Having tight or weak hamstrings can be the sneaky culprit for a number of issues that may be causing your body some grief or limiting your abilities. It is therefore hugely beneficial to learn how to develop the flexibility and strength of this particular group of muscles and by including consistent toning and stretch work into your weekly fitness schedule, you could be a whole lot healthier in a number of areas for it.
The hamstrings are a group of three muscles that run down the back of your thighs, called the Semitendinosus, the Semimembranosus and the Biceps femoris. Tightness and shortening of the hamstring group can reduce the mobility of the pelvis, causing lower back pain and if you are one of the many sufferers of lower back pain, particularly non-specific (where no obvious reason can be found as a cause), it could potentially be relieved by giving your hamstrings some focused stretch work.
On the contrary, pelvic instability can be due to weak hamstrings. In this case toning and strength work is needed to develop control and stabilise the pelvic joints. A programme of resistance exercise, using either your own bodyweight or weighted machines & equipment in the gym will provide this.
The other big issue healthy hamstrings is crucial for, is protection against injury. If you are already a regular exerciser or sports person, it is imperative to maintain a balance between strength and flexibility work, as this will stave off the potential of future injury, and if you are already nursing one (or two as if often the case!) factoring in a good routine, on a regular basis that focuses on this equilibrium is a must.
Classes such as Pilates and stretch specific sessions are excellent for working on flexibility; and strengthening can be achieved in classes that focus on toning the body such as kettlebells or Pump. Remember a successful fitness regime will always incorporate a balance of both types of exercise disciplines.
– This article has been published in the July edition of Life Magazines – http://www.lifemagazines.co.uk