Hamstring pulls are common injuries for speed athletes in sports like track, football, and basketball for example. The best way to recover from a hamstring injury is to not have one at all because they are pesky injuries. Hamstring injuries often reoccur due to not being taken care of properly. We want to give you the best hamstring stretches and exercises to help keep you healthy. Kho App is also an excellent resource for dealing with these injuries and getting the proper help needed to do so.
The first thing you need to understand about hamstring stretches and injuries is that they are firmly connected to back and glute health. Problems in these areas are strongly connected to each other. There is a healthy firing pattern that should take place when running. The glutes should fire first then the hamstring than the back muscles. What often happens though is that the hamstrings and backfire first, and then lastly the glutes. Think about it for a second, the glutes are a large meaty muscle and they are meant to take the brunt of the work. Getting the glutes strong and firing properly is the key to success.
The Hamstring Stretches and Exercises
- Great stretch for adductors which also can affect the hamstring muscles
- Keeping the sideline open is important for the IT band which also plays a role in the hamstring muscle group
Back Line Stretch
- The backline runs from your forehead to your toes
- Think of muscles as being attached and as one whole body all connected
- The key muscle groups are the back, hamstrings, and the calves muscles for this stretch
Front Line Stretch
- The front line being tight puts more stress on the backline muscles like the hamstrings
- When you sit all day it makes your hips tight and the puts the hamstrings in a compromising position
- This stretch opens up the quads, hips, abs, and chest
- The isolated hip stretch is important for reversing the effects of sitting
- The psoas is the only muscle that crosses the waste line
- When it is tight it causes an excessive curve in the back that puts more stress on the hamstrings
- Hip stretches are basically hamstring stretches in this context
- The It Band fascia blends with the fascia of the hamstring by the knee
- If you begin to have IT band problems you want to attach those right away
- Glute will help relax the muscle when it is overloaded
- Always do these stretches after hip flexor stretches
- Always flex the back glute to keep hips in the correct position
- Mentally imagine the psoas muscle lengthening
- Lower back pain is almost always associated with hip mobility
- Move the hips better and get the glutes stronger and back pain runs away
- One of the best stretches for lower back pain
- The external rotators of the hip are often forgotten
- The lats play a role in the hip function
- If you do a lot of upper body work make sure you attack the lats
Glute Bridges for Stronger Glutes
- Glute bridges are the best way to improve glute strength
- The key is always to work to increase the weight on the bar
- It looks unsafe, but it is one of the safest lifts you can do
Hamstring Curls for Hamstring Strength and Stability
Glute Ham Raises for Eccentric Hamstring Strength
- Same rules as above apply
- The most advanced hamstring exercise
If a sustained hamstring injury is not getting better, it is time to go and see the correct healthcare provider. You need to find the people who can keep your body healthy and put you in the best place possible to succeed. Not all injuries can be fixed on your own. The hamstrings can be tough because they are the back side of the body, so you need someone else to help many times. Kho app is perfect for doing just this.
More Resources for Hamstring Stretches
- Reasons for Getting Injured
- Building Your Stretching Routine
- Dealing with Foot and Ankle Issues
- Download Kho for Injury Solutions
What If The Hamstring Stretches Do Not Work?
Sometimes hamstring stretches are not enough to get your hamstrings feeling better. The reason for this is because sometimes muscles become tight due to being overworked. Every muscle has a definite role in the body, and sometimes tissue has activation issues that make other muscles have to work harder.
With the hamstring, it is often the glutes, and the psoas that becomes problematic and sometimes you need treatment to get the muscles activated and working correctly again. Here is an example of a chain of problems that can exist.
- If you do not breathe properly, your diaphragm can have issues
- That causes the psoas to become tense as does sitting down
- This rotates the hips shuts down the glutes and makes the back and hamstrings work harder
- You will need a health care provider to begin working on all of these different areas in the correct sequence for you to get the relief you need.
As an athlete, you are continually breaking your body down when you train. You need to be continually looking for ways to speed up your recovery so you can continue to train and push yourself. These methods include:
The list above can go on and on, and each modality plays a different role. The more you mix these things up, the better off you will be in the long run. If you neglect hamstring stretches, you will suffer, but if you only rely on them, you will also get hurt as well.