Did you know that we have 3 main Hamstrings, which all attach to the sit bones.
- Biceps femoris, closest to the outside of your body
- Semimembranosus, closest to the middle of your body
- Semitendinosus between the Semimembranosus and the Biceps Femoris
This is why we always ask our clients to sit tall when they want a good seated Hamstring stretch otherwise, if they slump into their posture, the sit bones just tuck under so they’ve lost good form and a decent amount of a ‘healthy pull’ on that stretch.
I always like to think of the ‘Ham’ part of the word Hamstrings to be the big thick meaty part of that muscle, and the ‘Strings’ to be the thinner part of the muscle that’s blending into the tendons on either side of your knee. Both need stretching but I’m always more cautious with my stretching techniques when working on the strings because of their proximity to the tendons.
Quick note: If you’re feeling a pulling at the back of the knee it’s not actually your hamstring that you feeling and it could be your Tibial Nerve – a component of the Sciatic Nerve. So, to ease up this Tibial Nerve, whilst lying supine with both feet flat on the floor work, bring one leg in close to the chest with a bent knee, keep the thigh as close to the chest as you can and just gently pump the leg longish (don’t force this) also adding a dorsi flexion with the movement. Do this at least 8 times.
Because I want to stretch these 3 muscles, I’m inclined to play with the angle of my foot in order to get into each one. We often stretch the hamstrings with the foot at the same angle but remember to play with this angle to target each muscle. (Quick video tip available on Instagram link below)
Like the 3 Hamstring muscles mentioned, the Adductor Magnus (inside thigh) also attaches to the Ischial Tuberosity (sit bones) and can extend the thigh at the hip joint. For this reason, the Adductor Magnus is sometimes referred to as the fourth hamstring. So as your stretching out those hamstrings simply add an inside thigh stretch that you can feel is also working into that muscle.
One last thing: It may not be your hamstrings that need to be addressed if constantly tight. You may have some ‘lazy muscles’ that are making these guys do all the work ie .. the Glutes and the Adductor Magnus. If the Hamstrings are taking on that extra work load of movement and support that these muscles should be doing, it’s no wonder they’re tight! Wake them up, include strengthening exercises that get them firing into action. (Quick video tip available on Instagram link below)
If you like to see a few stretching techniques for the hamstrings and simple strengthening for lazy lads then have a look at my Instagram Account
Or here’s simple seated stretching sequence that targets the 3 main hamstrings ..
Whilst purestretch has provided these exercise routines, we strongly recommend that you consult your Doctor before undertaking any exercise.
Any user of this exercise program assumes the risk of injury resulting from performing exercises or using suggested equipment. Extreme care must be taken in selecting and using properly maintained exercise equipment at all times. Purestretch accepts no liability for any damages caused during, or as a result of, a purestretchhome exercise programme.
The instruction and advice presented are in no way a substitute for medical advice.