Some people seem naturally flexible, while many find it impossible to bend over and touch their toes. Just like any fitness goal, higher flexibility requires time to be achieved. But how long does it take to get flexible hamstrings?
It takes around three to four weeks to get flexible hamstrings. You can get optimal results by doing stretching exercises three or five times a week. But consistency is more important than the number of weekly sessions. Build a regular stretching routine and stick with it to see progress.
Read on as we explore the benefits of flexible hamstrings and some stretching exercises that you can incorporate into your workout routine.
We’ll also give some tips to speed up your progress.
- 1 Benefits of Flexible Hamstrings 🦵
- 2 Hamstring Stretching Exercises 🦿
- 3 How to Speed up Flexibility? 🤸♀️
- 4 Bottom Line 🤗
Benefits of Flexible Hamstrings 🦵
Hamstrings are a group of muscles located at the back of your leg, from your hip to below your knee.
These muscles help you bend your knee and extend your leg straight behind your body.
Both athletes and non-athletes can benefit from hamstring stretches.
Here are some benefits:
Strength training tightens muscles, reducing the range of motion and leading to muscle imbalance.
So when you move or do workouts, you don’t correctly activate the targeted muscles and may injure yourself.
Also, if you have a sedentary lifestyle — for example, you have a job that entails sitting in front of a computer all day — you’ll be prone to reduced range of motion and tight hamstrings.
As hamstrings are located at the back of your thigh and hip, they play an essential role in keeping your back in line.
When you have tight hamstrings, your pelvis rotates backwardly — flattening the natural arch in the back, leading to poor seated and standing posture.
Reduced Back Pain
To prevent lower back pain, you need a proper pelvic alignment.
As we mentioned earlier, a tight hamstring affects the pelvis’s mobility, putting stress on the lower back.
Flexible and strong hamstrings will provide extra support for the back and pelvis and prevent them from becoming tight or injured.
Also, tightness in specific muscles means that blood circulation in those muscles is impaired. By stretching, you will improve overall blood circulation.
Hamstring Stretching Exercises 🦿
Flexibility happens over time. So stretch to a comfortable degree for you and avoid overstretching, as it may cause injury.
You can use the following stretches to improve your hamstring flexibility.
Remember to warm up your muscles before stretching them.
Stand with your legs straight and bend over to touch your toes. Stay there for a few seconds, feel the stretch, and then come up.
Repeat the movement 10 to 15 times.
You can also cross your right foot in front of your left and do the stretch.
2. Lying Hamstring Stretch
Lay down on your back. Lift one leg and leave the other leg straight on the floor (you can bend it if you want to).
Put your hands right behind your knee and bring that leg in until you feel a good stretch in your hamstrings.
Hold for about twenty seconds and then switch legs. Do four or five reps for each.
You can also use a resistance band. Learn more in our post heavy resistance bands. See our top three Resistance Bands, available on Amazon, which can be a great option to help your exercise.
3. Standing One-leg Hamstring Stretch
Stand up straight and rest one heel on a stool or a small stack of books. Keep your knees straight.
Bend forward slightly from your hips, but keep your back straight.
Reach your arms toward the sky until your arms become even with your ears.
Hold on there for ten seconds, then switch your legs.
Watch this video to know how to do it properly:
4. Exercise Ball Hamstring Curl
Lay down on the ground with your hands at your side and your heels on the top of the stability ball.
Contract your abs and glutes, lift your hips, and bend your knees while drawing the stability ball closer.
Slowly roll the ball away from you and return to the starting position. Repeat for 15 repetitions.
This video will help you perform the movement correctly:
Here are our top three high-quality exercise balls to help with your exercise. They won’t burst, and they will stay stable.
5. Sitting Hamstring Stretch
Sit straight on the ground with your legs in front of you. Bend one leg so that your sole rests against your mid-thigh.
Move forward from your hips with your back, neck, and knee straight and reach your hands to your ankle.
Hold that stretch for 30 seconds and switch your legs.
This video helps you avoid common errors:
How to Speed up Flexibility? 🤸♀️
Besides being consistent and performing proper stretches, some tips can help you speed up the process.
Before stretching, perform a simple and gentle warm-up for 5 to 10 minutes.
A brisk walk, light jog, or jumping jacks can warm your muscles and increase your heartbeat.
You can also do your stretches after your routine workouts or weight lifting.
By stretching after, you’ll release your muscles after a training session, and it will be easier to build a habit of stretching.
Take Your Time
This way, you may injure yourself and can’t do stretches anymore.
Essential fatty acids will help lubricate your joints, which improves your range of motion.
Foam rolling is a great way to improve flexibility and remove fascial adhesions— areas where fascia or connective tissue in muscles is damaged by a lifestyle with limited physical activity.
The foam roller breaks up knots in muscle tissues, resulting in smooth muscle contractions and more flexibility.
You can perform foam rolling after your warm-up or before you start stretching. Here is how to do foam rolling for the hamstring:
If you need a good foam roller, check out our top 3 foam rollers below.
Dynamic stretching involves a bodyweight movement like lunge or squats. It can activate your muscle before doing static stretches and helps your body reach its full movement potential during exercise and daily activities.
Here are five dynamic stretches that target hamstrings:
1. Half-Kneeling Hamstring Stretch
Kneel on your left knee and extend your right leg. Keep your back straight, hinge forward, and put your hands on the ground at your sides.
Hold on there for a few seconds and then come up. Do the movement for 15 reps and then go for the opposite leg.
Here is how to perform the movement:
2. Walking Toe Touch
Step one foot forward while keeping your back straight, bend over to touch your toe. Then stand back up, move forward with the other leg, and repeat the same movement.
Keep your knees straight, and don’t round your back during the movement.
Do 10 to 15 reps.
Watch this video to know how to perform it correctly:
3. Inch Worm
Stand up, bend over at your hips and put your hands on the ground. Then walk with your hands so that you get the push-up position.
Hold on there for a few seconds, and then walk back with your hands to starting position. Do 10 to 15 reps.
4. Leg Swings
Stand with your feet flat on the ground and your hands on your hips. Lift one leg straight, swing it straightforward, and then backward in a controlled manner.
Do 10 to 15 reps for each leg.
To have more stretch, you can reach your hand to your toes when you swing your leg forward.
5. Active Spiderman Stretch
Get up to the push-up position. Bring your right knee to your right elbow. Keep the other leg straight, drop your hips down and keep your knee close to the floor.
Stay there for seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat the movement with the opposite leg. Do 10 to 15 reps.
Bottom Line 🤗
Tight hamstrings will lead to postural problems, back pain, and decreased overall physical performance in exercising and daily activities.
But these tips can help you speed up the process.
I hope you enjoyed this post on how long it takes to get flexible hamstrings, don’t forget to share.
Last update on 2022-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API