The hamstring muscles are three muscles that run from your hip, down the back of your thigh to the slightly below your knee. What these muscles do is ensuring that you are still able to bend your knee as well as completely extend your leg behind your body. In simpler terms, your hamstrings are crucial for you to be able to walk, tilt your pelvis, and squat. When you incur any injuries to this area it can therefore lead to reduced mobility and also a long recovery period.
One way to prevent injury and to address tight muscles is to stretch more often. Not only is it able to help improve or maintain your flexibility, taking care of your hamstrings is also likely to improve your balance and mobility.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
Depending on your fitness level, you can either do this with or without additional support from a wall or a stable chair. To begin, extend one of your legs in front of you and keep your heel lowered as you flex your foot. Afterwards, try to tilt forward at the hips while maintain a flat back. Take note of the amount of tension that occurs within your hamstring and calf. Maintain this position for about 15 to 30 seconds before repeating with your other leg.
Seated Hamstring Stretch
For those who struggle with stretching while standing up, the seated hamstring stretch is something that is done while you are resting your weight on a chair. Similar to the standing stretch, flex one of your feet after extending it in front of your body. Afterwards, bend forwards until you start to feel tension at the back of your thigh and hold the position for about 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Supine or Reclining Hamstring Stretch
This stretch is done while you are lying down on a long bench or on the floor. For those who are not as confident, it would be helpful to have a reliable loved one or a yoga strap to assist you with the movement. To begin with, lie down facing upwards and move one of your knees towards your chest. Afterwards, slowly extend your leg up towards the sky with the strap underneath your foot. Make sure to flex the foot that is elevated and hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds before swapping over to the other leg.
Things to Take Note
For those who have experienced injuries in your hamstrings before or who are struggling with mobility issues, it might be best to consult your physiotherapist or healthcare provider before you try any of these exercises. While these are common stretches that the public can take part in, your doctor will have a better idea of the condition of your muscles and what kind of personalized support would be best for your prompt recovery.
Fitness Classes at Rittenhouse Village at Muhlenberg
For some older adults, the choice to not remain active is largely because they do not have the support needed to safely do so. Here in our senior living community, each of our residents are able to have full access to exclusive senior living programs where there are a diverse array of activities to support them to live a fuller and healthier life.
For more information on our senior living community and programs, contact us today.