10 Best Hamstring Stretches – How to Stretch Your Hamstrings

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10 Best Hamstring Stretches - How to Stretch Your Hamstrings

10 Best Hamstring Stretches

Hamstring Stretches are required exercises in many sports and martial arts. The hamstrings are responsible for propelling legs forward, pulling them back, and flexing knees. When your hamstrings are tight then you need to do something about it, this can:

  • Prevent an injury
  • Improve your mobility
  • Decrease muscle soreness

Having tight hamstring muscles can contribute to lower back pain, discomfort, bad sleep, and of course bad performance in sports.

Stretching helps in increasing flexibility, preventing injuries as well as reducing muscle tension and post-exercise tightening while facilitating certain movements and improving muscle coordination.

If you have been inactive for a length of time, or if you’ve had any recent surgery or physical problems, particularly of the muscles and joints, please consult your doctor before you start a stretching or exercise program.

The following exercises will help you to reduce tension and discomfort. Tight hamstrings are common for most of us who do all kinds of sports. Remember these stretching exercises should be done at least once a day and every day if you are active in any sport. Incorporate a stretching session into your daily routine to keep your body strong and healthy.

1. Standing Hamstring Stretch

Standing Hamstring Stretch - Hamstring Stretches
Standing Hamstring Stretch – Hamstring Stretches

Extend one leg out or keep your feet together, and keeping your back straight, bend from your hip joints to bring your chest toward your thigh.

  • Do not bounce because it can contract your muscles instead.
  • Make sure you relax your hips and allow them to fall as you stretch.
  • Only go as far as you can without losing your balance or back pain.

2. Hamstring Stretch for Athletes

Hamstring Stretch for Athletes - Hamstring Stretches
Hamstring Stretch for Athletes – Hamstring Stretches

Put the heel or ankle of one leg on something that is about waist height or a little lower and bend at your hips to bring the front of your trunk towards your thigh. Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds.

3. Half Squat Hamstring Stretch for Athletes

Half Squat Hamstring Stretch for Athletes - Hamstring Stretches
Half Squat Hamstring Stretch for Athletes – Hamstring Stretches

From a squat position stretch one leg forward and touch your toes.

  • Make sure you stretch slowly, and bring your forehead forward, you can look forward or bring your forehead to your knee.
  • Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds.

4. Hurdler Hamstring Stretch

Sitted Half Toe Touching - Hamstring Stretches
Sitted Half Toe Touching – Hamstring Stretches

This is also known as the Hurdler Hamstring Stretch, a simple stretching exercise. Bend forward and try to touch your toe with your fingers.

  • Try to reach your toes or if you are more flexible try to bring your chest to your knee.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed as you bend forward.
  • Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds.

5. Partner Hamstring Stretching

Partner Hamstring Stretching - Hamstring Stretches
Partner Hamstring Stretching – Hamstring Stretches

Have someone assist you with your stretching exercise either holding or pushing your leg. Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds.

6. Toe Touching

Toe Touching - Hamstring Stretches
Toe Touching – Hamstring Stretches

Bend forward at the hips to try to touch your toes with your fingers. Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds.

7. Downward Facing dog

Downward Facing dog - Hamstring Stretches
Downward Facing dog – Hamstring Stretches

This is a yoga pose with superpowers, you will stretch your lower back and at the same time both legs. This pose will help you stretch your entire body at the same time.

  • Extend your arms and reach forward keeping your back straight.
  • You should do this stretch on a stable surface.
  • Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds.
  • Repeat this pose three to four times.

Learn more about the Downward Facing dog and all its powers.

8. Supine Hamstring Stretch

Lie on your back and bring one leg straight up. The ultimate goal is to bring your leg up high enough so that you can touch your toes, or even bring your straight leg towards your head.

  • Once you are on your back you can slowly bring your leg up to stretch your hamstrings, bring it as close as you can to your head, then switch with your other leg.
  • Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds.

9. Double leg stretching with legs open

Double leg stretching with legs open - Hamstring Stretches
Double leg stretching with legs open – Hamstring Stretches

This is an advanced stretch exercise, open your legs and try to bring your head as low as possible, and try to grab your ankles.

This advanced stretching exercise has multiple benefits as you stretch:

  • You stretch both legs at the same time, not only your hamstrings but also your lower back and abductors with a single move.
  • It will help you improve your balance and circulation.
  • Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds.

10. Standing Toe Touching

Standing Toe Touching - Hamstring Stretches
Standing Toe Touching – Hamstring Stretches

While standing, try to touch and grab your toe and hold your leg.

  • You will be stretching one leg at a time, make sure you have a good balance otherwise, you can hold one hand on a chair or post to stretch your leg.
  • Do not go too high if you don’t want to lose your balance.
  • Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds.

Hamstring Stretches Benefits

  • It Will help you prevent lower back pain
  • It Will help you increase your flexibility
  • It Will help you reduce injuries
  • It Will help you improve your posture
  • It will help you get better results when training and competing

Recommendations

  • Create your own stretching routine
  • Keep a steady training and work on it at least three days a week
  • If you can’t fully straighten your leg, just go as far as you can, but do not force your legs.
  • With time and repetition, you will become more flexible.

More stretching exercises:

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