Do you have tight hamstrings and want to increase your muscle flexibility? Hamstring stretching when combined with regular movement, fascial release and proper diet, will amaze you with their great results.
The hamstring muscle group is located in the back of our thigh and is responsible for bending or flexing your knee. Hamstrings also cross our hip joint and the back of our thigh, they also serve to help your gluteal muscles extend the leg during activities like running and walking. Hamstring flexibility is very important for your back, hip and knees.
Did you forget this before stretching your muscles?
Make sure you do a proper warmup before stretching hamstrings or any other muscle. Muscles are like elastic bands ,they need to be warm before stretching or doing workouts. Warmup increases blood flow to your muscles and makes them more flexible.
Why is there a high chance of injury?
A Tight muscle tends to weaken… and a weak muscle tends to tighten…as a result of this,there is a rise in the internal forces which results in decreased oxygen supply to the muscles. This results in adhesion and fibrosis in the affected tissue.This often increase the chances of tear or injury.repeated injuries are also a leading factor for formation of fibrosis.
There is a wide variety of techniques to stretch the large hamstring muscles in the back of the thighs. Below are instructions for several hamstring stretches that are easy to do and are very effective
- Towel Hamstring Stretch
Lie on the back, supporting the thigh with the hand or with a towel wrapped around it..
Slowly straighten the knee until a stretch is felt in the back of the thigh, trying to get the bottom of the foot to face the ceiling, one leg at a time.
Hold the position initially for 10- 12 seconds, and gradually increase to 20 to 30 seconds.
- Hamstring stretch in sitting position
Hamstring stretches can also be performed in the sitting position, although this position can be less gentle than lying on the back, but you can vary your degree of stretch according to the position of the leg.
How to perform hamstring stretch in sitting position
*sitting at the edge of a chair, straighten one leg in front of the body with the heel on the floor.
* sit up straight and try pushing the navel towards the thigh without leaning the trunk of the body forwards.
Hold this stretch for20- 30 seconds
Repeat 5 times for each leg.
- SIMPLE HAMSTRING STRETCH
This method of stretching hamstrings is the simplest form of techniques used.
*sit on the floor with both the legs straight.
*Reach forward by bending the waist and extending your arms as far as possible while your knees are straight.
*Hold this position for 15-20 seconds
*Relax at your starting position and repeat 3-4 times.
This stretch can put strain on the back , therefore if you have sciatica, please proceed with caution.
Things to remember before you start your workout
If you are feeling tightness in hamstring muscles, learn the best way and improve your flexibility.
Always listen to your body and never overdo it, consult your physiotherapist before planning your workout.
Apart from workouts, hamstring stretching will definitely be very useful in desk bound jobs, after travelling and in many sports activities.
By starting with these simple techniques , you can stay healthy, active and fit.
In the next article, I would like to share with you the nutritional importance for improving muscle flexibility.
STAY ACTIVE STAY FIT
AUTHOR- Indira Shivani. G, M.P.T
Author is a physiotherapist with more than 9 years of experience.
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