July 07, 2022 6 min read

The three muscles that are located in the back region of the thigh are called the Hamstrings. In a normal human being, these muscles are kept loose. However, if a person does regular exercise such as walking, running, or jogging, they might experience the tightening of the Hamstrings.

Some people tend to ignore the hamstrings getting tighter. However, many problems are associated with tight hamstrings, which can cause a lot of trouble for you. 

A tight hamstring can cause problems such as 

  • Risk of Further Injury- working out with a tight hamstring may cause your muscles to tear and be prone to higher levels of injury. 
  • Pain in other Body Parts- the hips and pelvis rotate back due to tight hamstrings causing pain in the back, knees, or feet. 
  • Postural Problems- tight hamstrings can cause problems in your posture and other related problems such as sacroiliac joint pain, etc. 

Therefore, to avoid such risks, you must ensure that your hamstrings are loosened. Especially if you are an athlete or a person who does regular exercise, you need to ensure that your hamstrings are not tight, and pursuing exercise with tight hamstrings may lead to injury.

In this article, we will read everything you need to know about tight hamstrings and how you can loosen them up with the help of Yoga. 

Reasons Why Hamstrings Become Tight

Mentioned below are a few reasons that cause your hamstrings to tighten. 

1. Sitting Too Much- If you sit too much or on a chair with your knees bent, your hamstrings flexed, making them tight. Try to change positions or do some movement every 15 minutes to avoid this. 
2. Lower Back Issues- Having problems with your lower back can cause pressure on your sciatic nerve that runs through the legs, causing the tightening of the hamstrings. 
3. Overuse of Hamstrings- If you conduct a lot of physical activity such as running or cycling, your hamstrings tend to become tight. 
4. Weakness- When a muscle is weak, the nervous system tightens it up to create stability. 
5. Injury- An injured muscle may be tightened to safeguard itself from further injury. 
6. Genetic Issues- Sometimes, a person is born with a problem of tight or short hamstrings. 
7. Pelvic Problems- A problem in the pelvic region can also affect the legs, causing the hamstrings to become tight. 
8. Lack of Stretching- If you start doing sports without stretching, your hamstrings will likely get tightened. 

          Therefore, keeping in mind all the significant reasons that might cause your hamstrings to tighten, you should try to avoid it in the first place. However, if you are a sports enthusiast and cannot get adequate results from the safety measures and stretching, you should go for Yoga. 

          Yoga For Tight Hamstrings

          It is vital to warm your body before conducting any rigorous exercise. Also, loosen up your hamstrings and offer flexibility to your leg muscles. Below are a few yoga poses that can help you prepare and loosen your hamstrings to make them loosen up for your exercise. 

          1. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

          Yoga Poses for Athletes, Yoga For Tight Hamstrings, Yoga Workouts, Yoga Poses

          Uttanasana is a highly beneficial pose for stretching tight hamstrings and your whole body and makes it flexible. It loosens up the tight hamstrings and all other muscles of the body.

          It is a part of the famous Surya Namaskar performed in Yoga. Doing this pose for a few minutes just before beginning your workout or sports activity is advised for the best results. 

          To do this pose, 

          • Stand straight with your hands on your hips. 
          • Inhale air, and while exhaling it, start bending forward with your arms coming from the top to touch your feet. 
          • Stay in this position as long as possible, and feel the sensation in the legs and the arms. 
          • Get up, inhale air, and then repeat this exercise. 

          2. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

          Yoga Poses for Athletes, Yoga For Tight Hamstrings, Yoga Workouts, Yoga Poses

          This pose helps stretch and strengthen your calves, hamstrings, and back. You can do this bare hands or use a rope or a strap for ease. 

          To do this pose, 

          • Sit on the floor or on a mat. Stretch out your feet towards the front with your legs joined together. 
          • Inhale air, lean forward with your hands holding or touching your feet. 
          • Keep your torso extended and your chest widened. 
          • If you cannot touch your feet at once, use a strap and circle around your feet while holding it with your hands on the two sides. 

          3. Adho Mukha Savasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)

          Yoga Poses for Athletes, Yoga For Tight Hamstrings, Yoga Workouts, Yoga Poses

          This pose is best for stretching and opens up tight hamstrings, calves, hips and back. 

