T Nation

Solutions to Hamstring Tightness?


#1

My hamstrings are incredibly tight. When I do a hamstring stretch trying to reach my foot, I can only reach about 4-5 inches below my knee.

I think this issue is really hindering my progress because I have to use subpar form on a ton of exercises due to my flexibility issues.

I know there are a couple guys who are knowledgeable about this on here that can probably point me in the right direction in terms of what I need to do, so I'm hoping you guys can help me out.


#2

Stretch you hamstrings a couple of times a day for the next 12 weeks. Do it when they are warmed-up. Hold the stretches for 25-30 seconds.

There's a good chance that some of your other muscles are also very tight so consider doing more stretching in general.

There are lot of resources on the Internet.

Static stretching is fine so long as you do it frequently for the next 3 months. PNF or ART would be fantastic, but not necessary IF you do the static stretching.

If you won't do the stretching on your own, get sessions with a trainer / therapist and let them know that you need to improve your flexibility but don't want to put the effort in yourself. They'll take your money and help you out.


#3

Maybe tight fascia also overall? Try running a tennis ball/lacrosse ball under your feet and over calves. Foam roll your hammies and glutes also. Some dynamic stretches on training days and some static stretches on days off from the gym should do the trick.


#4

alright, I'll start implementing stretching...

I'll admit I definitely neglected that part of my training...It makes sense though...it's pretty much common sense like everything else lol....


#5

Dynamic stretching works quite well.


#6

IME tight hamstrings are primarily caused by hip flexors, so stretch both!

http://synergy-athletics.com/?p=15
http://www.exrx.net/Stretches/HipFlexors/KneelingHipFlexor.html

Foam rolling is also great for this.


#7

I am not certain about the 'caused by hip flexors' part; but I agree that you should stretch everthing from the waist down as a group (hip, glute, ham, quad, calve). Same goes for foam rolling.


#8

stiff legged deadlifts kills two birds with one stone. you can stretch and get them stronger.


#9

TAKE A YOGA CLASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


#10

yeah seems like the consensus is to just stretch everything and do it frequently...

And, I have a foamroller, so I will start doing it everyday...


#11

The foam rolling is a great idea. You may also want to look at your diet. I've had many clients who are sensitive to gluten and it can cause a lot of tension in the fascia, when they reduced the gluten in their diets, their flexibility improved tremendously.

You may also want to try PNF stretching.


#12

2-3 hamstring stretches, 2-3 times a week, 15-20 second holds.

Light romanian deadlifts in the 8-10 rep range.

This has helped me.


#13

If there are that tight, there is a reason for it.
Why would you want to stretch your hams if they are already probably stretched and firing. Get work done to your front side, either foam rolling or some other kind of therapy.
Are you doing any glute activation work?
whats your side profile look like, is your hips and pelvis tilted?
Are your hips mobile?
Do you sit alot?

As GoddessAthlete food sensitivities and allergies can cause stiffness. Also taking digestive enzymes will help also.
I have noticed that in many written programs, high protein with no enzyme, Chances are most if not all need them now a days.


#14

my hips tilt slightly downward.

yes, i sit a lot.

I don't know if my hips are mobile.


#15

Before you start a nice routine of stretching your hams, look into glute activation, mobility drills, and flexabilty. from sitting alot glutes become inactive, quads shorten and can become tight. Its a whole mess, but very common.
Check into some of the articles here by Eric Cressey, Nick Tumminello, Mike Robertson and Mike Boyle.
often times the problem (tight hams, etc) is a symptom of other problems.


#16

I'm gonna go to my Wednesday yoga class :slightly_smiling:


#17

do you have flat feet? if so, what type of shoes are you wearing throughout the day? Even if you don't have flat feet, what type of shoes do you wear?


#18

It's your lower back,hamstrings or both. Anyway,doing what you are doing will help with both. You can also try stretching one side invidually. Raise your leg on a deficit,both legs locked and straight,and carefully reach for your knee with your head. You can also do the 'toe reach' type stretch sitting down. Try to work up to grabbing both of your feet,then you can work up to getting your face to your locked knees from there (you don't have to be close to this flexible for lifting but that will surely take care of your issues,just practicing this stretch). Right now it will probably seem physically impossible but determined stretching will cause reasonable flexibility gains in a reasonably short time.

Hold a stretch for at least one minute,two minutes if you can. Time is crucial. Dynamic stretching (bouncing and jerking about) is not particularly useful and may be completely useless for long term progress. You can employ it in your warm-up though. To get you closer to your present max range of motion more quicker.

My advice as a novice contortionist.


#19

very good, it will help you big time! just stick with it. it's hard at first but gets easier.


#20

well i started to read up on everything a bit...

it seems i'm in anterior tilt...

I need to strengthen my abs and glutes and stretch my hip flexors and quads...

The hamstring stretches did help me though...But, I think the main reason is because it stretched my low back more than anything....My low back is also probably pretty tight...I'm 5 inches from the floor now...

the main thing I need to do is probably stretch the hip flexors and strengthen my abs...

i actually failed the front/side plank tests lol...