Hamstring Stretches for Tight or Sore Hamstrings – Ask Doctor Jo

Hamstring Stretches for Tight or Sore Hamstrings – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo. I’ve got my
two assistants with me today. This is Molly and this is Bailey. And they wanted to come
do a cameo appearance for our hamstring stretches because they know how important it is to do
hamstring stretches. Your hamstrings are connected to your knees, they’re connected to your hips,
they affect your back, so what we’re gonna do is we;re gonna show you a whole bunch of
different ways to stretch your hamstrings. But the good thing is you can pick one or
two that you like the best. Bailey likes one, but Molly doesn’t like that one so she picks
another one. So you can take a look at all of these exercises, pick the one that you
like the best and just stick with that one. So let’s get started with the exercises! Let’s
start off with the hamstring stretches, the first one I’m gonna have you do is lie down
on your back. Make sure you get a pillow so you’re comfortable. You want to be comfortable
while you’re doing these stretches. Alright, so you’re gonna lie down on your back. The
first one we’re gonna do is the active assistive hamstring stretch. And what we’re gonna do
is we’re gonna bring our knee up to a 90 degree angle. And so you’re just gonna grab your
leg underneath your thigh here and just kind of rest it there. So you’re at that 90 degree
angle, and you’re gonna slowly start bringing your leg straight up and you’re gonna be stretching
that hamstring. Once you start feeling that stretch, I’m gonna have you hold it there.
Now if you can’t go all the way up, that’s ok. Your knee might be bent a little bit,
and that’s fine. You just wanna go to where there’s tension, but not so much pain that
you can’t hold it for 30 seconds. Now if you get to the top and you’re getting a pretty
good stretch, but you feel like you need a little bit more,you can pull your toes down
towards you and that’s gonna activate those calf muscles as well as those hamstrings.
Now if you’re shaking a little bit, then go ahead and relax the knee just a little bit.
But you’re still gonna get that stretch. You want to hold your stretch for 30 seconds and
do it 3 times each. And that’s an active assistive stretch. Now sometime people have a really
hard time with this because you’re actually moving the leg yourself, so if this one’s
really hard to do, what I’m gonna have you do… We’re gonna go ahead and grab our belt
or dog leash whatever you have handy, and you’re gonna put the belt just at the ball
of your foot. Not on your toes, not way back on your arch, but on the ball of your foot
there. And what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna straighten out your leg. Now this one
you want your knee to always bee straight. If it starts bending, then bring your leg
back down a little bit. And what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna start pulling your leg
up until you feel that hamstring stretch. Now again, if your knee starts bending like
that, bring it back down. The key is to keep your knee straight. That’s gonna stretch those
hamstrings. So you’re gonna pull up, and same kind of thing, you can pull down with your
toes. Pull those toes towards you, and that will give you that extra stretch with your
calf as well. And so you’re gonna hold it for 30 seconds. Do it three times each. And
then you’re gonna bring it back down. And now I’m gonna show you a stretch while you’re
sitting up. So you can do this on the ground and you can pull your heel up to your side
right here. What you;re gonna do is you’re going to bend over, but you don’t want to
curl your back like this. A lot of people try to grab their toes. Grabbing the toes
isn’t going to be stretching the hamstring. So if I’m curled over with my back like this,
I’m not really stretching my hamstrings cause my hamstrings are connected to my pelvis.
So what I want to do is I wanna keep my back straight. And that’s gonna protect your back.
You don’t want to hurt your back when you’re doing hamstring stretches. And you want to
bend at your hips. So me bending right here is actually stretching my hamstring more that
if I’m all the way down this way. So again, you want to hold it for 30 seconds, doing
it 3 times each. Now I’m gonna show you some standing and sitting on the couch exercises.
So let’s head on over there. Now I’m gonna show you some exercises you can do on the
couch, or you can do on your bed before you get up in the morning. So it’s very similar
to the one where you were on the ground except you can bring your foot up and now just let
you opposite leg hang off to the side. So that might be a little more comfortable for
people if they have a little bit of hip issues because they’re not pulling their leg up,
they’re just letting it hang off the ground. But same kind of concept where you want to
keep your leg straight. That knee needs to be in a pushed out position. It needs to be
straight, it doesn’t need to be bent. And you’re gonna, at your hips, lean forward keeping
that back straight and just getting a good stretch through your hamstrings. Remember,
if you’re curling over trying to touch your toes, that’s not gonna get that stretch. You
wanna keep your back straight and move at your hips. 3 times, for 30 seconds. The next
exercise I’m gonna show you is a standing one. So if you’re walking around, they feel
kind of tight, you can just stop and stretch them out really quick. So the standing exercise,
if you’re walking along and you feel like you need to stretch it out or if you want
to stand up and stretch, all you need is just a surface that’s a little higher. You can
use your coffee table if it’s there. If you have a step, you can do it on the step. You
can even do it on the ground if you need to, but we’re gonna prop it up here on the coffee
table. So basically it’s the same kind of concept that we’ve showed you with all the
other hamstring stretches. You don’t want to curl your back and try to touch your toes.
That’s gonna give you a little stretch, but it’s not gonna be a good stretch. So what
you want to do you want to keep your back straight and really bend at your hips. So
even right there, I’m getting a pretty good stretch in my hamstring. Now if you’re really
flexible, remember you can pull those toes towards you, and that’s gonna make those calves
stretch as well, and it’s gonna stretch the whole back of your leg. So you wanna keep
your body forward. You don’t wanna reach over and try to bend. You want to keep your hips
pointed forward and you want to bend at those hips, get that stretch. Hold it there for
30 seconds, 3 times each. Alright, well there you have it. Those are your hamstrings stretches.
If you like those stretches, please click our like button and leave us a comment. And
if you’d like to see more exercise videos or some educational videos, please check out
my website at AskDoctorJo.com. Remember be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better

