Top Low Back Stretches: Hamstring Stretches

September 14, 2023

3 min read

The hamstring stretches are some of the best stretches you can do to protect yourself from a low back injury. Most low back injuries happen when our posture is not set up to take the load that one is lifting.

People with tight hamstring muscles have a difficult time maintaining proper spinal alignment during the lift which can minimally cause a strain in the muscles of the lower back. In more severe cases, it might even result in disc injuries, which could necessitate treatments like spinal decompression therapy and lead to persistent pain.

There are many ways to perform the hamstring stretch, so the best thing to do is to find the most reasonable and comfortable way you can perform the stretch. When performing this stretch you should feel the stretch across the back of the leg being stretched.

You may feel increased tension in the buttocks or back of the knee area. It is important that when performing stretches that the individual does not have pain or numbness, but a mild stretching sensation in the muscles of the targeted area. Please consult with a doctor if you have any questions about this exercise.

Back Lying Hamstring Stretch

The back lying hamstring stretch is most often comfortable for people experiencing back pain. This position decreases pressure on the spine when compared to the other positions.

– Lie on back and bend one leg placing hand behind the knee

-Slowly raise the knee perpendicular to the ground

-Extend lower part of leg you are stretching until you feel a stretch (pull the toes towards the knee to increase stretch)

-Hold stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times, then switch leg.

Seated Hamstring Stretch

Best when in an office environment.

-Carefully sit on the edge of a chair

-With one leg extended fully, place heal into the ground

-Maintain a straight back posture and slowly lean forward until you feel the stretch

-Hold stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times, then switch leg.

Standing Hamstring Stretch

Best when you cannot sit or lie down. Make sure you have something to hold onto to maintain balance

-In standing position, extend one leg forward putting heel into ground and pull toes toward knee

-Staying balanced, keep back straight and lean forward slowly until you feel a stretch.

-Hold stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times, then switch leg.


When should I perform the hamstring stretch?

The hamstring stretch is good to use when you are feeling tension in the back of the legs, or have difficulty touching toes in a standing position. Perform after working out or if you are sitting for long periods of the day

When should I not perform the hamstring stretch?

The hamstring stretch needs to be approached with caution. If the pain or numbness escalates, cease the stretch and seek advice from a medical professional, possibly even a chiropractor in Mesa familiar with spinal issues and treatments.

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