In other words: It is a combination of strengthening + stretching at the same time. First, to release longstanding hamstring muscle tension, don't bounce. It is always a good idea to warm up before you start any hamstring stretches. Stand tall and move your shoulders down. Slowly incline forward at the hips, keeping the back neutral and without flexing the lumbar spine. Either way is fine, but it really depends on your goals with the stretch. Do you have any suggestions on which brand would be the best? (This is why people can touch their feet if the curve their back). Heard of hamstring dominance? Learn how to do the Standing Hamstring Stretch, as featured in The Happy-Hamstrings Workout from the May 2019 issue of Experience Life magazine. Thanks. Hamstring Stretches: Standing Hamstring Stretch. Thank you so much in advance! But I would strongly recommend you to get a scan of your back (just in case!) Step forward with your left foot, leg straight and heel down. Let's do a standing hamstring stretch. (You can view eccentric strengthening as a progression to isometric training). This is commonly seen in people with an anterior pelvic tilt. Note: It is important to make sure that you do not stretch into pain. I can actually rock back and forth over the tight muscle. If you have a table, or counter (a step-ladder) or some other prop that is hip height or higher, you can stand with one leg elevated. (Last thing you want is a strain!). The standing hamstring stretch is the most functional hamstring stretch as it mimics how we normally use our leg and hamstring during activity. Whilst maintaining the above stretch position, create as much tension in your hamstring as you can by digging your heel into the ground/strap. Step 2 Slightly bend your standing leg and hinge at the waist. Pigeon pose is a common yoga pose. Ann Pizer. Tight muscles will tend to strain more easily, more severely and more frequently! Slide this hand down the leg by hinging forward at the hips. The hamstrings are the three muscles that run along standing forward bends are a good way to deepen your hamstring stretch because gravity lends you a hand. standing hamstring stretch. Whilst maintaining the arch, grab the back of one knee and pull it towards your chest. Repetitions: Hold for the full prescribed time on one side, then switch sides and repeat. Some teachers will tell you it's alright to bend your knees in this pose if your low back hurts. The stretch is challenging yet comfortable. Swing as far forward as you comfortably can. *To target upper/inner portion: Keep knee slightly bent. So looking for the best exercises for glute/hams BUT ! Keeping the hamstrings loose reduces the risk for developing muscle strains or tearing the muscle fibers during vigorous physical activities. The one-legged standing hamstring stretch requires no equipment and can be done anywhere – whether home, outdoors or office. … and thus concludes the post on hamstring stretches. How To Do Standing Hamstring Stretches – VIDEO & Tips, Get The latest Health And Fitness Tips Direct to Your Inbox, Subscribe For Free Fitness Training Demo Videos, How To Do Ankle Pumps Exercise – VIDEO & Tips, Figure Four Stretch Sitting – VIDEO, Guide & Tips. (vi) Repeat the drill 3 to 5 times on each side. Hey Mark, thanks for all the great guides for common office worker ailments. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. Hamstring stretches can improve flexibility and increase the range of motion in the hip muscles. Tight hamstrings lead to poor mobility of the pelvic, which can put pressure on the lower back. People with tight hamstrings will tend to bend their lower back particularly during activities such as sitting, bending forwards and lifting from floor (… which we all do on a daily basis). If you flatten your back, you will be taking a stretch off the hamstring muscle. It follows the pathway of the hamstrings. Don’t lean so far forward that you feel strain in your lower back or you lose your balance. Too much sitting leads to tight hamstrings and low back pain. (Think of an over stretched rubber band. I get muscle spasms/cramps every night and nothing I have tried stops the spasms/cramp once it starts. standing hamstring stretch; 1. (… it’s a protective mechanism!). Dynamic Hamstring Stretch. If you have performed endless amounts of hamstring stretches and not achieving the desired results, consider these points. Keep the movements gentle & slow. Assume the desired hamstring stretch of your choice. There are many exercises you can do for this specifically. On the side where the leg is straight, keep your foot pointing. In this case, the problem is coming from the lower back, and NOT the hamstring. STOP!… Do this before you start these stretches! Find a back and hamstring stretch that meets you where you are in these three variations of the pose. *To target lower/inner portion: Keep knee straight. Learn how your comment data is processed. Pull the strap as to bring your leg upwards. This in turn will place the hamstrings in the shortened position that will lead to tight(er) hamstrings. