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5 Exercises for Stretching Tight Hamstrings

Tight hamstring stretching

What are the best ways to get those hamstrings loose? If you are anything like me, tight hamstrings can really limit your ability to do some of the things you love. These multiple stretches will give you the best results. There is the hurdler stretch, standing stretch, calf stretch, lying stretch, and an assisted stretch with a band. You need to make a habit of doing these stretches on a daily bases to get maximum effect. For those with the budget stretching machines can really help with increasing your flexibility but these exercise can be done without one.

Different Hamstring Stretches and How to Do Them

In this section I will show you the five different stretches and detail how to perform them. If any of this starts to hurt too much, just ease up on it until it gets comfortable. Your goal is not to feel pain during these stretches.

 

Hurdler Hamstring Stretch

Seated hurdle stretch

  1. Sit with your legs out in front of you
  2. Keep one leg straight out
  3. Bend your other leg at the knee
  4. Pull the foot up to rest flat against the thigh of the straight leg
  5. Reach towards the toe of the straight leg and hold for 30 seconds
  6. Switch legs and repeat

 

Standing Hamstring Stretch

Standing Hamstring and calf stretch

 

  1. Stand with your right leg slightly ahead of the left
  2. Lift the right leg slightly with toes up
  3. Put your hands on your left knee or just above your right leg for support
  4. Bend left knee slightly and lean body forward
  5. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch legs and repeat

 

Calf and hamstring Stretch

Stretches to increase flexibility

This stretch can be done against a wall for additional support

  1. Stand about two feet away from a wall
  2. Brace your hands on the wall for support
  3. Bring your left foot forward and step back with your right foot
  4. Lean into the wall with your foot until you feel the calf muscle stretching
  5. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat with other leg

 

Lying Hamstring Stretch

 

  1. Lay flat on your back on the floor with legs straight
  2. Grab the back of your left leg
  3. Slowly pull your leg up, towards the ceiling
  4. Keep toes pointed up and pull until you feel a good stretch in the back of the leg
  5. Hold for 30 seconds and slowly bring your leg down
  6. Repeat steps for the other leg

Assisted Hamstring Stretch With a Band

  1. Start with the same position as the lying hamstring stretch
  2. Take the resistance band and place it around your foot, holding on each side
  3. Slowly pull your leg up, with the resistance band, towards the ceiling
  4. Keep the toes flat while you hold for 30 seconds
  5. Bring the leg slowly down and repeat steps for the other side

Problems That Tight Hamstrings Can Cause

Tight hamstrings can limit your ability to do a lot of basic everyday tasks. Something as simple as getting in and out of the shower can become difficult. It is harder to do the things you love, as mobility is going to be very limited.

Depending on your career, this affliction can really affect your professional life as well. If you are doing anything that involves manual labor, tight hamstrings will cause a drop in production and may end up causing other problems such as back problems.

If you are dealing with tight hamstrings, you owe it to yourself to be proactive.

I have found that slowly incorporating these stretches into my daily routine has worked wonders for my tight hamstrings. At first it may seem that these stretches are difficult but over time you should your flexibility increase.

The biggest rule is to listen to your body. If you are in too much pain from a particular stretch, ease off on it a little. Take it slow and remember to do it every day.