6 Best Hamstring Stretches to Avoid Injury

Stretch your hamstrings regularly to ease or prevent back pain (Image via Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)
Stretch your hamstrings regularly to ease or prevent back pain (Image via Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)
Soniya Y

One of the most common muscle injuries is a hamstring injury. A hamstring strain can occur when you fall, run, or kick, and is an overuse injury caused by a tear in one or more hamstring muscles.

There are a lot of muscles that function together in order to allow you to remain upright and balanced on your feet. The best thing for preventing pain is to stretch those muscles.

Hamstring stretches help improve the motion of your legs and allow you to run faster and farther without tiring easily. That's why many athletes stretch their hamstrings regularly.

Benefits of hamstring stretches

The hamstrings are muscles that live in your thighs and run from the backs of your knees to your hips. They control knee bending, and they also help your hip muscles extend your legs during activities like running and walking.

Athletes stretching their hamstring to improve mobility (Image via Pexels/ Rfstudio)
Athletes stretching their hamstring to improve mobility (Image via Pexels/ Rfstudio)

Many athletes stretch their hamstrings because:

  • Helps them avoid injury.
  • Reduces low-back pain.
  • Stretching the hamstrings also allows for improved mobility.
  • Stretching after a workout can help lessen soreness in the muscles as well.

Stretch your hamstrings regularly to ease or prevent back pain. But be cautious not to overstretch; hold the stretches for 30 seconds, and then let go if you feel any pain.

Here are six of the best hamstring stretches to help you achieve health and flexibility while preventing back pain and injuries.

1.Basic Hamstring stretches

This simple hamstring stretch will help you engage the lower back and hamstrings in a relaxed, non-aerobic fashion. If you have back pain or sciatica, proceed with caution and do not overstretch.

  • Sit with your legs straight out on the floor.
  • Reach forward as far as you can with your arms extended and your knees straight.
  • For 15 to 30 seconds, hold this position.
  • Return to your original starting position.
  • Repeat three more times.
  • Stretch your thighs until you feel a mild pull in the back.

2. Standing Hamstring stretch

You can do this stretch anywhere at all. To do the standing hamstring stretch, follow these steps:

  • When you stand, cross your right foot in front of your left.
  • Now, lower your forehead slowly to your right knee by bending at the waist.
  • Keep both knees in a straight line.
  • Stay in this position for about 15 seconds.
  • Relax.
  • Repeat on the other side.

3. The Towel Hamstring Stretch

Calf muscles help to stretch this muscle group regularly to avoid foot pain. The Achilles tendon is the tough band of tissue that attaches calf muscles to the back of your heel bone. By stretching these muscles, you may help avoid strains and cramps in your lower legs.

  • Wrap a towel around your toes and the ball of your foot as you sit with your leg out in front of you.
  • Pull the cloth from both ends until you feel a stretch behind your lower thigh.
  • Repeat three times on each leg, holding the stretch for 30 seconds each time.

4. Standing Hamstring stretch (with one leg at a time)

The one-legged standing hamstring stretch is the simplest way to stretch your hamstrings. It's easy, and you can do it anywhere: at home, at work, or even outdoors. Just follow these directions:

  • Elevate one heel on a firm surface to the utmost height you can manage while standing. Slightly bend the knee of your lifted leg.
  • For 10 seconds, keep your standing leg straight and press down on your lifted heel. Take a 10-second break. Then, for 20 seconds, steadily tilt forward at the hips to bring your chest closer to your lifted leg.
  • Two or three sets of three reps on each side should be completed. To make the stretch easier or harder, adjust the height of your lifted heel.

5. Supine Hamstring stretch

This move stretches out the hamstring muscles. They're usually tight when you're sitting for a long time. You can also do this move at yoga class and in fitness studios.

  • Lie on your back with your legs straight and one foot pulled up towards your hip.
  • Touching your toes is the goal, but you don't have to go that far.
  • Do this as many times a day as you can, and you may be able to move the leg closer and closer.

6. Toe Touch

Touching your toes is a classic hamstring stretch of lower back, gluteal, and calf flexibility. When establishing a stretching and exercising routine, the sit-and-reach method is a standard flexibility test for both athletic and general fitness populations.

  • Standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Slightly shift your hips back and move your arms down your thighs to your feet.
  • Continue to lower your arms until you feel a stretch at the back of your legs, whether you can graze your shins or ankles.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat.

By incorporating these six hamstring stretches, it may help you loosen up before a workout session or running competition. The human body is one of the most flexible and wonderful machines created.

With the right activities and a good stretching routine, your muscles and joints will be happier than ever before. Just remember to always be safe.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande


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