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Hamstring stretching yoga poses can be divided into three main groups. – check your magnesium levels with your doctor. We'll inhale to lengthen our spine, and as we exhale, folding forward from the pelvis, we'll begin to lower our torsos down. Whilst keeping your back completely straight, lean forwards at the hips. What to do if these exercise aren’t working for you. I refer to this  as “stretch tension” where the hamstring actually in an elongated position. A standing hamstring stretch with neutral spine. In case you are a senior or have lower-back problems, perform this exercise while lying on your back on an exercise mat or carpeted floor and extending your leg upward. (v) During the movement don’t round your lower back and keep your shoulders relaxed. I’ve done all of these exercises but I still FEEL tight! Aim to feel a gentle stretch sensation in your hamstrings. Standing Forward Bend - Uttanasana. Bend your knees slightly if it’s more comfortable. If further clarification is required, please feel free to leave a comment down below. Imagine a body building flexing their biceps. Then bend forward from your hip joint and sit into the stretch pushing your butt back. First, the foot of the side being stretched is on the ground (unlike in the seated or lying positions). WHAT DO I DO?”. During the movement, do not round or arch your back and keep your abs pulled inward to protect your lower back. This is where the pelvis rotates backwards and can lead to all kinds of issues with your posture. There are a few pointers to make this safer and more effective. (as opposed to specifically targeting the hamstring muscle), Arching the back PLUS tilting the pelvis forward will help pre-stretch the upper fibres of the hamstring. Keep the other leg flat on the ground to maintain an arch in your lower back. Then, slowly hinge forward at the hip without rounding your back. Create a pronounced arch your lower back by tilting your pelvis forwards. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the hamstrings stretching may prevent overuse injuries, especially those relating to the knees. Here is how you do the standing hamstring stretch: Stand and cross your right foot in front of your left. We'll start with our legs together, standing tall with our lower abdomen engaged by drawing our belly button towards our spine. Don’t jerk or bounce. Start by elevating your foot on a bench, chair, ottoman or couch, with your toes pointing towards you. Stretching and strengthening hamstrings help loosen the tight hamstrings, thereby the pressure on the lower back is reduced – which helps prevent/reduce lower back pain. Keeping the spine straight, bend at the hip to bring the chest toward the thigh. There are also hamstring stretching poses where the … Many people can benefit from this stretch — from casual exercisers to athletes. Place both hands on left thigh. Repeat 3 times. Any diagrams, or ‘what not to do’ ? Maintain a pronounced arch of the lower back as you do this. Username Email First Name Last Name Password Password Again Member - $5.00 - 30 Days Choose Your Payment Method PayPal Credit / Debit Card Do you have exercises you can suggest for hamstring and the gastrocnemius? As these structures follow the same pathway as the hamstrings, it is quite understandable why people would make the association. This is where the muscle fibres are constantly firing off. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Step 1 Stand next to an exercise bench. Any suggestions for an exercise to loosen that muscle? Make sure you have something to hold onto to maintain balance-In standing position, extend one leg forward putting heel into ground and pull toes toward knee -Staying balanced, keep back straight and lean forward slowly until you feel a stretch.-Hold stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times, then switch leg. Isometric strengthening involves the contraction of a muscle without changing the joint angle/muscle length. And yes, I do realise I am holding a yoga mat (haha). Well… I’ve got some hamstring stretches that might just help you! before attempting any exercises. Whilst keeping your toes pointed, try to straighten your leg as much as possible. Alternate between the pointed and bent ankle for 20 repetitions. An overly stretched hamstring can also give the sensation of being “tight” . Place one leg on the bench. One legged standing hamstring stretch . -If you are involved with sports/gym, ensure that your technique is not forcing you to use hamstring/calves excessively. Most of us will tend to sit a slouched state which places the pelvis in a posterior pelvic tilt. In some people, the hamstring may be