Hamstring exercises at home
The hamstrings play an important role in leg flexibility. This isometric bridge exercise is ideal for improving pelvic and knee flexibility, so it will help you become more flexible overall.If you want to learn more exercises to increase your flexibility, be sure to check out our article 14 flexibility exercises.
In addition to strengthening the hamstrings, hamstring flexion and stretching exercises increase the flexibility of the knees, giving your legs the strength to withstand high-impact exercises. You can do these hamstring exercises at the gym on a Smith machine or parallel bar.
The Nordic curl is a great exercise to increase knee flexibility and strengthen the hamstrings. You can do it at the gym or, if you prefer hamstring exercises at home, you can find a surface to hook your feet on. We explain how to do the Nordic curl here:
The problem arises when there is a shortening of the hamstrings, as a result of the stress suffered, causing pain and even complications in running. Let’s see how and why this shortening occurs.
When hamstring shortening occurs, muscular imbalances begin, not only in flexion and extension movements, but also in body posture as they do not collaborate correctly in the position and stabilization of the hip.
All this, consequently, can trigger pain in the knees, in the hip, in the back of the thigh or hamstring area in general, and even in the lumbar area, in addition to being able to develop various types of injuries.
To do this, we lie face up on the floor (or on the mat), bringing the knees to the chest, and flexing the hips to form a 90º angle. Subsequently, we extend the knee until we reach 180º.
If we are not able to reach 180º of knee extension in this position, with the partial blocking of the hip when lying on the floor, this would mean that there is some hamstring shortening.
Leg and thigh muscles
Many athletes, when performing their continuous running training, feel discomfort in the back of the thigh. Most of the time this pain is due to short hamstring syndrome. In today’s post, we will explain what short hamstring syndrome is and provide methods to detect and counteract it.
This injury, in addition to the pain it causes in the area, can lead to countless injuries related to the spine and pelvic area, so early detection is key to reducing the consequences of this syndrome.
This pathology is very easy to detect, it is not necessary to visit a specialist doctor or a physiotherapist. There are several tests that we can do at home to find out if we suffer from short hamstring syndrome:
To perform this test we will need the help of another person. To perform it we will lie down on a flat surface and the person helping us should lift one of our limbs trying to create an angle of 90 degrees while his hand rests firmly on our hip, in the area opposite to the leg that is raised. Remember not to force the stretch too much because it can cause a fiber breakage. The result is measured according to the angle that we manage to create without lifting the supported leg.
Isquiotibiales en español
We need sufficiently stiff hamstrings to gain energy efficiency so that each stride is powerful and/or expends little energy. On the other hand, we need them not to be excessively shortened because it could lead to injury. Flexible or stiff hamstrings? This is one of the big questions that is answered with “it depends”, and we will talk about it in this article.
Depending on the sport, you will need to be more towards the side of the 100 meter runner, or the dancer. Strength training, running and anything that involves muscle contractions will promote stiffness (muscular rigidity), while stretching, joint mobility and fascia release, which we will discuss below, will facilitate compliance (flexibility).
Stretching before training may worsen performance in that session due to a loss of muscle contraction capacity. We are therefore left with the other option of stretching after training.