Hamstring Stretches: These are massive muscles, at the back of your thighs, that work over 2 joints - that is the hip (where they extend to allow the leg to move back) and the knee (where they flex to allow the leg to bend). They're in constant use one way or another, so when they are tight, you're apt to feel it in the hip, thigh, at the back of the leg or in the lower back. Check our a page on the Benefits of Stretching by clicking on the navigation menu on the left.
Tightness in hamstrings is so very common, both with people who exercise & stretch diligently and those who do not, such as sedentary older people and computer operators who are compelled to sit too long at the desk.
A significant symptom of tight hamstrings is lower back pain. This is because the tight hamstrings will draw down the posterior pelvis pulling it out of alignment, and then causing problems with the sacro-iliac joint at the base of the spine, which will also reek havoc with your posture. Our Posture page is well worth investigating - check the menu. It's so important to take care of your spine.
Make a stretching regime a regular part of your day and in no time at all you'll be walking freely, running faster and be pain free with a big grin on your face.
Remember to RELAX and BREATHE when you do these exercises.
Hamstring Stretch Standing: Make sure legs are straight and locked at the knee. Allow the upper body to resemble a rag doll, flopping forward and totally relaxed.
Take a moment, when you have finished with this page, to check out the full list of illustrated stretching exercises - see table above.
Hamstring Stretch Sitting: Again, keep legs straight and draw the head down towards the knees. If you can't manage this with hands on the feet, shins will be fine, and then as you loosen up and relax more, you'll get to the feet.
BELOW you have access to our online Correct Posture Test which will help you to discover exactly what stretches will be of benefit to you. This is available when you receive for our monthly newsletter. The NEWSLETTER, (called NEWSY PILATES STUFF), provides useful illustrated information about exercises and stretches, a little bit of gossip, and video stretches - and of course it's FREE. The form below is a simple one and requires little time to complete.