Whether from exercise, or even more commonly, from sitting at a desk all day, tight hamstrings are a common issue. Stretching these muscles out is important because they affect the lower back, knees, and hips; tight hamstrings can possibly lead to injury while doing physical activity, or even problems that don’t arise until later such as back and knee pain.
To keep yourself in the best shape, stretching is an essential and often neglected part of an exercise program. We have five experts weigh in with their recommendations on the best stretches to keep your hamstrings from feeling tight.
Best Hamstring Stretch #1 – Standing Stretch
The hamstrings are a tricky muscle because the tightness of your hamstrings is likely affected by hip positioning and musculature. With that said, to directly target the hamstrings, I like to stretch them out while standing up and extending one leg out on a platform, or ideally, a bar that is around chest height for a deeper stretch. Stretching your hamstrings while standing up is dynamic because you can alter the toe position of your back foot, which changes the stretch. In addition, a simple way to make the stretch more intense is to slowly twist your body in the direction of the extended leg while reaching with the opposite arm. For example, if you are standing with your right leg extended, you can reach toward your foot with your left hand while twisting your body to the right. Like any static stretch, do this under control.
– Marc Perry ,CSCS, CPT