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The Surprising Cause of Tight Hamstrings and How to Effectively Fix It

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Jan 09, 2023



It’s a common complaint among fitness enthusiasts, athletes and even people who don’t regularly exercise – tight hamstrings that seem resistant to stretching and can cause discomfort and chronic pain.

But did you know that the cause of tight hamstrings might not be what you think?

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably experienced tight hamstrings at some point in your life. Whether it’s from sitting too long at a desk or overdoing it at the gym, tight hamstrings can be a frustrating and painful experience. But what is the underlying cause of this common issue, and more importantly, how can you fix it?


As a certified personal trainer, I’ve seen firsthand the many factors that can contribute to tight hamstrings. One of the most surprising causes is actually poor posture.


When we sit for long periods of time, whether it’s at a desk or in a car, our bodies tend to slouch and our hip flexors shorten. This can lead to tight hamstrings as our bodies try to compensate for the poor posture.


Another common cause of tight hamstrings is a lack of stretching. For most people, it may seem extraneous, but stretching your hamstrings is actually crucial for maintaining flexibility and mobility.


If you neglect to stretch your hamstrings regularly, they can become tight and inflexible, leading to issues like lower back pain and difficulty with everyday movements like walking or running.


Address the issue

Is it possible to fully alleviate this issue of tight hamstrings? Of-course, the first step is to address any underlying causes, such as poor posture or a lack of stretching.

This may require some lifestyle changes, like sitting less and being intentional about taking breaks to stretch throughout the day, or incorporating regular stretching into your fitness routine.

In addition to addressing the root cause, there are specific exercises that can help loosen tight hamstrings. One simple, but effective option, is foam rolling.


By using a foam roller to massage the muscles of your hamstrings, you can improve circulation, decrease muscular adhesions and reduce muscle tension.

Another option is to incorporate exercises like RDLs (Romanian Deadlift) or hamstring curls into your workout routine.

These exercises can help strengthen and stretch the muscles of your hamstrings, improving its tension tolerance.

If you’re still struggling with tight hamstrings despite making lifestyle and exercise changes on your own, it may be helpful to seek the guidance of a professional.


A personal trainer or physical therapist can help you identify any underlying issues and provide targeted exercises and stretches to help loosen and strengthen your hamstrings.


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Do you want a practical way to fix tight hamstrings? Strengthening your glutes and core muscles is key. Here are a few exercises to try:


  • Glute Bridges: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips off the ground and squeeze your glutes at the top. Lower your hips back down and repeat for 8-12 reps. Make sure your core stays engaged as you lift your hips off the ground.
  • Planks: Start in a push-up position with your hands placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute, keeping your core muscles and glutes engaged the entire time.
  • Deadlifts: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a weight at the side of your thighs. Bend at the hips to lower the weight towards the ground (Either dumbbells or a barbell), keeping your back straight, core engaged and shoulders retracted. Squeeze your glutes as you stand back up.


Incorporating these exercises into your workout routine can help to strengthen your glutes and core muscles, which can in turn alleviate tightness in your hamstrings.


Don’t forget to also continue stretching your hamstrings to further improve flexibility. With a little bit of effort and consistency, you can say goodbye to tight hamstrings for good.


What we covered


So we know that tight hamstrings can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor posture and a lack of stretching.


But by addressing the root cause/s and incorporating targeted exercises and stretches into your lifestyle, you can effectively fix tight hamstrings and improve your overall flexibility and mobility.


Don’t let tight hamstrings hold you back – take control of your body and start making the necessary changes today.


If you feel like you may need further professional help with your hamstring tightness…

Fill out my mobility form (at the bottom of the page) and receive a FREE 1-on-1 fitness consultation with me.


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No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other licensed clinicians.

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