Poor flexibility can really impede your movement and one of the causes is having tight hamstrings. However, don’t blame your hamstrings too much because there are other possible causes as well such as tight fascial interconnections, connections deep inside your hip muscles, and even joint restrictions around your pelvis as well as lower back. Any of these causes can reduce your flexibility but the good news is that there are ways to relieve them especially your tight hamstrings.
Tips to Ease Tight Hamstrings
- Bend your knees when you start stretching. There is nothing wrong with bending your knees when stretching especially if you are not that flexible yet. Bend the knee of the leg you want to stretch towards your chest while keeping your upper body straight to help ease the tension on your hamstrings and calves.
- Don’t hold on to static stretches for a long time. There have been studies already that holding a static stretch for more than 30 seconds results to slight improvement only. It is much better to hold a pose for 15 to 30 seconds to help ease your muscles into the stretch so there won’t be any tightness or resistance afterwards. If you are already comfortable with the level of your flexibility, you can then hold your static stretches longer.
- Don’t overstretch. As much as you would like to improve your flexibility by pushing yourself to perform a stretch, it is much better to ease into the stretch instead. When you overstretch, your muscles will experience a “stretch reflex” where the muscles become more tensed thus causing resistance.
- Work on other muscles. Like it was mentioned before, your flexibility can be hampered by other causes that is why it is also important that you focus your attention on them as well. Do hip and back stretches as well as calf stretches before working on your hamstrings. For sure you will notice better stretching results afterwards.
- Do active and dynamic movements. After you have given your muscles a good stretch, follow this up with active as well as dynamic movements to retrain your body with your new found flexibility. Deep squats, kicking drills, even all out jumping are just examples of dynamic and active exercises that you can do to teach your body better flexibility. Keep in mind, however, to do low impact workouts at the start before progressing into the more intense workouts. Don’t forget to avoid prolonged stretching before as well as after your heavy exercise routine.
- Do one flexibility exercise at a time. Aside from the tips mentioned above, there are other ways that can help alleviate tight hamstrings such as tack and stretch, ball, foam rollers, and the like. It’s important that you use one technique at a time so you can easily determine which one works best for you.
These are just a few examples on how you can loosen up those tight hamstring muscles of yours for better flexibility. Make sure that you try them out so you will be able to move better.