Reduction in flexibility of the hamstring has been reported to be associated with occurrence of back pain in adolescents and adults in cross-sectional studies (Salminen 1992, Hultman 1992). Thus, hamstring flexibility is important for general health and fitness (Fasen 2009, Smith 2008).
It is important to note that just because your hamstrings feels “tight” doesn’t neccesarily mean it actually is tight. It can overlengthened and may just be getting pulled on.
Static stretching of the hamstring has been shown effective to improve joint range of motion (Bandy 1997, Behm 2015). However, static stretching has been found to be detrimental to athletic performance that relies on force and power production (Kokkonen 1998, Nelson 2005, Winchester 2009). A meta-analytic review shown a decrease in isometric and dynamic strength, power, and explosive performance after performing static stretching protocols (Simic 2013).
Here is a dynamic approach to stretching the hamstrings:
✅Key here is to attempt to make you low back as straight as you can, if you can’t grab your toes during this stretch you can stand on a towel which will requires less hip flexion. If you curl your entire spine- the restriction may be more neural than muscular.
✅Use the Quad muscles to straighten your knee until you feel a hamstring stretch- this will also help with reciprocally inhibiting the hamstrings.
✅There are 4 hamstring muscles (2 medial and 2 lateral): To isolate the lateral hamstrings Bicep Femoris long and short head you can do this by internally rotating your legs so that your toes are pointing together.
✅If your goal is to stretch the medial hamstrings- Semimembranosus and semitendinosus then you can externally rotate your legs so that your toes are point out.
� You can also apply all of these principles for when you are in sitting and reaching for your toes.