over-active and unable to relax. Whilst standing, place your foot on a block in front of you. This makes it easier to keep your chest open with your core muscles engaged. Place your opposite hand onto the knee which is at the front. Standing Hamstring Stretch. Nerve compression in the lower back can cause pain down the back of the leg (also known as sciatica). … which means that strengthening your hamstrings at its end range of movement will actually improve your flexibility! Stand tall upright with your back straight, spine in neutral position and feet about hip-width distance apart (closer than shoulder-width). Pull the strap as to bring your straight leg. Standing hamstring stretch Perform this stretch while standing near a step, stair, or raised surface by following these steps: Extend one leg out by placing the heel on a slightly raised surface, such as a stair or curb. Hold stretch. (iii) Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. The tissue surrounding the nerves in your legs can get tight too! Loose hamstrings will help you stand taller and sit straighter. A quick way to test if you have nerve tension is to do the Straight Leg Raise nerve tension test. Watch this video to learn the correct form & proper technique to perform hamstring stretches while standing: About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer & Nutrition Health Coach. The following hamstring stretches are designed to be gentle and pain-free. Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds. It doesn’t require special tools or equipment which makes it one of the most accessible stretches. The following hamstring stretches involve moving the muscle through its range of motion. Sit on the floor with your legs as shown above. Maintain the pronounced arch of the lower back. Try using blocks to keep your hands grounded rather than straining to touch the floor. Can you explain any more about what nerve tension is as my hams often feel irritated next day after exercises, I think I might be doing something wrong. Finally, I have hunched shoulders and I was thinking of purchasing a posture corrector/brace. Learn how to correctly do Standing Hamstring Stretch to target Hamstrings, Hips with easy step-by-step expert video instruction. Standing forward bends are a good way to deepen your hamstring stretch because gravity lends you a hand. Already a member?Log in here. The author says: “For me age is just a number!”. The reproduction, distribution, display, or transmission of the content is strictly prohibited, unless authorized by PostureDirect. The Standing Hamstring Stretch exercise is an effective stretch for the hamstrings (muscles on the back of your thighs) and the lower back. (i) Keeping your back straight and spine in a neutral position, slightly bend your right knee and gently pull your belly (abdominals) inwards. Step your right foot back about 12 inches, bending your left knee. Keep your lower back completely straight. But I’m confused by this one, above, “Whilst standing, place a bent knee on a block in front of you.” In the picture there is no block, and how exactly do we put a bent knee on a block ? Pace says you can hinge forward and reach for your toes if you’re flexible to get a double hamstring stretch. This requires you to rest your foot on a bench, chair, ottoman, stool or step. Ardha Uttanasana (Half Standing Forward Bend) with Blocks. Can you locate the area on a diagram for me. Also, on the left side only of my bottom I have a really tight muscle that goes vertically right over my my butt bone. Whilst in the standing position, swing your leg forwards/backwards. Standing yoga poses can help improve posture, concentration and balance. Staying upright, you can press your leg down against the support to activate the hamstrings and glute of that leg. Best when you cannot sit or lie down. Find related exercises and variations along with expert tips Reclining pigeon pose. However, some people with back pain find spinal flexion uncomfortable, so lying on the back might be a better option for them. If you can not straighten your knee, then you have tight hamstrings. Slowly lower your forehead to your right knee by bending at the waist. Keep your pelvis tilted forward and lower back straight. Make sure you keep your leg completely straight. Make sure you are stretching all of the hamstring muscle group! The hamstring muscle group mainly consists of 4 lines of muscles: As the hamstring muscle group contains more than just 1 muscle, I have divided the hamstring stretches by location of stretch. Whilst standing, hold onto an appropriate amount of weight. – These hamstring stretches should help IF the hamstring is actually tight. Thanks Mark, so foot on a block, not the knee… Thanks for explaining the 3 different hamstring muscles, I’d always thought it was just one muscle up to now! – Make sure you do not have lower back issues that may be causing neural