If you’ve been doing hamstring stretches for ages and are thinking to yourself “why are my hamstrings always tight, even after stretching??” … chances are you’re not addressing the underlying cause of your hamstring tightness. In fact, stretching your hammies could even be making it worse! So, here’s how to sort out the four things that are likely to be the underlying cause of your hamstring pain or tension… once and for all.
0:17 Underactive or Weak Glutes
1:11 Neural Tension
3:16 Short Hip Flexors
4:31 Not Stretching Properly, Knots, Fascial Adhesions
1. UNDERACTIVE OR WEAK GLUTES
The first possible cause of chronically tight hammies is weak gluteal muscles. If the glutes aren’t strong or active enough, the hamstring muscles will be forced to become overactive and overworked. (The hamstrings become “synergistically dominant”.)
2. NEURAL TENSION
The second possibility is that what you’re feeling is actually coming from the nerves running down the back of your leg, not the hamstring. If the nerves are getting caught by adhesions along its path, it can feel very similar to hamstring issues. Especially if you feel some numbness, or pins and needles in your leg, or if you feel it more at the back of your knee and calf when you stretch your hamstrings.
3. SHORT HIP FLEXORS
The third possible underlying issue is tight hip flexors, like your Psoas or Rectus Femoris. Tight hip flexors tilt the pelvis forward, lifting up the attachment of the hamstrings up, adding tension to your hammies.
4. BEST HAMSTRING STRETCH & HAMSTRING MYOFASCIA RELEASE
Finally, it could be that the hamstrings are actually tight and short, but you’ve got some knots or adhesions in the muscle, or you’re not doing the right hamstring stretches (not isolating them properly).
Myofascial release of the hamstring muscles and isolated stretches of the hamstrings using eccentric contraction is what you need here.
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