Due to our general lack of exercise and general inactivity the hamstrings, which are located in the back of the thigh, often become short and tight. This can cause issues ranging from low back pain to a shortened gate. Learn how to release them in this blog.
The hamstrings are on the back of the thigh and are composed of 3 muscles with one of the muscles having 2 heads. Three of the heads originate on the hip bone with the fourth head originating on the back of the femur (thigh bone). All the muscles attach to the upper part of the lower leg. The hamstrings flex the knee, extend the hip, and tilt the hip backward which decreases the arch in the low back.
Symptoms of Tightness
Ache or pain in the low back
Difficulty bending forward
Shortened walking or running step
Causes of tightness
The hamstrings can become shortened if you sit a lot or are generally inactive.
Lie on your back with both legs straight
Wrap a large towel around the right foot and keep hold of each end of the towel
Slowly pull the right leg toward the ceiling with your arms keeping your knee straight
The right leg should reach a 90-degree angle to the floor while the left leg stays on the floor
Test the other leg
If the leg does not reach 90-degrees then releasing them is the first step to making them more flexible.
Hamstrings – Static Release
Sit on a chair with a firm seat
Take a tennis ball, lacrosse ball of softball and put it under your right hamstring
Find a spot that is a level 5-8 pain intensity on a scale of 1-10 (10 being excruciating)
Stay on this spot for 30 seconds to 2 minutes or until the pain has dissipated and there is just pressure
Switch to the other leg
Retest using the flexibility test to see if improvement has been made. This release can be done everyday.
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