For so many people, tight hamstring muscles are a constant source of frustration. Usually, the advice offered is to keep going with stretching, foam rolling, self massage, etc. More often than not the list lengthens, but the hamstrings do not. A combination of dynamic stretching and core strengthening helps most people overcome this. Very often this can be achieved in a single exercise. Below we will look at ways of improving hamstring flexibility.
Hamstring flexibility and dynamic stretching
In time gone by, there was a tendency to use static stretch exercises to build up hamstring flexibility. However, more recently, there has been greater awareness of the impact that dynamic stretching has on hamstring flexibility. Indeed, much of the research into hamstring injury points to dynamic stretching having a positive role in improving flexibility and preventing injury. So as to prevent the muscle from tearing, it needs to be able to resist a loaded stretch to end of range. In effect, this is what dynamic stretching is designed to do. In addition to this, it also lengthens the structure of the muscle.
Hamstring flexibility and core strength
Your hamstring muscles attach to your pelvis, which provides a platform for your legs to drive from. If you are lacking in core muscle strength, your pelvic platform will be less balanced. As a consequence, your hamstrings may stay tight in order to stabilise the pelvis. In order to counterbalance this, try flipping this and boosting your core strength. You should feel your hamstrings able to do their real job which is to get you walking, running and jumping.
Below is an exercise that will lengthen your hamstrings. The exercise trains the muscles around your hips and core, which will help to keep you balanced.
Hamstring flexibility and inverted stretches
- Balance on your right foot with good upright spine posture
- Bend at your waist, maintain perfect spine posture and extend your left leg back.
- Your body should be in a straight line from head to ankle
If you would like help improving hamstring flexibility, why not book an appointment with one of our physiotherapists? Therapy by calling 020 8789 3881 or by visiting our online appointment booking system.