How can I loosen tight hamstrings?

Hi, it’s Joanna at Cram osteopaths. Today in the clinic I have been going over this stretch a lot, so I thought I would share it with you and it’s the simple seated hamstring stretch. If the hamstrings are tight it can actually cause some low back pain, which can affect those of you who are sitting at work all day, especially if you’re sitting all day and you’ve not got the best sitting environment. If your thighs are compressed by your chair and the chair coming all the way up the back of your legs this can cause lots of issues with pain and discomfort in the back of the legs and the low back due to lack of blood flow and movement through these muscles.
My usual advice of getting up frequently and moving around to encourage blood flow should help, but I would also recommend a very simple seated hamstring stretch. What you do is sit back in your chair and you’re just going to make sure that the heel can touch the ground. If you can’t then you move forward until you can comfortably put your heel to the ground and your leg is free of the chair. Then what you’re going to do is sit nice and tall and just raise up your chest, hands are going to be rested on the thigh and make sure your chest bone is up and straight. I can feel that coming right down through the limb. Hold it for three deep breaths and then release and repeat on the other side. Heel to ground hands on thigh, lean forward and push the chest bone up. Usually I’d say three deep breaths on both sides, three times each side and try to do it at least three times a day. Nice and easy to remember.
So if you feel you’re getting tight hamstrings or you’ve got a bit of low back discomfort and you want to try something before you give us a call, try that first. But of course, if the pain is not going away and you’re not sure what the actual cause is, we always recommend getting in to see us as soon as possible and we can have a really good look and get you feeling on your way to your better self.