There’s a few factors that contribute to a lack of hamstring flexibility, such as:
- Truly tight hamstrings
- Prior injuries
- Decreased back/pelvis mobility
- Improper training
Let’s take a look at some of these factors and some strategies you can employ to improve your hamstring flexibility.
What Causes Tight Hamstrings and How to Fix Them
First of all, are your hamstrings really the problem?
For example, your calves (gastrocnemius muscles) cross the knee joint, so restrictions there can make keeping your knees straight harder than it should be.This may seem silly or obvious, but just because you can’t touch your toes doesn’t necessarily mean your hamstrings are to blame for your limited range of motion. There can be quite a few structures in your “posterior chain” that are limiting your movement (especially if you have a job that requires you to sit or drive for long periods of time).
- Also, the connections from your deep hip muscles (glutes, piriformis, gemelli, etc.) can affect the ease in which your pelvis tilts, thus affecting how you bend forward at the hip.
- Another factor could be the tightness of the fascial interconnections between your muscle groups (picture this as your muscles being “stuck together,” and thus they don’t slide freely beside each other).
- Then there’s joint restrictions at your lower back and pelvis, which can cause increased tension throughout your hips and legs. With these, people often feel much more freedom in their motion after doing exercises that limber up the spine (without stretching their legs much at all). Read More…