What are Tight Hamstrings?
Let’s first take a dive into what are tight hamstrings. The hamstring consists of a group of muscles, and these muscles run up the back and to your thigh. Typically, when you participate in sports, such as soccer, tennis, dancing, and running, this can cause tightness in your hamstrings.
It’s crucial to keep these muscles loose during play. A tight hamstring may be more susceptible to strain or tear. If you feel pain in your hamstring, it’s important to first see a doctor before self-diagnosing. However, there are a couple of exercises and stretches you can perform to loosen these tight muscles.
Don’t forget, before performing an exercise or stretch, warm-up your muscles a bit. Even just a walk or another activity can help warm-up. Please note, never stretch if you are in pain or force a stretch. Instead, focus on your breathing.
Yoga Poses for Tight Hamstrings:
Yoga stretches are a great way to deal with tight hamstrings. If you are attending a yoga class, be sure to mention that you have tight hamstrings. They might be able to modify the poses for you to help deal with them.
Extended Triangle Pose
- Start in a standing position. Then move your legs about three to four feet apart.
- Reach your arms out parallel to the ground with your palms facing down.
- Turn your right foot in toward the left and your left foot out 90 degrees. Keep your heels in line with one another.
- Slowly bend your torso over your left leg and reach your left hand to the floor or a yoga block for support. Stretch your right arm toward the ceiling.
- Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, or however long your instructor directs you to.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Start on the floor on your hands and knees. Then lift your knees up and send your tailbone toward the ceiling.
- Straighten your legs slowly. Tight hamstrings may make this pose difficult, so you can keep your knees bent slightly. Just make sure to keep a straight spine.
- Take a few deep breaths or hold for however long your instructor directs you to.
Try a Foam Roller
Foam rollers are great! They can help stretch out any loose muscles you may have. You can pick up a foam roller just about anywhere, and they are relatively inexpensive.
Roll out your hamstrings:
- First, sit on the floor with your foam roller under your right thigh. Your left leg may stay on the ground for support.
- Next, with your arms behind you, roll your hamstring. Start with the back of your thigh from the bottom of your buttocks to your knee.
- Now, focus on your abdominal muscles during this exercise. Keep your core engaged and your back straight.
- Then, continue slowly rolling for 30 seconds to 2 minutes in total.
- Repeat with your other leg.
Perform this activity 3x a week.
Not only can foam rollers help with tight hamstrings, but they can also help relieve back pain! Plus, loosen various muscles in your body, including your glutes, calves, and quads.