Tips For Loosening Hamstrings That Are Always Tight

Posted on: 3 November 2015


Hamstring muscles are a trio of muscles that run from your knee, up the back of your leg, and to the pelvis. The muscles perform the vital functions of bending your hip and knee, which means that the hamstrings are one of the most used muscles during the day. An overly active job or a job that involves sitting all day in one condition can both strain the hamstrings and make the muscles feel tight all of the time. Tight hamstrings can impede flexibility and cause constant soreness.

There are a few ways you can manage chronically tight hamstrings both on your own and with the help of a licensed massage therapist, such as at SpineCare Chiropractic Daniel S. Wright, D.C.


An effective stretch for hamstrings can be done anywhere you can lay down flat on your back. Lay down with your arms and legs flat on the floor, as well.

Lift your left leg slowly into the air until the bottom of your foot is pointed at the ceiling. If you have enough flexibility, keep moving your leg towards your face until you can no longer do so. If you don't have the flexibility, or want a deeper stretch, loop your hands behind your thigh and use the pressure to help push your leg into a deeper stretch.

Hold your leg in this position for a few moments, then slowly start to rotate your ankle to enhance the stretch. Do about 10 rotations then slowly return the leg to the floor. Switch legs and repeat the process with yoru right leg.

You can perform this stretch as often as you would like. You might find it necessary to do the stretch once per day at first until the muscles begin to loosen. Then you might be able to stretch only when you feel the muscles tightening back up.

Deep Tissue Massage

The self-stretches are great for stretching the hamstrings in a forward and backward direction, but it is hard to stretch the hamstrings in other directions on your own. That is where a licensed massage therapist with a concentration in deep tissue massage can come in handy.

The massage therapist will use a system of targeted hand motions that include effleurage, or gentle warm up strokes to prepare the muscle, and a kneading technique called petrissage. Combining motions allows the therapist to work the hamstrings in every safe direction to loosen any tightness or knots that might not loosen up with standard massage or stretching.