Due to the positioning of the hamstrings and the requirements during activity in sport, they are often tight and sore after activity. Here are 3 stretches to activate and stretch your hamstrings!
1. Kneeling Hamstring Reach
2. Lying Straight Leg Pull
3. Hamstring Sweeps
Stretching your hamstrings can do several things for you:
1. Prevent Low Back Pain
The Hamstrings sit on the back of our thighs and run from our upper hip, to just below our knee joint. Due to their connection high into our hips, tight hamstrings can pull on our low back muscles creating tension and causing pain.
2. Reduce Risk of Injury
During running, the hamstrings are extremely active. Stretching before and after exercise allows for loose and prepared muscles as they go through continuous muscle contraction decreasing the risk of injury.
3. Increase Flexibility
Hamstring stretches increase mobility in and around the hips and low back. This creates better ranges of motion and increases the ease of everyday tasks like picking something up, walking up and down stairs, or standing for long periods!
4. Improve Posture
When your hamstrings are tight, it not only inhibits athletic performance but also everyday activities. Tight hamstrings pull on your hips to flatten the natural curve of your low back. This can cause poor standing and seated posture that can lead to pain and weakness in other areas in and around your hips and low back!
Overall, your hamstrings are highly active, important, and strong muscles! Without proper attention and stretching, they can become tight and cause pain, increase your risk of injury, decrease flexibility, and corrupt your posture!