So my past few Instagram posts have shown me doing some hamstring stretches. I have torn one of my hamstrings twice – both times playing hockey, you would have thought I might have learned from my mistakes but apparently not! Therefore, I understand the importance of looking after this muscle group.
About the hamstring
The hamstring refers to a group of 3 muscles that run along the back of your thigh, from your hip to just below your knee. These are called Bicep Femoris, Semimembranosus and Semitendinosus
Your Hamstring muscles are not used much while standing or walking but are very active during activities that involves bending the knee, such as running jumping and climbing.
When does injury occur?
An injury occurs when any of the tendons or muscles are stretched beyond their limit. More often than not they occur during sprinting, lunging or jumping. More gradual slower movements can also cause the hamstring to overstretch.
- Regular stretching
- Towel stretch
Sit upright, loop a towel over your foot and hold each end. Pull your leg up and do NOT bend your knee, keep your other leg flat on the floor and your back straight. Hold for 20-30 seconds, relax and repeat 3 times on each leg
- Simple stretch
Sit on the floor with both legs straight out in front of you. Extend the arms and reach forward by bending at the waist as far as possible. Keep your knees straight. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
- Hurdle Stretch
Sit on the floor 1 leg straight out, bend the other leg at the knee and position sole of the foot against your opposite thigh. Extend arms and reach forward over the straight one by bending at the waist. Hold for 20-30 seconds, relax and repeat 3 times on each leg
- Foam Roll
If the hamstring is still tight after stretching and foam rolling then you need to book in for a Sports Massage. 30 minutes on just the hamstrings is enough to prevent an injury. You need to listen to your body otherwise you will end up with a tear like me and you will be out of training for weeks!
See my Instagram for pictures of the stretches @mollysportsmassage