The hamstrings are a set of muscles located at the back of the leg between the gluteus and the knee. The hamstrings are made up of the well-known biceps femoris located at the top of the leg, the semitendious biceps that is located in the middle and the semimembranosus that is located at the bottom of the upper leg, just before reaching our knee.
They are very important muscles that are used when we walk or exercise in the gym, as they are small muscles and due to their characteristics, they are muscles that tend to crimp and in which we can quickly lose our flexibility.
It is very important that we stretch this muscle group because thanks to a correct stretch we can avoid the loss of flexibility and even improve the one we already have, so we are going to proceed with a compilation of the different hamstring stretching exercises.
What do you need to stretch your hamstrings?
- To stretch more comfortably, a mat.
- A high point of support such as a chair or ladder can also be done on a gym wall bar or on top of a sofa.
- Slight pain resistance and consistency.
Hamstring Stretching Instructions
- Go down to touch:
It is the classic hamstring stretching exercise, it consists of standing with your back straight, then you go down and try to touch your feet with your hands without bending your legs lowering slowly, even if you don’t get there you will notice a small prick in your hamstring muscles, force until you lower what you can.
- Go down to touch, easy mode:
I know what you’re thinking, I can’t touch my foot and I can’t stretch. Well, don’t worry, there is a version for stiffer people: First you must go down in the same way as before but bending your legs until you touch, now hold your feet tightly and stretch your legs little by little without letting go of your feet, so the muscle will be stretched little by little even if you do not touch since we are doing it the other way around. When you manage to fully stretch your legs, you can move on to the simple exercise of lowering and playing.
- Lying stretch:
This is even easier to do than the previous one. First of all, you must lie on your back with your legs stretched out, then we take one leg and with the help of our arms we raise it as much as we can, now with the knee slightly bent we hold the leg to keep it there without falling, then slowly lower and move on to the other leg. Ideal exercise for beginners.
- High Fulcrum Stretch:
Quick exercise to perform, we put one leg on top of the high fulcrum, it should be high enough so that the shape of the leg is at a right angle to your hip while the opposite leg is set back and slightly flexed. Now move forward carefully and hold for a few seconds until you feel it stretch, return to the starting position slowly and switch legs.
- Leg stretch stretched on floor:
Another classic, often used in martial arts and aerobics classes, this exercise is very simple to perform. We sit with our heels tucked back, then we stretch one leg in front of us and without bending the knee, we try to touch our toes with our outstretched arm. Again, there is an easy way for stiff people, the difference is that as in step 2, we will bend our knees until we grasp our toes and without letting go, we will stretch our leg as far as we can.
Tips for stretching your hamstrings
- Slowly and carefully: Hamstring stretches should be done in a gentle and controlled way, always doing it in a way that does not hurt too much and always being able to recover the starting position in a simple way. Stretching abruptly can cause a muscle injury that can have serious consequences, so it’s best to listen to us if you don’t want to end up with crutches.
- Strengthens the muscle: While it may not have to do with flexibility, having a strong muscle can make you less prone to injury, even if you need to stretch to avoid seizing. Perform exercises to improve your biceps femoris muscles like the curl femoris at your gym or go on fast, explosive runs to strengthen it.
- Practice flexibility: You need to stretch after every leg workout, this will help prevent crimping and muscle knots. But don’t forget to practice flexibility often, at least once a week dedicate it to stretching as this way you will avoid losing it with age and it will even improve if you train it more often.
- If you notice that you have little flexibility and one of your goals is to improve it, we advise you to look at this article where we give you some good tips to improve your flexibility.