Learn in this article, how to do standing hamstring stretches correctly for flexibility, mobility, back pain relief with demo VIDEO & tips.
The Standing Hamstring Stretch exercise is an effective stretch for the hamstrings (muscles on the back of your thighs) and the lower back.
In case you are a senior or have lower-back problems, perform this exercise while lying on your back on an exercise mat or carpeted floor and extending your leg upward.
The one-legged standing hamstring stretch requires no equipment and can be done anywhere – whether home, outdoors or office.
Benefits of Hamstring Stretches:
Let’s first find out What Are Hamstring Stretches Benefits?
Hamstring Stretches For Back Pain
Tight hamstrings lead to poor mobility of the pelvic, which can put pressure on the lower back. Stretching and strengthening hamstrings help loosen the tight hamstrings, thereby the pressure on the lower back is reduced – which helps prevent/reduce lower back pain. However, check with your doctor if you have chronic back pain to find out if hamstring stretching is appropriate for your conditions.
Keeping the hamstrings loose reduces the risk for developing muscle strains or tearing the muscle fibers during vigorous physical activities. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the hamstrings stretching may prevent overuse injuries, especially those relating to the knees.
Hamstring stretches can improve flexibility and increase the range of motion in the hip muscles. These benefits will help you carry on the everyday daily physical activities like bending over and walking up stairs, with ease.
Tight hamstrings muscles tend to rotate your pelvis backward, which can flatten the natural arch in the back. This leads to poor standing & seated posture. Loose hamstrings will help you stand taller and sit straighter.
How To Do Standing Hamstring Stretches Properly?
Start Position – Hamstring Stretches While Standing
Stand tall upright with your back straight, spine in neutral position and feet about hip-width distance apart (closer than shoulder-width). Step forward with your left foot, leg straight and heel down. Flex the left foot up towards you with the toes pointing up.
Movements – Hamstring Stretches Standing Up
(i) Keeping your back straight and spine in a neutral position, slightly bend your right knee and gently pull your belly (abdominals) inwards.
(ii) While keeping your left leg straight, gently lean forward from your hips and rest your both palms (hands) on top of your right thigh for balance and support. You should feel a mild stretch along your left hamstring – behind your thigh.
(iii) Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.
(iv) Repeat the stretch with your right leg forward.
(v) During the movement don’t round your lower back and keep your shoulders relaxed.
(vi) Repeat the drill 3 to 5 times on each side.
Important Tips to make the Hamstring Stretch more effective.
- Don’t lean so far forward that you feel strain in your lower back or you lose your balance.
- Keep the movements gentle & slow. Don’t jerk or bounce.
- During the movement, do not round or arch your back and keep your abs pulled inward to protect your lower back.
Watch this video to learn the correct form & proper technique to perform hamstring stretches while standing:
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer & Nutrition Health Coach. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me age is just a number!”