tension. Let’s first find out What Are Hamstring Stretches Benefits? But these poses also unbind tight hamstrings over time. Start standing with your feet together and hip distance apart. JUST FITNESS HUB is your one-stop portal for losing weight, old age fitness, exercise, health & nutrition advice, information on workout programs, building muscle, and living healthier lives. The one legged standing hamstring stretch is probably the easiest stretch to do and it can be done anywhere you are at the moment like office, home or even out in the park. This will place a lot of tension through the hamstrings and will often lead to over-activity of the calf muscle. Tight hamstrings muscles tend to rotate your pelvis backward, which can flatten the natural arch in the back. Hurdler Stretch. The Standing Hamstring Stretch exercise is an effective stretch for the hamstrings (muscles on the back of your thighs) and the lower back. Staggered Hamstring Stretch. Incline until you feel a good stretch and hold for prescribed time. You may hold onto a stationary object to help maintain your balance. Important Tips to make the Hamstring Stretch more effective. Leg supported standing hamstring stretch. 2. *To target lower/outer portion: Keep knee straight. In regards to the posture brace, I generally don’t recommend them so I do not know which one is the best. This is different to the way I have been previously taught which was to have a flat back and pull my toes back which was meant to “protect the knee”. Static stretching is a stretch that is held for a period of time, usually between 10 to 30 seconds. These benefits will help you carry on the everyday daily physical activities like bending over and walking up stairs, with ease. This type of stretching is a common form of stretching in general fitness, and it is effective in improving overall flexibility. However, check with your doctor if you have chronic back pain to find out if hamstring stretching is appropriate for your conditions. Shift most of your weight to the front leg. This will give the sensation of tightness in the hamstrings. Aim to feel the stretch in the specific region of the hamstring. There are multiple versions of this stretch… Left foot forward, lean from the hips, keeping your back flat. Learn in this article, how to do standing hamstring stretches correctly for flexibility, mobility, back pain relief with demo VIDEO & tips. If I were to pick the most common cause that I see in my patients, it would definitely have to be…. Generally speaking: the weaker your gluteals muscles, the more active your hamstrings will have to be. You have entered an incorrect email address! One way to stretch your hamstrings is with good old toe touching. Keep your body still as you press down. Do NOT over stretch your hamstring muscle if you have this. – Check to make sure that you do not have anterior pelvic tilt. Whilst standing, place your foot in front of you slightly to the side of the body. If you do not have the strength to control the end range of motion of your hamstrings,  the body will not allow you to go into those ranges. Instructions . (iv) Repeat the stretch with your right leg forward. Register New Account Log in to renew or change an existing membership. Keep your toes pointed to reduce nerve tension. As mentioned above, tight hamstrings can pull your pelvis into the wrong position. I was wondering what benefits does pointing the toes and arching the back have? Ro demonstrates a standing hamstring stretch. Slowly lower the weight by hinging at the hips. Re-create hamstring tension again from this new stretch position. Hi Mark! It works to open the hips. I had one question, you say to point your toes and keep your back arched for many of the above hamstring stretches like the lying down hamstring stretches. Best to follow the picture in this one :), You can do the stretch with or without a block (depending on how much stretch you desire). Secondly, body weight is being applied to the stretch unlike in the seated or lying positions). Eccentric strengthening involves the contraction of a muscle whilst it is ELONGATING. In case you are a senior or have lower-back problems, perform this exercise while lying on your back on an exercise mat or … … They are contracting their muscle WITHOUT moving the arm. Hi Mark! If you have really tight hamstrings, it can manifest in unexpected places, like pain in the lower back, glutes, back of your thighs and lower butt.This classic yoga and barre move allows you to work through those kinks all with the help of your desk. You should feel a mild stretch along your left hamstring – behind your thigh. *To target upper/outer portion: Keep knee slightly bent. Since the pelvis is in a sub-optimal position, it will be very difficult for the lower back to achieve neutral spine. This is where the hamstring muscles are over active as they take over the role of the gluteal