          To do this pose, 

          • Stand in an upright position. 
          • With your feet touching the ground, bend your upper body towards the ground while lifting your hips. 
          • Create a mountain-like structure and keep your back straight. 
          • Make sure your whole body feels the stretch. Do this for some time, then stand up, then repeat. 

          4. Prasarita Paddottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)

          Yoga Poses for Athletes, Yoga For Tight Hamstrings, Yoga Workouts, Yoga Poses

          This forward bend pose is similar to the Uttanasana but varies. It helps in stretching tight hamstrings and loosening entire hamstrings along with the hip flexors. 

          To do this pose, 

          • Stand straight with your arms extended by your side. 
          • Widen your legs and place them at a certain distance. 
          • Bend down, with your hips towards the sky and your hands touching the foot of the respective sides. 
          • Keep your torso open and your elbows folded. 

          5. Supta Padangusthasana ( Reclining Han-To-Toe Pose)

          Yoga Poses for Athletes, Yoga For Tight Hamstrings, Yoga Workouts, Yoga Poses

          This pose is a necessary stretch done by runners to loosen their tight hamstrings and calves. 

          To do this pose, 

          • Lie down on the floor with your back touching the ground. 
          • Extend your legs and inhale air. 
          • While exhaling air, pick up your right leg with a strap touching the feet with the help of your hands. 
          • Keep your leg in that position for some time, and feel the stretch. 
          • Now, slowly take down your leg. Repeat the exercise with the other leg. 

          6. Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

          Yoga Poses for Athletes, Yoga For Tight Hamstrings, Yoga Workouts, Yoga Poses

          This pose acts as a deep stretch for your hamstring. It can be done in steps from beginners to experts. 

          To do this pose, 

          • Stand in the Tadasana Pose. Exhale air, and widen your legs. 
          • Raise your arms on your side. Take your right arm, and bend your torso to the right side to make your right arm touch the right leg. 
          • Hold the position for a while. Now stand up straight and do the same pose with your left arm and left leg. 
          • If you are a beginner and cannot touch your foot, you can start by touching your calf, your ankles, and so on. 

          7. Pascottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

          Yoga Poses for Athletes, Yoga For Tight Hamstrings, Yoga Workouts, Yoga Poses

          This pose is highly effective in stretching your hamstrings and your whole body, including your hips, legs, arms, and back. 

          To do this pose, 

          • Stand with your legs apart, parallel to each other. 
          • Take your left leg towards the front and place it there. 
          • Now bend your body while keeping your arms and your back stiff. 
          • Try to touch your foot with your arms. If you can't, hold a block near your foot and try to touch that block. 
          • Ensure that your neck is straight and your head held up high. Hold this position for some time, and then do the same with the other foot. 

          8. Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall)

          Yoga Poses for Athletes, Yoga For Tight Hamstrings, Yoga Workouts, Yoga Poses

          This pose is easy for enhancing flexibility and loosening the hamstrings, especially for beginners. 

          To do this pose, 

          • Lay down on your back near a wall. 
          • With your hands beside your torso, touch your hips to the wall. 
          • Align your legs with the wall, and stretch your feet so they are parallel to the ground. 
          • Ensure that your spine is flat. Stay in this position for a while to feel the stretching in your hamstrings and in the body. 

          Why Perform Yoga for Tight Hamstrings?

          While there are many exercises, people often ask why they should perform Yoga to loosen the hamstrings and stretch the body. As an answer to this, we would like to tell you that, unlike all other exercises, Yoga is performed as a combination of relaxed breath and pose alignment. The stretching done by yoga poses is the perfect solution to the problem of tight hamstrings. 

          Yoga is known worldwide as the best way to enhance the body's flexibility. It loosens up all the muscles and tight hamstrings by stretching them, and with each posture, you can focus on almost all body parts.

          Apart from loosening the hamstrings, Yoga offers multiple benefits to the athletes, such as

          • Improved Performance and Health of the Joints
          • A Healthy Spine,
          • Lower Risks of Injuries to the Athletes. 

          Therefore, if you are an athlete or indulged in a sports activity, it is essential to ensure that your body, especially your hamstrings, is entirely loosened and opened up to avoid the risk of serious injuries.

          Also, you can perform better sports activities if you do Yoga first. It is thus recommended to add Yoga to your morning routine or just before starting your workout or sports activity to acquire the best results. 

          Nikita Parihar
          Nikita Parihar


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