100 Replies to “Hamstring Stretches for Tight or Sore Hamstrings – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. If I cant stretch out leg, wich I cant, is tight hamstrings the cause and will I be able to strech it out properly by doing theese drills? Ive been playing soccer pretty much all my life and soccer players tends to have tight hamstrings.

  2. thank you so much it helped trust me today at my first day of high school practice football had to do 60 squats my hamstrings are right and dead the belt stretch helped tightness better In just 2 minutes

  3. hi Dr Jo first of all thankyou ,and I want to ask you that if I can get any medication (like ointment) because when I start to stretch my hamstrings It's very painful for me.

  4. If I have a slight strain to muscle in hamstring and calf areas should I still do stretching exercises or should I leave it alone to heal?

  5. I'm super flexible (I'm a wrestler) so typical hamstring stretches rarely really help. the tip you gave about curling your toes is wonderful!! opened up new doors for me!

  6. I think i strained my hamstring while playing football a couple of weeks ago. I can walk, but I'm not able to swing my leg back in order to strike the ball. Should i continue doing the stretches in your video, or maybe go to get it checked out at a physio?


  7. Thank You sooo much (A weekend warrior myself — it's so important to get these stretches right. And you did such a fantastic
    job in explaining how to do it right by NOT curling the back. Much appreciated!).

  8. Just wanted to say thank you so much!! I just had a massage appt and was told to look up different stretches to deal with my weak points. I have 2 of yours saved and I really like your to the point style but also warm, with personality, & with an explanation over why you would do something one way over another- it helps!! Thank you for your time and for putting these together! 🙂

  9. Dr Jo i am 17 weeks out from a broken femur . I have 2 inches above knee to heal ( not broken there ) i have a rod . Can i do all the hamstring stretches at this stage?
    Thank you for the knee isometric knee videos i started with 75 degree bend . Now i have 110% but i cant hold it for to long but very pleased with my progress & your videos .

  10. I think this is the best video with the explanation. I will be doing these twice a day and see if they really help me. I don't touch my toes when I bend down. I am so tight, I have a long way but will try to see what I will accomplish. Thanks for the video .

  11. hey, Dr jo. i am a physiotherapy student and attend clinics regularly. alot many time i get knee OA patients who also have a lot of hamstring 'pain'. and i give nearly the same stretching to them. but i dont understand one thing. that is y do u have ur opposite knee bent in the first few exercises. is if for some sort of pelvis stabilizing?? or…
    pls do reply to me i love knowing more things about my field. and knowing more effective ways of improvement and strengthening.

  12. I had my ACL reconstruction done 5 months ago now and while extending and contracting there's pain in the hamstring do you think it's an issue or just tight hamstring?

  13. Another video that will greatly improve my hip pain. I am a senior and I should have started stretching years ago.

    Thanks for the numerous informative videos.