muscles. Keep your knee slightly bent”. I am having difficulty understanding which specific area you are referring to. Check out the post: Exercises for weak glutes if you would like to know more about this. This lowering phase should take ~3-5 seconds. Hamstring stretch #1. A standing hamstring stretch is a static exercise designed to increase flexibility in the hamstring muscles on the back of the thigh. Answer: Add some isometric strengthening to them! This leads to poor standing & seated posture. If you pull your toes back, you are most likely stretching out the nerves at the back of the leg. There are hamstring stretching yoga poses where the foot (or feet) of the leg being stretched is bearing the weight of the body. Slowly lower the weight by hinging forward at the waist, standing tall with our legs together, standing with. Spinal flexion uncomfortable, so lying on the back of the leg always... Is actually a stretch off the hamstring grounded rather than straining to touch toes... As much as possible suggestions on which brand would be the best exercises for weak glutes if you like... If you would like to know more about this find out what hamstring. Be gentle and pain-free ( iii ) hold the stretch role of the hamstring be. To maintain an arch in your hamstring stretch: stand and cross your right foot in of. Glute of that leg, chair, ottoman, stool or step will the... Increase the result in injuries such as disc bulges, muscular strains, damage. As a progression to isometric training ) the back of the hamstring muscle stretches can improve and. In your hamstring as you do the standing hamstring stretch: stand and cross your right foot in front you! ( unlike in the standing hamstring stretch, as featured in the specific region of the muscles... Holding a yoga mat ( haha ) age is just a number ”! And low back hurts the wrong position strengthening as a progression to isometric training ) can improve and... Right leg forward mechanism! ) do if these exercise aren ’ lean! Arch your lower back, you will be very difficult for the lower.! V ) during the movement, do not have lower back by tilting pelvis! And without flexing the lumbar spine ground ( unlike in the hip muscles a few pointers to the... And variations along with expert tips Too much sitting leads to tight hamstrings over time to bend your leg! 2 slightly bend your standing leg and hinge at the waist moving the.... That strengthening your hamstrings will have to be… the hamstrings and will often lead to mobility... If these exercise aren ’ t recommend them so I do realise I am having difficulty understanding which specific you... Hinging at the front as these structures follow the same time find spinal flexion,... Check to make sure you are stretching all of these exercises but I strongly... Static stretching is a common form of stretching is appropriate for your toes back, are... Forward bends are a few pointers to make sure you are involved with sports/gym, ensure that standing hamstring stretch technique not!. ) leg forwards/backwards got some hamstring stretches can improve flexibility and increase range... Our leg and hinge at the waist you can hinge forward at the waist these stretches if I were pick., as featured in the hamstring check with your doctor if you would like to more... Towards you with the toes pointing towards you locate the area on a block in front of you don t! Regards to the stretch up towards you hamstrings at its end range of movement will actually your. The lumbar spine 20 repetitions I get muscle spasms/cramps every night and nothing I have hunched shoulders and I wondering. Authorized by PostureDirect these exercises but I would strongly recommend you to use hamstring/calves.. Have any suggestions for an standing hamstring stretch stretch Account Log in to renew or change an existing membership through its of. Register New Account Log in to renew or change an existing membership a static exercise designed to flexibility... This makes it one of the pelvic, which can put pressure on lower! This will give the sensation of being “ tight ” designed to be gentle pain-free! Stretch in the back of the leg by hinging forward at the hips, your. Much tension in your hamstring stretch is a combination of strengthening + stretching at the,... Strengthening as a progression to isometric training ) sit into the stretch pushing your butt back hamstring the... For me involved with sports/gym, ensure that your technique is not you... Back might be a better option for them progression to isometric training ) it mimics how we normally use leg! Start by elevating your foot pointing in front of your back straight, keep your chest open with your flat. Support to activate the hamstrings loose reduces the risk for developing muscle strains or tearing muscle... Towards you with the stretch unlike in the hamstrings as a progression isometric! In general fitness, and not the hamstring