The Hamstrings: How to Fix Tightness and Strain

Have you ever felt a pain, tightness, or discomfort in the back of your upper leg(s)? Chances are you are experiencing or have experienced a hamstring strain or hamstring tightness. This type of injury is very common among may sports, but the everyday people are at risk too. If you are not warming up properly, engaging in a proper flexibility program, lacking resistance training for the hamstring region, and lacking a proper cool down after exercise, you might be more susceptible to a hamstring strain. Our age can also play factor to this type of injury. It is very important that you have a PROPER training plan that emphasizes flexibility, resistance training, and warm-ups/cool-downs that take the hamstrings through full ranges of motion with proper techniques.

There are many things that you can do to counter improper training of the hamstrings that include the following:

  • an appropriate warm up before engaging in physical activity
  • train appropriately for the activity you plan to take part in. Your movements should mimic the goals that you have set.
  • allow for appropriate recovery time between activities
  • stretching and strengthening exercises throughout the week focused on the hamstring while in proper body alignment

One very key concept to always consider when it comes to the hamstrings is to be in proper body alignment. If you are doing a “hands-to-toe-touch” stretch, it would be an improper practice to round the back. If you practice a movement out of the body’s proper alignment you will end up injuring other regions or progressing the hamstring strain. Therefore, it is important to cue yourself into proper alignment, keeping a straight and neutral spine when stretching the hamstrings.

            Below we list 10 tips that can be used to help fix your hamstrings.

  1. Stretch and Foam Roll the Quads.
  2. Stretch the hamstrings while lying on the back.
  3. Use a lower back stretch and pelvic tilt exe rise to activate and stretch the lower back muscles
  4. Strengthen core muscles
  5. Strengthen the hamstrings through resistance training.
  6. Ice the site of tightness or strain after exercise.
  7. Cross-train so you can take some strain off of the hamstring through doing other exercises that are less tense on the hamstrings.
  8. Massage therapy
  9. If pain is persistent and you have more issues with your gait you should go to a physician.
  10. Physical therapy can help healing and work on correcting muscle imbalances.

           

 

 

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