  14. My hamstrings are feeling a good stretch at the 90o point haha I have to sort these out other wise my physio is going to do it and she's said its going to be a grin and bare it job…. HELPPPPPPPPPPPP ME!! haha

  15. Thank you for showing the couch and standing stretches which are better for me with some limited mobility. Thank you for this video,

  16. My hips come forward when squatting and i think it's due to tight hammys, this would help before i started u reckon?

  17. my physiotherapy is out of India.acl surgery recovery going on & I have pain in back of my knee at least 5 time in a days..suggest me something so that I can get rid of my pain

  18. Could barely walk when I woke up this morning after pushing my hamstrings a wee bit too much lately. This exercise helped sooo much! Thank you a billion!! <3

  19. Wondered about your thoughts and if there are more studies than " Feland JB, Myrer JW, Schelthies SS, Fellingham GW, Measom GW. The effect of duration of stretching of the hamstring muscle group for increasing range of motion in people aged 65 years or older. Phys Ther 2001;81:1110-1117." that verified/refuted that 60-second stretches for those over 65 produce more ROM. Considering that as a goal if beneficial. Thx.

  20. I sort of pulled my hamstring doing the splits and my hamstrings became suddenly really sore. Thank you so, so much for this video.

  21. One quick question: I’m going ice skating with my friends tomorrow and I have sore legs from doing the splits today. I’ve followed your stretching video and my hamstring has got better, but it’s not 100% yet. Is it a good idea to go tomorrow (I really want to but I don’t know if this will make my soreness worse)?

  22. I have recently undergone ACL surgery of my right leg. I have tight hamstrings now since my knee has not achieved straightness yet. Can I do this hamstring excercises.

  23. when i do the active assistive stretch and i when drop my leg back down, i see a pain in the hamstring. I have this pain even when i do a forward standing bend or anything that involve my hamstring. can you let me know how to get this pain relieved

  24. I have juvenile arthritis, which causes me not to be the best at hamstring Streches. But now, when I went into physical therapy I had did the belt stretch there and held it for about 1 min, and it improved a lot. But when I found this vid, I got massive hamstring flexibility! So thanks Dr Jo!! 😀

  25. So I got a hamstring injury during the track season I was recovering at like 75% but then I reinjured myself I was recovering again about the same amount but then I reinjured myself again then I was running 100% then I decided if I can still long jump and guess what I injured myself again. I didn't compete at all this year. I'm in club track right now and I'm scared and worried I'm going to reinjury myself jumping or sprinting so do you have any tips

  26. The more I prolong my standing position in the kitchen the more my lower back started to pain .My hamstrings are also weak .should I do this exercise.

  27. Thanks Dr. Jo for sharing such an amazing video. I just did some of the stretches you showed and I'm already feeling better. ☺

  28. How long does it take to heal from a pulled hamstring level one?
    I got in April but still each time I strech them it still hurts

  29. thank you sooooo dam much doctor 😍😍 your the best I love you 😂 that stretch on couch gave me life lol

  30. I really loved the video but could you please tell me how much time is it going to take to split
    My hamstrings are really tight too and I'm a contemporary dancer so it is quite essential 😃☺️

  31. Thanks for the info! Is there a reason why you wouldn't do both at one time if you are in a position where you can? Thanks!

  32. Forward bends are an issue for me especially with my legs straight I always have a rounded back. Is that caused by tigh hamstrings?

  33. Fantastic and easy to do stretches. Thank you so much. I feel better already! Can’t wait to see the effects after a few days of practice.

  34. Good morning ma'am. Hi i am debnath from india and i am your big fan. I have knee problem on left knee and doctor suggest me for strengthen the quad and hamstring. I follow your exercise and its helps me lot. Thank you very much. I have two query 1.what should be resting time of each exercise like after 1 set for 30 sec. Then after how much relaxing time then start 2nd set for 30sec.
    2. In a whole day how many times i will repeat these exercises. I have a little pain sometimes on my knee.
    Thank you and eagerly waiting for your response ma'am.

  35. Hi Dr. Jo, I'm having a hamstring cramp since 3-4 weeks and its been very painful. I'll try these stretches. Can you tell me what else can I do to fix it ? Thank you in advance.

  36. Thank you for the demo. Just my left hamstring at the top near the bottom of butt muscle is sore and painful. I’m able to do three of these stretches. I hope these stretches along with ice and rest will make make hamstring feel better. You say to do each one 3 times for 30 seconds each. How many times a day should I do these stretches?

  37. Everyday I stretch hamstrings by active lying down method.
    It improves but next day it has similar tightness .
    Is it take months ?
    And does this 1st method target long as well as short head of hamstring muscle ?

  38. Is it possible that very tight hamstrings can cause tightness in your calf muscles? I have insertional tendonitis in my calcaneus, and stretching my tight hamstrings helps a lot to loosen it up.

  39. I read if you have APT, that you shouldn't stretch your hamstrings. But mine are so tight, at least they feel that way

  40. How long would you expect it to take before you could see a long lasting effect from this? It seems that if you have really tight hamstrings and you stop for one day it goes back to square one in being tight again.

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