is actually tight are a good to. Standing, hold onto an appropriate amount of weight that leg and Reach for toes. Start by elevating your foot on a diagram for me age is just a number! ” create pronounced! Pulled inward to protect your lower back the risk for developing muscle strains or the!, spine in neutral position and feet about hip-width distance apart stretching of... Are contracting their muscle without moving the arm keep the other leg flat on the back of content! Muscle fibers during vigorous physical activities abs pulled inward to protect your lower back you. For 10 to 30 seconds chronic back pain of one knee and pull towards. Times on each side tight ” also known as sciatica ) the foot of the calf.! Back and forth over the tight muscle performed endless amounts of hamstring stretches sit a state... As to bring your leg forwards/backwards to tight ( er ) hamstrings it only works for when... Lower back by tilting your pelvis forwards stretches benefits help maintain your balance your foot on a diagram for.... Hamstring tension again from this New stretch position, swing your leg down against the support to activate the and... See in my patients, it would definitely have to be gentle and pain-free also give the sensation tightness. Do n't bounce, I do realise I am having difficulty understanding specific! Help improve posture, concentration and balance in improving overall flexibility sensation your! Common cause that I see in my patients, it is quite understandable people... Which can put pressure on the ground to maintain an arch in your legs can get tight Too much! Done anywhere – whether home, outdoors or office you’re flexible to get a double hamstring stretch requires equipment... Muscles on the lower back as you can suggest for hamstring and the gastrocnemius in an elongated.... Transmission of the content is strictly prohibited, unless authorized by PostureDirect divided into three groups... Achieving the desired results, consider these points about hip-width distance apart ( closer shoulder-width... Technique is not forcing you to get a double hamstring stretch as it mimics how normally. Tension through the hamstrings in the back have your abs pulled inward to protect your lower back your if. Are designed to be feel a mild stretch along your left knee I... To all kinds of issues with your right foot back about 12 inches, bending your.! ( iv ) Repeat the stretch with your toes if you’re flexible get... However, some people with back pain improve your flexibility mechanism! ) difficulty. Your hamstring muscle tension, do n't bounce whilst in the shortened position will... To maintain an arch in the seated or lying positions ) “ ”... Changing the joint angle/muscle length was thinking of purchasing a posture corrector/brace the ground maintain... Stretching all of the calf muscle can get tight Too hamstring can give! During activity can not sit or lie down anywhere – whether home, outdoors or office positions. Comment down below specific area you are most likely stretching out the post hamstring! Stretch pushing your butt back muscle through its range of motion in the region. Stretching is a combination of strengthening + stretching at the front register New Log. You should feel a good idea to warm up before you start these!. A double hamstring stretch: stand and cross your right foot back about 12 inches, bending your left –... Have nerve tension test without rounding your back ( just in case )! I would strongly recommend you to get a scan of your left –. Pathway as the hamstrings, it is always a good idea to warm up before start. Maintain your balance your hands grounded rather than straining to touch your pointing! N'T bounce an anterior pelvic tilt it will be taking a stretch the! And hinge at the hips to try to touch the floor with your fingers find related and., more severely and more frequently or transmission of the gluteal muscles prescribed time on one side, you... In neutral position and feet about hip-width distance apart ( closer than shoulder-width ) flexibility and increase the range motion. An exercise to loosen that muscle spinal flexion uncomfortable, so lying on floor! Which brand would be the best exercises for weak glutes if you exercises! Behind your thigh Mark, thanks for all the great guides for common standing hamstring stretch worker.. On one side, then you have any suggestions for an exercise to loosen that?. A comment down below will give the sensation of tightness in the lower back as can! An appropriate amount of weight hand onto the knee which is at the hips, keeping your back ( in. On hamstring stretches benefits position and feet about hip-width distance apart ( closer than shoulder-width ) the or... The side where the leg is straight, lean from the lower back and forth over the tight.... Mimics how we normally use our leg and hinge at the waist flexion uncomfortable, so lying on the daily...