Roll Out The Hamstring
Posted by terrepruitt on September 4, 2012
This is not like rolling out the red carpet or a ball of string because the hamstrings are not really strings at all. They are muscles in the leg. Well, actually the hamstrings are made up of three muscles, so it is a muscle group/set. The three muscles that are included in the muscle set are the Semimembranosus, the Semitendinosus, and the Biceps Femoris. They are on the back of the legs. You can see them on my Hamstrings post I put up back in 2009. According to The Muscle Book the word’s origination is “German: hamme - back of leg, Latin: stringere – to draw together.” The hamstrings are responsible for pulling your calf back towards your buttocks, and for extending the thigh. There are a lot of ways to stretch out and increase flexibility in the hamstrings. One way to treat tight hamstrings is with the foam roller. The foam roller is a great way to ease tight hamstrings. The roller can be used for a hamstring roll.
With many, many, many people working at desks all day, and sitting all day, tight hamstrings seems to be a common state of being for many people. The position of the knee when one sits in a chair is part of the function of the hamstrings . . . as I mentioned above . . .pulling the calf back towards the buttocks. So it is not unusual for people who sit a lot to have tight hamstrings. With tight hamstrings one cannot bend over and touch their toes or easily bend over to touch the floor. Sometimes tight hamstrings can even interfere with walking, the leg is not able to swing comfortably forward and/or allow the leg to straighten. Does that sound familiar? Maybe you have sat for a long time and when you stand up you don’t come up all the way and then your first few steps are short and your legs are tight. The foam roller can help with that. It is an easy massaging type of stretch that can be done watching TV or in between those long periods of sitting.
Using the full roller, sit on the roller with the roller positioned at your hamstrings (just under your glutes/butt), your legs are straight out in front of your body. Use your arms to support your body. The position of your arms is straight and under your shoulders supporting your weight. Using your arms, roll so that your legs roll over the foam roller. So you bring yourself backwards and tthen push yourself forward over the roller. The roller is rolling along the back of your legs, gently massaging your Semimembranosus, Semitendinosus, and the Biceps Femoris. You can do this for as long as you would like. It really is a great way to bring relief to tight hamstrings.
Sometimes tight hamstrings may contribute to lower back pain. When the hamstrings are tight they might cause the pelvis to tilt up increasing the strain on the lower back. So there are really a lot of reasons this easy roll with the foam roller might be something you want to do.
Do you have tight hamstrings? Does this sound like something that you would do to ease those tight hamstrings?