July 29

Tight Hamstrings: 3 Simple Reasons Stretching Doesn’t Help

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The Tightest Hamstrings You’ve Ever Seen

If you are plagued with tight hamstrings, you are certainly not alone!

tight hamstrings

Tight hamstrings are a common problem many people. They can be painful, can make walking and sitting difficult.

That pain in your lower back could very well be caused by tight hamstrings.

You’ve tried stretching them, but you still can’t touch your toes without the ache in the back of your legs.

We are here with great news. You don't have to live a life with tight hamstrings.

Flexible hamstrings can be your reality! All it takes is 20 minutes a day.

Keep reading. 

1. Sitting Can Contribute to Tight Hamstrings

We’ve all heard why sitting all day is bad for you. Here's why. 

tight hamstrings
  • Bending your knees puts your hamstring muscles in a shortened position. 
  • The longer you sit, the tighter they get. 
  • Collapsing into your low back while sitting can make the hamstrings try to "save the day" and protect your low back.

2. Exercise Can Contribute to Tight Hamstrings

right hamstrings

This is especially true for forms of exercise that shorten your muscles repeatedly (think biking and running). All of that contracting needs to be undone. The key is to stretch your hamstrings after this kind of exercise, rather than before. 

Take Away: Think about mobilizing your joints before you exercise, and stretching your muscles after. 

3. Genetics Can Contribute to Tight Hamstrings

tight hamstrings

Some people are born with tighter, shorter hamstrings. Those people are less flexible in general. But, not being very flexible doesn’t have to be a life-long condition. Creating mobility in joints can help the hamstring muscles understand that they are not holding everything together. 

tight hamstrings

Tight hamstrings can lead to the pesky lower back pain we mentioned. Usually when this happens, your pelvis is tucked underneath you. In this situation, your hamstrings are stabilizing your spine, and will continue to be tight until you find another way to stabilize your spine.

You probably already realize that having tight hamstrings is more likely to lead to injury; especially if you’re participating in demanding exercises. 

The Key To Flexible Hamstring Muscles

You’ve heard about hamstring stretches here and there. You might have tried a few, but consistency is the key to getting (and keeping) flexible hamstrings. 

Taking good care of your hamstring muscles needs to be part of your routine. If you make stretching part of your routine, you will soon notice that things are a bit easier! Take for instance, walking up the stairs, or bending over without pain. Your low-back pain might even be noticeably better!

Taking good care of your hamstring muscles needs to be part of your routine. Instead of just stretching once or twice a week, consider making stretching part of your daily routine. You will notice things like walking up the stairs or bending over start to get easier. Your low-back pain might even get noticeably better.

tight hamstrings

But, right about now you’re probably thinking that you don’t have time to add daily hamstring stretching  somewhere between work, appointments, children and extracurricular activities. 

Fear not, fellow tight hamstring sufferers. We’ve got you covered.

An Easy Way To Get Rid Of Tight Hamstrings

We found a program that is super beneficial and effective when it comes to flexible hamstrings AND fitting it into your schedule. 

Better yet?  It’s only 20 minutes and it’s free!  We have an online class called Hips & Hamstrings.  

Yep, we said 20 minutes.  

This is something you can do;

  • First thing in the morning
  • Before work
  • On your lunch break (and still have time to eat actual lunch!)

Incorporating this class into your day 3-5 times a week will bring about a noticeable change in your hamstring flexibility.  Is it worth it to take 20 minutes to get it done?  We think so. Try it and let your hamstrings decide.


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Laurie Johnson

About the author

Laurie’s clear and candid cueing makes classes easy to follow without looking at the screen. Her wit and good nature create an enjoyable class that challenges your limits and celebrates your successes.  

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