All about Hamstrings
Tight hamstring muscles are a common contributor to lower back pain. The hamstring muscles run through the back of each thigh from the hip down to the back of the knee. The hamstring muscles cross two joints, the hip and the knee, and can act as extensors of the thigh and flexors of the leg.
Can you touch your toes?
You probably know if you have tight hamstrings, especially if you're active and pay attention to your body. Simply bending over and trying to touch your toes, any pulling or tight feeling can tell you if your hamstrings are tight.
There are three hamstring muscles:
- Biceps femoris
These three muscles that make up the hamstring, cross the knee joint and end at the lower leg. Hamstring muscle fibres join with the tough, connective tissue of the hamstring tendons near the points where the tendons attach to bones. The hamstring muscle group helps you extend your leg straight back and bend your knee; if too tight or too weak it can impact the stability of the knee leading to injury.
The hamstring muscle can become over-facilitated by everyday activities like walking, especially uphill or through prolonged sitting. But often they are strained performing sports like Crossfit, HIIT, running, playing football etc.
Regular yoga or Pilates will help not only to strengthen, but also keep the hamstring muscles supple, by increasing the stretch reflex.