10 possible reasons why your hamstrings are tight.

By September 13, 2016Rehabilitation, Training

Runner with tight hamstrings

10 reasons why your hamstrings are tight.

In no particular order.

1) Weak trunk flexors.

An inability to flex your trunk will lead to your hamstrings holding on tight to your pelvis. Try performing some super slow crunches and then have another go at that sit and reach test. I bet you went further.

2) Weak trunk extensors.

Instability in your lumbar spine will have your hamstrings working hard to keep your pelvis under control.

3) Weak hip flexors.

Bring a straight leg up as far as it will go from a lying position. Rest it there on a solid object and perform some very gentle contractions as if trying move it further. 6 x 6 second squeezes should do it. Now try again. Did it go further?

4) Weak hip extensors.

Together with your glute max and some smaller external hip rotators, the hamstrings extend your hip. Weakness in these muscles will get your hamstrings jumping in to help out.

5) Weak knee flexors.

Here’s a thought, if your hamstrings are tight maybe the other muscles that flex your knee aren’t working too well. Stretching your hamstrings will also stretch them, something they won’t thank you for.

6) Weak knee extensors.

If I had a pound for every time I’ve gotten on the leg extension machine to train my quadriceps and noticed my hamstrings loosen off I wouldn’t be writing this article.

7) Weak plantarflexors.

If you can’t drive yourself forward as you walk or run with the muscles of your lower leg then your hamstrings will have a go.

8) Weak dorsiflexors.

Who trains the muscles that pull your foot back? Very few people but they are critical to efficient running and walking. Weakness in these muscles may have your hamstrings trying to prevent your lower leg moving too far over your foot as you run / walk.

9) Weak internal hip rotators.

The hamstrings have a small influence on both internal and external hip rotation. Weakness in the muscles that perform either will have your hamstrings volunteering to prevent motion you can’t control and keep you safe.

10) Weak external hip rotators.

See above.

Not forgetting of course influences from your foot and shoulder.

It’s more complicated than stretching.

Book a free consultation to find out exactly why your hamstrings are tight and forget about stretching them ever again.