If you’re experiencing hamstring pain or looking for an effective exercise to prevent hamstring pain, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’ll explain what hamstring is, where it is in the body, and what the common causes of hamstring pain are. But we won’t stop there. We will also share a few simple stretches that can help prevent hamstring pain.
Before we dive in, let’s take a step back and understand the role our hamstrings play in the body.
What is the hamstring?
Hamstrings are the big muscles behind the back of your thigh. These groups of muscles are responsible for posture condition known as flat low back. Hamstrings are a group of muscles:
- Biceps Femoris
These stretch the knee and extend the hip. Moreover, hamstrings cross and act upon the hip and knee joints.
What does the hamstring do?
Hamstring muscles help us in walking, running, and jumping. And they enable us to bend the knees and so move hips backward.
Hamstrings help us rotate the leg. Two hamstrings attach to the inner side of the knee to rotate leg inward. At the same time, a third hamstring connects to the knee’s outer border, which helps rotating lower get outward.
However, these movements help in fine-tuning lower legs position to ease walking. In more simple words, these work like car brakes to a lower speed.
How does the body depend on hamstrings?
Hamstring muscles are important because these help us to walk, run, and move. Yes, these cross the knee and hip joints and help us to bend the knee and draw hips backward. Without them, we cannot balance our structure of motion.
These help us to achieve speed, provide power and agility in sports. That is, it’s necessary to prevent hamstring pain to let muscles function properly.
What are the common causes of hamstring pain?
Overload on any organ of your body could be dangerous. Hamstring pain usually occurs due to a lot of strain and stretching.
Especially, when you perform sprint, your hamstring muscles contract repeatedly as leg lengthens with stride. All this lengthening and loading encourages hamstring injury.
According to one study, a major risk of hamstring injury or pain is a weakness. When we move, the hamstrings generate enough force to balance out the force produced by the quadriceps.
And this is why stronger muscles help to protect the hamstrings from stretching and tearing the muscle fibers
Here are 4 common causes of hamstring pain
1. Tight muscles. When exercising with tight muscles, you are likely to experience hamstring pain.
2. Muscle imbalances. Hamstring pain happens due to muscle imbalances, where specific muscles are stronger than others.
3. Poor conditioning. Hamstring pain results due to poor conditioning. Maybe your muscles are weak, and you are stressing them beyond a certain limit with exercises.
4. Muscle fatigue. Muscle fatigue could also be a leading cause. Your muscles are lacking the energy to perform well. A hamstring pain happens when one or more of your muscles in the back of knees get strained.
When it happens, you’ll not be able to straighten your leg all the way. No doubt, hamstring pain can be very terrible. However, hamstring strains may not hurt too much. So you should avoid putting weight on your legs as much as you can.
Prevent Hamstring Pain: Stretches Before Workout
Let’s discuss the workouts which you should do before a workout.
1. Foam Roll
It is a method wherein you lay down on the stomach and place foam under your thighs. Rolling increases the circulation of blood and is helpful to reduce the muscle density. Rolling for 60 seconds is enough before a workout.
2. Knee Pulling
This is a great pre-workout exercise wherein you pull you folded-knee upwards to your chest and hold there for five seconds. Then repeat the same with the leg. Do five reps.
3. Jumping Jacks
That is the pre-workout thing for you. Doing this keeps your whole body in motivation. Almost all your muscles get warm, and thus, you are ready to work out.
4. Light Jog
Everyone is aware of light jogging. It is not much intense. Gradually, light jogging makes your body move and warm up. This is best if you are planning to jog.
Prevent Hamstring Pain: Post Workout Stretches
After a workout, stretching is as helpful and beneficial as pre-workout is. It reduces fatigue in muscles and helps in fast recovery after intense gym sessions.
5. Hamstring Stretching with Rope
Lay flat on the ground and bending your knees. Place a rope under your one foot and then try to straighten the same leg until you feel the stretching hamstring.
Keep your both hips on the ground and do not let them tilt. For a more intense stretching, try to bring your toe towards your head. Hold it there for thirty seconds and then release. Do three reps with each leg.
6. Hip Bridge
Lie on the ground and bending your knees.
Now lift your hips slowly and until you feel stretching in the groin, flexors, and lower abdominal. Doing this will heal your body after a workout.
Hold the hip bridge for 10 seconds, and then bring them back on the ground. Repeat the same for five times.
7. Full leg Stretch
Usually, people do it before a workout, but it can be helpful if you are doing a cardio workout. It is also helpful when you have done intense legs workout. It helps in healing sore muscles.
8. Downward Dog
Bring yourself in a position that your toes and hands are touching the ground. The rest of your body is making a V shape towards the ground. Stay in that position for 10 seconds and repeat it. It will be the final before you go home.