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Pei-Jiun Cheah

Pei-Jiun Cheah

Ever Feel Tightness In The Back Of Your Legs? Hamstring Tightness and Self-Releases

If you are a runner or play sports that involve running, you are highly likely to have tight hamstrings.

Hamstring tightness is more than just a mere nuisance; they can lead to hamstring strains through overuse as well as a range of musculoskeletal conditions such as plantar fasciitis, knee, lower back and sacroiliac joint pain.

Hamstring anatomy

The hamstrings consist of three muscles.

The two inner parts are named semitendinosus and semimembranosus, while the outer part is called biceps femurs.

These muscles originate from the lower portion of the pelvis and span the length of the posterior thigh to attach into the top of the two shin bones.

In walking and running, the hamstrings not only straightens the hip joint and bends the knee joint with each step; they also control the momentum of your legs as they stride out for the next step. This is why they can get overworked easily and result in tightness.

Self-release of hamstrings

Stretching is a great way to address tight hamstrings. There are many ways to stretch out your hamstrings. You can do these stretches in a standing position, sitting, even lying down. There are also many tools you can use to help you get the stretch, such as belts and towels. For maximum effect, it is recommended that you stretch for 30 to 60 seconds at least twice a day and after exercising.

If you have a foam roller, they can also help address your tense muscles.

A spikey ball can work wonders on tight hamstrings too!

However, it is important to note that hamstring tightness is often associated with tightness in other muscles near it, such as the calves, gluteal muscles, hip flexors and the the long strap like muscles in your back or even neck. Therefore, it is also important to make sure you also remember stretch your other muscles as well!

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