Standing Hamstring Stretch – Athletes Guide To Stretching 2022
Whether you are suffering from an injury, tight muscles, or general fatigue, it’s not uncommon to have tight hamstrings. Your hamstrings play a big role in the movements our body does daily. So, it is important to keep them supple by stretching them on a daily or weekly basis.
The standing hamstring stretch is a basic hamstring stretch anyone can learn and complete anywhere. In this article, we take a look at why the standing hamstring stretch is so popular and how to perform it.
Other things you will learn in this article are:
– Symptoms of tight hamstrings
– Benefits of the standing hamstring stretch
– Hamstring stretches for lower back pain
– Best hamstring stretches for runners
So, keep reading to find out more!
Tight Hamstrings Symptoms – What Are They?
Your hamstring muscles are involved in all your major movements daily. The hamstrings are made up of three major muscles. Which are the:
Biceps femoris – Outside of the hamstring.
Semimembranosus – Middle of the hamstring
Semitendinosus – Located between the semimembranous and biceps femoris.
Stretching these muscles daily before and after a workout has been proven to be beneficial in improving hamstring flexibility and range of motion. (Read this study – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26887415/ )
However, if left and never stretched your hamstrings are prone to becoming tight, sore, and fatigued. This can be caused by overuse, training, daily life, and sitting a lot.
If you experience tight hamstrings, some of the symptoms you may experience are:
– Feeling of the muscle pulling when performing a movement
For most people, the most common tight hamstring symptom is a feeling of tightness. However, if you start to experience any of the above symptoms, you may be experiencing a strain of the hamstring muscle. In this case, you may experience:
– Sudden and severe pain
– Pain when straightening the leg or bending over
To prevent experiencing any of the above symptoms it is important to stretch your hamstrings. Doing so will along them to function as they should, and reduce the chances of a strain, tight muscles, or even an injury.
How to do the Standing Hamstring Stretch?
The Standing hamstring stretch is one of the most popular stretches for the back of the legs. This is because standing while stretching the hamstring allows a deeper stretch.
How to do the standing hamstring stretch?
To perform the standing stretch:
Stand up straight and extend one leg out towards you onto a raised surface. This can be on a stair, chair, or box.
While keeping your back straight, bend forward at the waist. Your chest should be closer to your thigh now.
The other leg should be bent slightly.
Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds
Repeat 3-5 times for each leg.
It is important when performing this stretch that you hold the correct posture and don’t over-stretch the muscle, especially when you are a beginner.
Once learned, the standing hamstring stretch can be performed at any place and used before and after training.
Alternatively, you can perform this stretch lying down, by using a towel or band. To perform the stretch this way start by:
1. Lie on the ground with your back on the floor.
2. Take a towel, band, or rope and hook it around your forefoot.
3. Slowly lift your leg to 45-90 degrees and pull the towel, rope, or band towards your chest.
4. Your forefoot will be pulled towards the ground and you should feel a stretch in your hamstring muscles.
5. Hold this stretch for 10-30 seconds and repeat 3-5 times on each leg.
Standing Hamstring Stretch Benefits
There are many other hamstring stretches you can do. However, the standing hamstring stretch benefits most people over any other hamstring stretch. That is because balance, stability, and position are rather easy for any age or level to perform.
Performing the stretch correctly and holding a good posture is easy for most people. Making it one of the easiest hamstrings stretches to perform.
Either way, some of the benefits of stretching the hamstring regularly include:
– Improved range of motion
– Helps the quadriceps, calf muscles, and lower back stay relaxed.
– Reduces the chance of a strain or injury
– Increase in power and force of the hamstrings
Best Hamstring Stretches For Runners
While the standing stretch is one of the most popular ways to stretch your hamstrings, it is not the only way to stretch the back of your legs. Below are some of the best hamstring stretches for runners, cyclists, and other fitness enthusiasts.
The towel hamstring stretch
The towel hamstring stretch is widely used for people that struggle to bend their back or torso during a stretch. To do this stretch grab a towel and position yourself on your back.
1. Lie on your back with the towel in your hands
2. Wrap the towel around the back of your thigh or calf muscle while holding each end of it.
3. Slowly lift your leg from your waist while keeping it straight.
4. Lift the leg by pulling either side of the towel until you feel the hamstrings stretching.
5. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat up to 5 times.
The wall hamstring stretch
To perform this stretch lie on your back next to the corner of a wall or sofa.
1. While lying on your back place your leg up against the wall or sofa. The other leg should lie freely on the ground.
2. Your leg should be now against the wall and your knee should be straight.
3. To increase the stretch more, move your torso closer to the wall.
4. Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds and repeat 3-5 times.
The seated hamstring stretch
To stretch your hamstrings while seated sit you will need a chair or something the same height you can sit on.
1. Sit on the edge of the chair.
2. Straighten your left leg with the heel on the ground.
3. Keep your back straight and slowly lean forward from the waist.
4. Keep bending forward from the waist until you feel the back of the legs stretch.
5. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds. Repeat 5-10 times.
Hamstring Stretches For Lower Back Pain
If you experience lower back pain from day-to-day activities or training, stretching the back of your legs will help reduce any tightness you may have.
Regular stretching of the hamstrings has been proven to prevent and treat lower back pain. Some of the hamstrings stretches for lower back pain that can help are the:
– Standing hamstring stretch
– Seated hamstring stretch
– The wall hamstring stretch
However, if you experience pain or discomfort in the lower back while stretching the back of the legs, stop immediately and talk to a physiotherapist or doctor. They can help inform you if stretching will be of help or not.