The Hamstring is the single large tendon found behind the knee. It is important to stretch out before workouts. A proper hamstring stretch is very necessary. It can help reduce the chances of developing lower back pains or injuries and it also helps to keep your lower body flexible. Most people don’t realize that hamstrings are more susceptible to tears, strain and other injuries than other parts of the body. This is more common in athletes.
Proper stretching before workouts or athletic activities will reduce your chances of having a hamstring injury.
Here are some health benefits of Hamstring stretch:
- Injury Prevention
One great benefit is injury prevention, especially for athletes. Proper stretching of your hamstring can alleviate many common knee complaints and also increase knee mobility. Adjustable hamstrings can keep your hips and back in proper alignment and reduce many common hamstring injuries. Athletes are majorly at risk for developing muscle strains and other injuries if they don’t stretch out correctly before working out. The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that stretching of the hamstring muscle may prevent overuse injuries, particularly those that affect the knee. The AAFP recommends hamstring stretching before and after running to reduce the risk of being injured.
- Increased Flexibility
Hamstring stretch increases flexibility. This means you would be able to perform day-to-day activities like climbing, lifting and bending over with great ease. Flexible hamstrings can also assist you in elongating the length of your strides while running or walking.
- Improved Posture
One of the primary causes of poor postures is tight hamstrings. This could be caused by sedentary lifestyles, poor sitting posture and lack of activities. When your hamstrings are tight, your pelvic is pulled forward, causing the natural arch in your lower back to become flattened. It’s a vicious cycle,because your hamstrings adapt to this postural abnormality in your lower back by becoming shorter. When you stretch your hamstring you can break this cycle thereby making it possible for you to sit up properly.
- Reduced Back Pain
Hamstring stretch can help reduce back pain and other conditions associated with it. If your hamstrings aren’t flexible, they could cause lower back pain and other conditions like sciatica. When your pelvic motion is compromised due to inflexible hamstrings, your lumbar spine tries to help out, resulting in increased stress on your lower back. In an article for Spine-Health written by Dr. Peter F. Ullrich, Jr. this ultimately causes frequent episodes of lower-back pain, it limits your motion and increases your chances of developing back spasms.
Ron S. Miller, a physical therapist for the Spine-Health Website, beamed that if your hamstrings are excessively tight, it can create an added stress on your back, contributing to the lower back pain and sciatica pain (that is pain that extends from your lower back down to your legs). Miller recommends daily stretching of your hamstrings to prevent lower back pain.
- Reduced Discomfort
Malachy McHugh, the director of research at Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma, Lenox Hill Hospital New York, stated that flexibility is often an inherited trait. People with tight hamstrings can find relief, through daily stretching. Expanding the hamstring muscles can loosen them, which could be helpful especially if you are experiencing muscle soreness.you could feel more relaxed by reducing your hamstring tension.
- Decreased Sciatica
Sciatica could be defined as the pain you feel from your buttocks down to the back of your leg. This occurs when your sciatic nerve is compressed. Compression of the sciatic nerve could be a temporary problem caused by a one-time injury or a chronic medical condition from a herniated lumbar disk. A herniated disk bulges out from the spinal column and puts pressures on the sciatic nerve. Hamstring stretches can lengthen and loosen your muscles, giving your body more support and less nerve compression. Hamstring exercises often alleviate the pains caused by sciatica and might often prevent future occurrences.
- Improves Athletic Ability
The time you spend standing on a tennis court with your knees bent can result to tight hamstrings. The flexibility of your hamstring muscles could be improved by practicing the Yoga pose also known as downward facing dog. In order to achieve this, place your hands and your feet flat on the floor, with your hips raised, so your body forms an inverted V shape. Stay in that position for about two minutes to achieve maximum effect.