Hamstrings are a vital muscle that people use to stand, do any form of physical activity that utilizes their legs, and walk. While it has so many uses in our bodies, it is connected to muscles, our calves, glutes, and attaches to your knee. Keeping the hamstring active and loose is necessary for your entire body. Throughout the last few years, I have tried many ways to stretch your hamstrings. You can stretch it on a slant board,  bend down to your feet, keep your hamstring straight, stretch it on a wall, and sit down and bend towards your toes. Although recently, my doctors at UCLA said they did not want me to bend my back to stretch my hamstring as it could lead to tightness. in the back hamstring stretching devices and straps are a useful tool that does need to bend your back and can extend your hamstring to new lengths. The devices allow you to extend the backside of your leg and stretch the left and right side of the hamstrings and can reduce tightness in the quadriceps. 

With a stretching device or strap, it is self-explanatory, but I will briefly explain it anyway. The first thing you want to do is find a flat surface on the ground and place your feet in the strap or device. Lie down on your back in a neutral position lifting your leg to the sky. Straighten your leg all the way (if you can) and then pull the device as close as you need to you to feel the stretch. If you cannot straighten your leg, keep it in a bent position where you feel a stretch. Over time the stretch will be easier and force you to pull the device closer to you for a stretch. Hold the stretch between thirty seconds and a minute and repeat it about three or four times. You should be feeling the stretch on the hamstring area or close to the backside of the knee attachment. If you feel the calf’s stretch, it is because the device stretches both muscles, which explains why it is so effective. Since your entire body is connected, both reduce the tension of the other and suppress your leg’s overall tightness. 

Stretching your hamstring improved your posture as the other parts of your body are not compensating and try to maintain balance. Having a loose hamstring can prevent poor walking habits that lead to tightness in areas such as your back, neck, and shoulder that harm your posture. You will find reduced back pain, primarily due to the better posture and lack of compensation in your body. When I had a severe leg injury a few years ago, my posture changed to compensate for my leg injury and led to more tightness throughout my legs. After rehabilitation work, physical therapy, and stretching, my posture once again improved, giving factual evidence for my claim. However, I have occasionally overstretched my hamstring and found out that you both need to work out the leg muscle and keep it flexible to be in the best possible condition. Decreasing inflammation in your hamstring can reduce muscle damage and help recovery gain more strength in that area and prevent further injury. As I have said before, you will walk better, which reduces your chances of harming your entire body.

I began actively stretching my hamstring when I first started physical therapy four years ago. Just for your knowledge, he was another person who helped me create a concentric and isometric program and taught me about how the body works in unison. After a fifty-minute workout, we spent around ten minutes rolling my hamstrings/quadriceps/calves out and then stretching all of them on the vibration machine. I found so many knots throughout my leg muscles, and he emphasized the need to keep stretching/rolling out my legs to reduce tightness. I found it easier to walk, could sleep better, and my legs stopped cramping completely. My experiences have shown how my lifestyle completely changed as I was getting more sleep, could do more physical activities I found fun and felt like a flexible gymnast because my legs are incredibly loose now.

Each day I stretch my hamstring for a few minutes, and my flexibility has built up to a point where my legs feel amazing. I would recommend anyone to stretch their hamstring as you will most likely find that they are incredibly tight and have knots everywhere. I assure you that your life will change entirely because of how your legs are connected to everything in your body and can have a butterfly effect of positive impacts just by stretching a few minutes each day. Every athlete you find will describe the importance of loosening their legs as they rely on helping their legs recover and function well. You can find many devices to help keep your hamstrings stretched, but make sure you are stretching in the first place!