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Do you have tight Hamstring muscles?

What is the Hamstring muscle?

The hamstring muscle consists of 3 muscles:

  • Biceps femoris

  • Semitendinosus

  • Semimembranosus

These muscles run the back part of the thigh from the back part of the pelvis to the knee.

The primary function of the hamstring muscle is to bend or flex the knees, and the secondary or assisted function is to extend the hips. Like standing up from a chair and getting into an upright position.

As the glutes are the primary extensors of the hips, but due to our modern lifestyle like sitting for hours, it essentially weakens our glutes. The single most daily habit that negatively affects our posture is sitting, because we do so much of it. All the structures in front of the hip get tight and in turn, changes the alignment of the pelvis.

So what happens when our glutes are weak and not function optimally?

We still need hip extension to stand up right, walk or pick things up. So when the glutes become weak the hamstrings take charge and compensates by doing extra work. Now this is where issues arise as the primary function of the hamstring is to bend the knee, and now they have to work extra hard. They get stressed and tense making them feel tight.

What are the steps to help with tight HS?

  1. Activate the glutes - building the motor control of the glute muscles. This will help reduce the stress on the HS.

  2. Improve hip mobility and posture - spend little time sitting

  3. Incorporate core stability, again helps the tilt of the pelvis and helps with spinal stability

So rather than doing traditional stretches to combat your tight HS, maybe it is something deeper that may feel like your HS muscles are tight.

  1. Rodgers CD, Raja A. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Hamstring Muscle. [Updated 2021 Aug 11]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan.

  2. Sean M. Raftry, Paul W.M. Marshall, Does a ‘tight’ hamstring predict low back pain reporting during prolonged standing?, Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, Volume 22, Issue 3, 2012,

  3. Yasuda, M., Nishimoto, K., Hori, M., Noguchi, T., & Takasaki, H. (2017). The effect of active knee extension in sitting on lumbopelvic curvature in individuals with clinically tight hamstring muscles: a cross-sectional reliability study. Open Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 5(04), 139.


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