Help for Hamstrings


Hamstrings     healthpro Road Runners offer help for hamstrings!

The hamstrings are a large group of muscles (semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris) located on the back of the upper leg whose function is flexion (bending) of the knee and extension (straightening) of the hip. As a result, the hamstrings play a vital role in lower-body orientated activities such as running, with their flexibility an important component of running efficiency and injury prevention.  

The following is a simple self-test of hamstring flexibility. Lie flat on your back on the floor and lift one leg up straight as far as you can, keeping the opposite leg in contact with the floor. Note the approximate degree to which you have raised your leg from horizontal. Lower and repeat with the opposite leg. Score your results as follows;

  • Less than 70 degrees (very poor)
  • 70 - 80 degrees (poor)
  • 80 - 90 degrees (good)
  • Over 90 degrees (very good)

If your results indicate poor or very poor hamstring flexibility, its important that you work on developing greater range of motion by regular and applied stretching.

One of our favourites is a kneeling hamstring stretch, performed as follows. Adopt a kneeling position on a comfortable surface and extend one leg straight ahead of yourself, resting your heel on the ground and pointing your toes upwards. Maintaining a straight leg, lean forward, keeping your back straight and your shoulders and pelvis facing forward throughout. Hold the stretch for 20 - 30 seconds and repeat on each leg X 3. Aim to progress the degree of stretch as you repeat.

If you require further information, advice, or treatment, on your hamstrings (or indeed any other muscle group), please contact the healthpro team to arrange a consultation with a healthpro physical therapist. 

© healthpro / 2014


Published on 5 June 2014 | Back to June Articles