The hamstrings are the unsung heroes of the upper legs. The three muscles in the back of each thigh enable you to bend your knees and pull your legs back as you walk. They also assist the gluteal muscles (or “glutes”) in the buttocks — the powerhouses that propel your body forward when you get up from a chair, bound across a room, or climb stairs. The glutes also help you come to a stop from a run or walk and lower your body to sit down or squat.
But weak gluteal muscles wind up overburdening the hamstrings. “When the glutes are weak, which is common in the age of sitting too much, the hamstrings are continually overworked and overloaded.”.
Here’s what you need to know in order to lengthen and strengthen these muscles.
Ways to take care of your hamstrings
The best way to protect your hamstrings is to keep all of your leg muscles healthy and working together, including the glutes and the quadriceps (the muscle group at the front of each thigh).
I recommends getting an evaluation from your trusted physical therapist who can assess your muscles and joint health and develop a workout program tailored to your needs. As for me “I look for balance. I examine the joints where the hamstrings attach — the knee and hip — and I look at the lower back and ankle, to see if things are moving as they should. If there’s stiffness in one area, you may be taxing another.”
It may take a few months of daily strengthening and stretching to get your upper legs healthy again, and then a maintenance program of leg workouts a few times per week. I also advise taking breaks from long periods of sitting.
And if your muscles are healthy, your hamstrings won’t tighten up so much.
If you have questions rearding hamstrings strenthening program- feel free to reach out anytime!
To Your Health & Wellness,