stretch
Standing hamstring stretch for flexibility
  • Bend your legs, keep your pelvis at the height of your left foot
  • Extend the right leg, turn the foot to rest on the heel
  • Grab the toes with your fingers
  • You should feel the stretch on the back of the right thigh (if not, tilt the foot up even more)
  • Hold for a few seconds, release, repeat 5 times

Remember to keep your back straight

The hamstring muscles

Hamstring muscle: muscle group composed of the biceps femoris muscle, semitendinosus muscle and semimembranosus muscle
Hamstring muscle: muscle group composed of the biceps femoris muscle, semitendinosus muscle and semimembranosus muscle

Definition of paresthesia on WikipediaThe hamstring muscles are composed of several parts whose main action is todrive the knee in flexion and the femur in extension if the hip bone is a fixed point.

Function of these muscles

The hamstring muscles are composed of several parts whose main action is to drive the knee in flexion and the femur in extension if the hip bone is a fixed point.

  • The biceps femoris muscle allows flexion of the leg and lateral rotation of the flexed leg. The upper part participates in the extension of the hip.
  • The semitendinosus muscle allows the flexion of the leg. When the leg is flexed, it is a medial rotator (inward rotation) of the leg and a hip extensor.
  • The semimembranous muscle, whose functions are identical to those of the semitendinosus muscle. In addition, it is a tensor of the joint capsule (through the oblique popliteal ligament).

It also has the action of bringing the knee into external rotation. It causes the pelvis to retrovert if the lower limb is fixed. (Source Wikipedia: Ischio-Leg muscle).

The benefits of hamstring stretching

Prevention of back pain

Tight hamstrings reduce the mobility of the pelvis, causing pressure on the lower back. Strengthening and stretching the hamstrings will keep them supple and in good working order: they will then be able to provide the necessary support to the spine.

Reduced risk of injury

Flexible hamstrings help reduce the risk of straining or tearing during intense physical activities, such as running.

Increased flexibility

Hamstring stretches increase flexibility and improve range of motion in the hips. Both of these benefits will help people perform everyday tasks and movements, such as climbing stairs or bending easily. This concerns everyone , but especially seniors.

Improvement of posture

Flexible and relaxed hamstrings allow you to stand up straight without having to bend or slouch when sitting.

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