Hamstring is a common leg injury which causes sudden severe pain to the large muscles at the back of the thigh. A human body has three hamstring muscles: Semimembranosus and Semitendinosus (tibia) and biceps femoris (fibula).
The hamstring begins from the pelvis and cross the hip, then reach to the knee before finally inserting on the tibia and fibula. Among the three the biceps femoris (makes up the lateral aspect of the back of the thigh) is the muscle which injured most frequently.
When one or more of this muscle get stretched too far then you are probably going to have a hamstring strain, they are both common and painful.
Tight Hamstrings Causes-
Tight hamstring happen during high-velocity activities like sprinting activities in soccer or times where hamstring muscles are forcibly stretched beyond their limits (like powerful kicking) and the muscle tissue can be torn.
A tearing muscle is referred to as a strain and depending on its severity, and it is classified as a first (a mild muscle pull or strain), second (a partial muscle tear)or third degree (a complete muscle tear) strain.
You can also get hamstring during exercise that involves a lot of running and jumping or sudden stopping and starting. Most of the athletes, including soccer players, don’t spend much time in strengthening their hamstrings which make their quadriceps more developed and stronger than their hamstrings. This imbalance increases the probability of a hamstring injury.
How to Loosen Tight Hamstrings-
Many of you suffering from the hamstring or experienced in the past should know that there are many ways to get relief from increasing hamstring strength.
Hamstring is a pain that can sideline even a fit athlete, so it’s crucial to stretch these muscles before every workout and sporting activity. Well, there are numerous ways to treat a pulled hamstring quickly. Here are some of the familiar ways on how to loosen tight hamstrings.
Tight Hamstrings Stretches:
Now get ready to learn this tight hamstring stretches to pull out your hamstring.
1. Tipover Tuck Hamstring StretchThis stretch is good for hamstrings as well as it also loosens tight shoulders. You need to stay flexible while doing this post-workout stretches because tight hamstring can lead to strains and pulls.
- Stand straight with hip-distance apart.
- Cross your hands behind your back.
- Now bends at the hips, tuck your chin and bring your hands over your heads.
- Relax the back of your neck, but if the stretching causes intensity then releases your hands, place them on the backs of your thighs, and soften your knees.
- Hold for 30 seconds, and slowly roll up to standing.
Targets Muscles: Chest, shoulder and hamstring.
2. Scissor Hamstring Stretch
This exercise is easy to do anywhere and good for injured backs and a great stretch if you have tight hamstrings injury.
- Stand with your feet jointly, now take your right foot back about two feet.
- Bend forward facing your hips and shoulders toward the front keeping them straight.
- After holding for 30 seconds, switch sides.
Target Muscles: Biceps, shoulder, butt, quads, calves and hamstring.
3. Standing hamstring stretchesStanding hamstring stretches is the best exercise for those searching for how to loosen tight hamstrings. If you are flexible enough, then you can easily do this tight hamstrings stretches.
Your upper body weight provides a deeper stretch to your body when you do standing hamstring stretches. But before doing any exercises for tight hamstrings, warm up your leg muscles by jogging in place, pedaling a stationary bike or walking for five minutes.
- You can do a standing hamstring stretch either in bench, chair or simply on the floor.
- Stand next to a surface higher than your hip.
- Place your left foot on the bench, stand tall and bend your shoulders down.
- Now, hold for 30 seconds and switch legs.
Target Muscles: Bicep fermoris, rear-thigh muscles and hamstring.
4. Standing quad stretchStanding quad stretch targets your front thigh muscles. When you get confused on how to loosen tight hamstrings, then this is the first stretching you should do. It is one of the most commonly used stretches.
- Stand straight with left leg pulled back, bringing your feet towards your hip and then grasp your left foot with your left hand.
- During this time if it’s difficult to stand straight then hold a chair or wall for balance.
- Keep your hip and back straight by moving knee backward, hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds and then switch the legs.
Target Muscles: Front-thigh muscles and hamstring.
5. Modified Hurdler StretchThis basic stretch is ideal for those who are suffering from super tight hamstrings and has to target one leg at a time. This exercise stretch muscle of hamstrings, hips and inner thighs.
- Sit on the floor or mat with your legs straight.
- Bend your right knee, slide the heel towards your left leg until it touches the inner thigh of left leg.
- Now take your both hands towards your left foot touching them.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed, back straight, and chest lifted. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs.
- You will feel the stretch in the hamstring of your straight leg.
Target Muscles: Calf muscle and hamstring.
Yoga Poses for Tight Hamstrings:
Tight hamstrings and hips seem to be a frequent area of discomfort, for individuals who tend to stay sitting behind a desk all day. You can even stretch your hamstring with yoga poses. How to loosen tight hamstrings can even be stretching with this yoga poses.
This yoga poses for tight hips and hamstrings will safely target the backs of your legs and your hips without taking you beyond your limits.
1. Lizard Pose – Utthan PristhasanaLizard Pose is a great pose to loosen up the hips and stretch out the back leg muscles. To get this posture:
- Begin with Downward-Facing Dog pose, i.e., place your forearms on the ground or rest your hand’s palms facing down on the mat, pull your right foot on the edge of your right hand.
- Extend your chest forward, lengthening the spine.
- Try to soften the heart and draw the shoulder blades together, taking the rounding out of your back.
- Keep your right knee cuddling towards your midline to get into the inner hip and thigh area of your right leg. You can keep your left knee lifted with your leg active, or for a more restorative version, you can lower your left knee.
- Hold the posture for at least ten deep breaths, allowing your body to relax.
Target Muscles: Hip flexors, quadriceps and hamstring.
2. Wide-Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana A)
This yoga pose stretches the back of the legs. It is good for stretching all the muscles of your body.
- From Mountain pose, step the feets 3-4 feet apart. With a straight back exhale forward bringing the hands to the floor under the shoulders.
- Use the arms to pull the head down towards the floor, bending the elbows towards the back wall.
- Press into the feet, lengthening the legs to push the hips up toward the ceiling.
- Feel the spine being pulled in opposite directions as you press the head down and lift the hips up.
- Breathe and hold for 3-8 breaths.
- To release, reach the hands to your hips and inhale to lift your torso with a straight back.
Target Muscles: Calves, abs, spine and hamstring.
3. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)The benefits of Standing Forward Bend is that it brings flexibility in the spine, hips, and the backs of the legs. It also helps in reducing anxiety. You shouldn’t do this pose if you have high blood pressure or have had recent abdominal surgery.
- First, you have to bend your body from the waist area towards the toes.
- If your hand reach to the floor without bending knees, then rest your palms in front of the feet.
- Hold onto your elbows for stability, if you cannot touch the ground.
- Let the head hang heavy and relax your neck.
- Hold 10 to 20 breaths and then slowly roll back up to mountain pose.
Target Muscles: All the muscle that surround shoulder, front-thigh muscle and hamstring.
So this was some of the popular hamstring injury yoga for how to loosen tight hamstrings. To treat a pulled hamstring quickly, you must do stretching or yoga poses whatever suits you best.
Tips for Tight Hamstring Stretches-
If you are an athlete or even you do something for which you are using your legs like running, cycling or dancing then ultimately you’re using your hamstring muscles. So in that case even if your hamstrings don’t feel tight, you should do stretching exercise because Prevention is better than cure. It also provides flexibility in your muscle which can help reduce your chances of injury when you are active.
Hope you have loved reading our article and if you have any query regarding hamstring injury then do ask in the comment section, we would love to answer it for you.