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Hamstring stretches

Josephine

NURSE DIRECTOR EMERITUS
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Just to add to this medley of suggestions, I found these particularly helpful though my ultimate resolution was a visit to the CHIROPRACTOR!!!

View attachment 34305
hamstring 2.jpg
seated hamstring stretch.JPG


And because tight hamstrings can also cause or even secondarily cause calf pain, this will be helpful too

hamstring-gastrocnemius.jpg
calf muscle stretch 2.JPG




Courtesy of alexthecat
Here are a couple of seated hamstring stretches you could try.

hamstring 2.jpg
seated hamstring stretch.JPG

You can do this one using a towel or a belt or something. Pay attention to maintaining a natural curve in your spine. Your lower back may want to slump a little and you want to avoid that. Not slouching applies here as well. Just try to hinge forward at the waist, without rounding your shoulders or back. With either of these stretches, you can try moving your leg out to side a little or closer to the mid-line of your body to get the stretch where you need it.

A standing stretch is perfectly fine. So is the seated version. I tend to steer people away from those two though because people cheat. :heehee: I'm not saying that applies to you at all... it's just a general observation.

hamstring 1.JPG

With the seated stretch, this is what I want to see:

floor sitting.JPG

The problem most people have with it is that they end up looking more like this:

hamstring 0.jpg

See how she has a curve in her back and her feet are pointed, not flexed? I see that in classes all the time. People want to show off how far they can reach, but they are getting there by straining their lower backs. Pointing the toes actually releases the stretch, so they aren't doing themselves any favors there. Then they complain to me that their flexibility isn't improving and get mad when I try to show them the correct way to stretch.

Courtesy of Z15
We were talking about tight hamstrings the other day and I was hating the stretches I was trying ...but last week PT suggested this one (it looks like this)

wall stretch 2.JPG

The idea is to get your butt as close to the wall or door frame as you can and still COMPLETELY straighten your leg. Find a distance that is a good stretch but not painful...and just lay there and relax.

Then instead of a 20-30 second stretch, you get in this position in a doorway or against a wall, and you rest there for some minutes, say 5. And it has worked for me. After about 5 times (5 days X 4 min per) I can touch my toes again.


Courtesy of Jamie
You might also try some hamstring stretches a couple of times a day.
Here's a short video with one exercise that will stretch these muscles:

 

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