So many people suffer from tight hamstrings without even realizing it. With sitting becoming increasingly more common, a lot of people tend to not give enough attention to these big muscles and don’t realize the impact tight hamstrings have on their overall wellbeing. It is crucial to stretch your hamstrings on a regular basis not only to feel good from day to day, but to prevent deterioration as you get older.
In this post, we’ll go over the best yoga poses to release tight hamstrings, and how you can modify each pose if you are feeling extra tight! By the end you will be feeling as good as new. ?
What are the Hamstrings?
The hamstrings are three muscles on the back of the thigh between the hip and knee: semitendinosus, semimembranosus and bicep femoris.
They are essential to activities like walking (acting as an antagonist to the quadriceps), jumping, and influence our posture.
What Causes Tight Hamstrings?
Tight hamstrings can be the result of multiple reasons, many being the cause of simple day to day life or deficiencies in other areas. Here are some of the most common causes:
1. If you’ve never stretched or worked out your hamstrings, they might simply be weak.
2. If your knees are bent most of the time, your hamstrings are always in a shortened position. This leads to a limited range of motion.
3. If you workout too much without stretching before and afterwards, you don’t give your muscles the chance to release the built-up tension. As a result, they’ll stay tight and the blood flow in the muscles decreases, therefore they won’t be working at their full capacity.
4. Your body might try to compensate for the lack of hamstring flexibility by pulling on the lower back. As a result, the pelvis tilts forward – this is called posterior pelvic tilt and leads to bad posture.
Symptoms of Tight Hamstrings
If you experience pain in the back of the thigh when straightening the leg or bending over, your hamstrings are probably tight.
How to test if you have tight hamstrings:
- Lie down on your back, bend your right leg and bring the right knee in line with the hip. Your knee is pointing up to the ceiling.
- From here, try to extend your leg so that the sole of your foot points up. If you can’t extend your legs, your hamstrings might have limited range of motion.
Don’t worry, a lot of people suffer from this, and it can easily be fixed. Just by stretching for a few minutes every day, your hamstring flexibility can be improved drastically. Below we will guide you through a few yoga poses that target the hamstrings.