Today, I wanted to go through my Top 3 Hamstring Stretches.
The last couple of days and week, I’ve been talking a lot about hamstring, hamstring injury, and hamstring injury recovery. If you have been on the blog ExercisesForInjuries.com you might have done the 7 Question Quiz on Hamstring Injury Recovery.
If you haven’t, head on over and there take the quiz, and then you can watch the video where I go through the answers and explain the questions and answers in more detail.
Best 3 Hamstring Stretches
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In this video, I wanted to go through my Top 3 Hamstring Stretches.
The reasons why I want to go through these are a couple fold. If you have a hamstring injury and if you have been reading my emails, I shared a story about my brother and how we were down in California and we were at the NCAA Boys Western Regional Tournament, and I saw him constantly stretching out his hamstring, and I asked him what was up and what was going on.
After looking at the straight leg hamstring stretch that he did, I gave him some ideas on how we can tweak things and make his hamstring stretch a little bit more effective. And I will show you in this video the 3 hamstring stretching exercises that I like.
If you have a hamstring injury or a client that has a hamstring injury, stretching is an important part of it. But what’s more important than the stretching and the strengthening of the hamstring is working on the agility and on core stability. Make sure you have those two components in your hamstring injury recovery program.
The other reason is because of back pain. For people that have back pain or a tight hamstring, it increases the risk of back pain or back pain flare up.
Okay, enough chatting. Let me go through the 3 Stretches that I like the most.
#1 – Straight Leg Hamstring Stretch
The one that I like doing, and my brother did this one in California, was like a Straight Leg Hamstring Stretch.
You are in a standing position, and all my weight is in one leg evenly weighted. The knee is soft so it is not completely locked out. Other leg is straight and the foot’s ankle joint is in neutral so I can have the toes up. The leg is in a straight position and I’ve got my hand on something in order to eliminate balance, because I am not worrying about balance. I am trying to isolate for that hamstring stretch. I am tightening up the abdominal area, hinging at the hips, moving the upper body as one unit until I reach a point where I feel that the hamstring muscle is lengthening out. I am going to hold that position for like 20 seconds, two times for each side and looking for a light stretch.
#2 – Hip Hinging and Bending
We are working more upper hamstring. So with nice upper body in upright position and legs are about hip width apart, I am tightening the abdominal area and I am bending through until I feel a point where I have tightness. And the stretch will feel differently because it will be more upper hamstring.
I don’t have to be in a standing position. I can move close to something like a wall or a beam and then I can go through that as well. I can bend through the point where I can feel that stretch. I can rest my hands on the railing in order to control that stretch. Tighten the abdominal area and nice upright position hinging through the hips, lower body stays the same. I am trying to keep those knees neutral and try not to hyper extend them.
#3 – Deadlift Hamstring Stretch
I am changing that knee angle. As opposed to the knee being zero degrees or completely straight, I start wanting to bend that knee. I call this like a Deadlift Hamstring Stretch.
I am bending the knees and now I am hinging at the hips, moving down and stretching out the hamstring. Feet are about hip width apart. I tighten up my abdominal area and I am bending through the knees while keeping that upper body in a straight line. I am going to hinge at the hips and it’s almost like a deadlift hamstring stretch.
With that one I feel the stretch more in the middle part of the hamstring, and I can rest my hands on my knees in order to control the stretch. And once again I can utilize like a wall or something, going to a point where I have that light stretch, resting on the wall or a beam.
So those are the 3 different Hamstring Stretches. As you noticed, I didn’t do any lying down ones, because it is more effective to give variations when it comes to hamstring stretches that can be incorporated wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Anyone can do it. You can take a break and do them, get up from your chair and do the stretch or quickly get up and do the stretch. You don’t need to lie down on the floor to do the stretches.
Give all 3 of them a go and see how they feel differently on you, and see how different parts of your hamstring are being focused in on with the hamstring stretch.
Make sure to swing by the blog at exercisesforinjuries.com and take a look at that 7 Question Quiz on Hamstring Injury Recovery.
Also take a look at that post where I talked about Is the Toe Touching Exercise Good for Your Back.
If you are looking for a program that will help you recover from a hamstring injury, then check out the Hamstring Injury Solution program here:
Rick Kaselj, MS