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Muscle Groups Stretched

  • Hamstrings (Biceps Femoris, Semimembranosus, Semitendinosus)

Related Stretches

Related Range of Motion Exercises

Hamstring Stretch

Functional Benefit

Having tight hamstrings can place excess pressure on the pelvis resulting in lower back pain. During forward bending the pelvis tilts anteriorly in order to maintain the neutral position of the lower back. A tight hamstring muscle prevents anterior pelvic tilt as a result the lumber spine flexes during lifting and bending movements. This increases the incidence spine injuries such as herniated discs. The hamstring muscle produces hip extension similar to the Gluteal muscles. Strengthening the Gluteal muscles can decrease the activation of the hamstring muscle during running and day to day movements helping to alleviate the problems associated with hamstring tightness. Exercises such as Bent over rows , Deadlifts and Single Leg Deadlifts are effective hamstring lengthening movements. These exercises need to be performed with the lower back in a neutral position. Bending the lower back with these exercises and any hamstring stretching exercise increases the likelyhood of injuries to the spine



The best option is to perform the hamstring stretch with your foot elevated on a bench, fence or other object. This enables the hamstring to be stretched without placing excess pressure on the pelvis and lumbar spine. Performing hamstring stretches on the ground or performing stretches where by the hands are placed on the ground from a standing position can place excess strain on the lower back. Alternatively you can sit sideways on a bench(see below), this can also help maintain lower back position during the stretch

Place one foot on a raised object, lean forward through the hips, making a conscious effort to maintain a neutral spine. This means the standing position or posture of your spine. As the tension in the hamstring increases the tendency of the lower back to bend increases. Keep your eyes forward and chest up during the stretch. To vary the stretch you can gradually dorsi flex your foot (bring your foot towards your body)

Alternatively the stretch can be performed on a bench with your non stretching leg hanging from the side. Focus on keeping the lower back straight with the pelvis tilted anteriorly

Personal Training Locations -

Coogee, Maroubra, Rushcutter's Bay, Queens Park, Centennial Park, Bronte 

Phone: 0401 396 722 

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