Home Fitness Hamstrings Stretch: Why are your hamstrings tight and how to treat them?

Hamstrings Stretch: Why are your hamstrings tight and how to treat them?

by Abhay

If you’ve ever played any sports you might be familiar with the unpleasant, painful sensation in the back of your legs- That’s right, tight hamstrings. Hamstrings are a group of muscles that run up the back of your thigh. You must know all the hamstrings stretch to improve the overall strength and to avoid hamstrings tight. Sports and activities that involve a lot of stop-and-start movement or sprinting like football, dancing, and running may cause tightness in your hamstrings. Keeping these muscles loose with hamstrings stretch is important because tight hamstrings are more prone to strain and tearing. 

However, there are various reasons why your hamstrings are tight, and sometimes hamstrings stretching is the least you need to do if you suffer from tight hamstrings. Here are a few reasons why your hamstrings are tight and how to treat them.

Read more: Stretching exercises for flexibility

Reason #1: Your Hamstrings are constantly in a shortened position

Tight Hamstrings

This is one of the most common causes of tight hamstrings. If your hamstring muscles are constantly in a shortened position like sitting for a long period of time. This might make your hamstrings tight. Technically, your hamstrings are made up of three muscles. They start from the bottom of your pelvis at your sit bones and run down the back of each thigh and cross the knee joints to attach to the lower leg. These muscles enable you to bend the knee and move your leg freely. If you sit for long periods with your knees bent, you are putting your hamstring in a shortened position and this causes tight hamstrings. With proper hamstrings stretch, you can release the pain from all these three muscles.

How to treat it?

Try to periodically straighten your legs while you sit at your desk. Even simple leg stretches while sitting on a chair would do.

Reason #2: You overstretched your hamstrings

Hamstrings Stretch

Your hamstrings can also feel tight if they’re constantly overstretched. Hamstrings stretch is good after doing any leg workout, but overstretching it may lead to sore pain in your legs. This is more common in athletes and runners who are particularly strong and tight in their quads. A tight quad means that the hamstrings are stretched more than usual constantly. Tight quads cause too much tension on the other side (Hamstrings) and stretch the other side. So, if your quads are tighter, it is going to pull the hamstring into a stretched position.

How to treat it?

In this case, stretching wouldn’t solve the problem. If you stretch your legs, you’ll only make them tighter. So, you may need to strengthen your hamstring by working with a physical therapist.

Reason #3: Your hamstrings are weak

Fitness

This is another reason why you have tight hamstrings. If you’re a regular runner or if you play intense sport regularly, this may be the reason for tight hamstrings. These kinds of activities call for a ton of hamstring strength. But, if your hamstrings are naturally too weak to handle the demands of your heavy activities, it may tighten up as a protective reflex to guard them against strains and tears.

How to treat it?

If you have weak hamstrings, you need to strengthen them first. A great way to strengthen your hamstring is by performing deadlifts of any variation. This helps relieve tension and strengthens your hamstrings.

Reason #4: The problem might be in your nerves

Leg Pain

If the above-mentioned reasons don’t seem to fit your context, the cause of your tight hamstrings might be your nerves. This is not a common reason and only a few people suffer from it. If the nerves that command your hamstrings to contract and relax at the right time aren’t working normally, this may cause your hamstrings to tighten. 

How to treat it?

If you feel any sign of numbness, tingling, burning or any weird sensations in your body and particularly in the hamstring area, you might have a never problem. In such cases, you must consult a physical therapist immediately. 

Read more: What is an active recovery workout?

Tight hamstrings not only hamper your ability to perform well in sports but also impacts your daily activities like the way you stand, walk, or sit. This might cause pain and injuries in other areas of your body. So, keep these in mind and identify the right cause of your tight hamstrings and treat them accordingly.

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