12 Hamstring Stretches for Greater Flexibility


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
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Tight hamstrings are a common complaint not only amongst runners, cyclists and rowers, but for those who tend to sit most of the day, whether at a desk at work or school, spend a lot of time on the couch watching TV, sitting at the computer, even for those individuals who spend hours in the car every day.

The hamstrings are the group of muscles that make up the back of the thigh and include: the biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus. These muscles are responsible for flexing the knee and extending the hip. For many of us, tight hamstrings can lead to bigger issues down the road such as lower back pain as well as knee and hip problems. This is why keeping our hamstrings limber should be an important part of our exercise routine so that we can hopefully prevent injury and make our physical activities easier.

So what can you do to avoid developing tight hamstrings or begin the process of making them more flexible?

Below are links to hamstring stretches. Please note that you do not want to do all of them. Select a few and then work your way through. If you have extremely tight hamstrings, your range of motion may be very limited for now, but do what you can. The more we do the stretches the more limber our bodies will become. Just be certain that you never stretch to the point of pain.

Some of the exercises listed may be a little more advanced, so feel free to wait until you gain a little more flexibility before trying them. And always make sure you do a nice cardio warm-up before beginning your stretching routine so that you fully prepare the muscles for the challenges ahead.

Seated Hamstring Stretch

Standing Modified Hamstring Stretch

Standing Hamstring Stretch

Bent Leg Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring Door-Frame Stretch

Hamstring Stretch in a Doorway

Wide-Leg Modified Hamstring Stretch

Wide-Leg Advanced Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring Stretch Series

Lying Hamstring Stretch

Modified Hurdler's Stretch

Myofascial Hamstring Release

Have you suffered from tight hamstrings? Do you stretch your hamstrings on a consistent basis? Which is your favorite hamstring stretch?

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