Those of us who know the feeling of “stiffness” know first-hand that insufficient flexibility in important areas can impede performance and function.   One of the most common areas where I see a lack of flexibility rear its ugly head is in the hamstrings.

Hamstrings are both a hip extensor and a lower leg flexor–they help extend the thigh, or open the hip, and bend the knee.  Hamstrings are also two-joint muscles–they cross both the knee and hip.  This means tight hamstrings will impact the knees, the hips, and the lower back.  Many cases of knee, hip or back pain have tight hamstrings as a contributing factor.  

If an athlete’s hamstrings are too tight to allow them to function properly, it will cause the quads on the other side of our femurs to have to work harder than necessary.  It will also limit the potential force production of the hamstrings, meaning our deadlifts, squats, and rowing (among other things) won’t be as good as they could be.

Most importantly, short hamstrings can cause our lumbar curve to round earlier than we’d like, exposing us to potential injury.

So how to tell if you have tight hamstrings?  Lie down on your back with both legs straight and your spine in a neutral position.  Raise one thigh so it’s exactly perpendicular to the ground and bend your knee so your shin is parallel to the ground.  Keep the other leg straight and don’t let your pelvis move at all.  Now grab behind the knee that is raised.  From this position try to extend the power part of your leg–get it as straight as possible without shifting your hips or compensating in any way.  If you can get it to about 80 degrees, you’d get about a “C” in hamstring flexibility.

Now that we’ve established that most of us could stand to improve our hamstring flexibility, I want to share a video that will show you how to do a couple of hamstring stretches using a method I have always found to be very effective: PNF stretching.  Make sure you warm up a little before trying these stretches–never try PNF stretches on cold muscles.  

Give these stretches a try, and remember, to quote Kelly Starrett: “muscles are like obedient dogs.  They need constant, repetitive training.  One session of stretching lasting one minute isn’t going to change anything.  Stretching big muscles like hamstrings and quads takes time.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Simply fill out the form below and then schedule Your FREE intro session on the next page.

Shortly after we will be in touch with you to confirm your intro session.We are excited to meet you!


To Request a membership hold, please fill out the form below. Warning, by filling out this form your membership will not be put on hold. This form is simply a way to let us know you would like to request a membership hold. We will then review your request, then reach out to you to confirm.


Please fill out the form below and one of our team members will review your request. Warning. The submission of this form does not cancel your membership. We will review your request, then reach out to confirm.


We Would Love To Meet You!

Simply fill out the form below
& one of our amazing
coaches will be in touch asap! We are excited to meet you!


We Would Love To Meet You! WARNING!
Class Sizes Are Limited.

If you would like to reserve a spot... Simply click the button below to view available drop-in classes and book your spot to save time.


$20 Per Class

OUR Information:


We Want To Offer You The PERFECT Membership For Your NEEDS.

Simply fill out the form below & one of our amazing coaches will send you our current membership information.