- Hamstring muscles - structure and function
- Exercises at home stretching the hamstrings
- Exercise 1. Pulling your leg to your chest
- Exercise 2. Pulling the leg to the chest with the knee extending
- Exercise 3. Stretching the hamstrings with a strap
- Exercise 4. Stretching the hamstring muscles with a chair
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Exercises to stretch the hamstring muscles, that is the back of the thighs, should be regularly performed by people working at the desk, because these muscles are constantly shortened and tense due to sitting for 8 hours. Exercises that stretch the ischio-shin group can also prevent injuries in athletes who strain this muscle part on a daily basis (e.g. runners). See examples of exercises for stretching the back of the thighs.
Stretching the hamstrings withexercisesis an important part of back pain prevention. We often don't realize, especially those of us who spend most of the day sitting, that back pain may come from over-tension in this muscle group. If we additionally practice sports that engage the thigh muscles, e.g. jogging, and we do not stretch thoroughly after exercise, back problems may increase.
Check out how to use exercises to stretchhamstring musclesto relax the spine and prevent pain in the loins.
Hamstring muscles - structure and function
The hamstring group consists of:
- biceps muscle of the thigh
- semimembraneous muscle
They enable bending the knee joint and straightening the hip joint - so they work, for example, while climbing stairs or running. However, the hamstring muscles can also be overloaded by lack of exercise. When we are seated, the muscles of the back of the thighs are constantly shortened. Many of us spend up to 10 hours a day in this position, which means that these muscles lose their flexibility and are contracted all the time. This, in turn, leads to an imbalance in the muscles of the pelvis, which contributes to back pain, especially in the lower back.
The sci-shin muscles are also vulnerable to injuries in a large proportion of people practicing sports. If the athlete does not stretch accurately after training or devotes too little time to this activity, the cushioning function of these muscles is impaired and they are more susceptible to strains such as pain in the back of the thigh or buttock, difficulty bending the knee or even sitting.
Exercises at home stretching the hamstrings
To prevent and reduce the risk of lower back pain, do the following set of exercises daily for a month, and then regularly every 2-3 days (and after each training session). Spend no less than 15 minutes a day, preferably 30 minutes a day, on exercises that stretch your hamstring muscles. Scientific research proves that stretching is effective only when the muscle remains in an elongated position for 7 minutes during one session. This means that one exercise should be performed for approx. 2 minutes for each leg.
Exercise 1. Pulling your leg to your chest
Lie on your back. Bend one leg and, holding your knee with both hands, bring your thigh tight against your chest. Keep the other leg straight on the ground at all times. Repeat the exercise on both sides.
Perform each of the proposed exercises for stretching the hamstring muscles on both legs.
Exercise 2. Pulling the leg to the chest with the knee extending
Repeat the stretching from the previous exercise, only this time grab your leg under the knee and pull your thigh to your chest. The other leg remains straight. While remaining in this position, slowly begin to straighten your knee by lifting your foot up. The toes of the feet are pinched. Extend your leg until you feel a distinct stretch in the back of your thigh.
Exercise 3. Stretching the hamstrings with a strap
Prepare a heavy duty belt or scarf of a thicker material. Lie on your back, legs straight on the mat. Bend one leg and hook the middle of the belt or scarf against the metatarsus. Grip both ends of the belt with your hands. Slowly straighten your leg by lifting it vertically upwards. Tighten the belt with your hands to feel the strong stretching of the back of your leg. Deepen the stretch by bending your extended leg towards your chest.
Exercise 4. Stretching the hamstring muscles with a chair
Stand in front of the chair. Place your heel on the seat of the chair, and tilt your toes up. The standing leg is to remain slightly bent but stable. Lean your torso slightly forward (back straight, shoulder blades tightened) and place both hands just above the knee of the leg resting on the chair. Bend your elbows slightly to deepen the bend, and tuck your heel into the chair to feel the distinct stretch in your leg.
To make the stretching exercises more effective, you can finally relax the muscles of the back of your thighs by rolling them with a foam massage roller.