A lot of people think they have tight hamstrings. Only some of them are correct. 

I have met a lot of people who feel like their hamstrings are tight but after an assessment, it is revealed that their motion is "normal" or within normal limits.

In this case, their tightness is more perceived and is caused by something other than actual muscle tightness. 

Before we get into the stretch, we have to have a brief anatomy lesson. Do not skip this part. It will be quick and is necessary.

The hamstrings attach to the bottom of your butt and end around the back of the knee. 

Just file this information away for now. We will revisit it soon.

Just file this information away for now. We will revisit it soon.

Knowing where the muscles now attach, why would we round our spine to stretch the hamstrings?

If the muscles stop at the bottom of the butt, why bother rounding the spine in the first place?

You shouldn't be doing. If you are, stop now because you are probably irritating your sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve basically runs from your spine to the bottom of your foot.

The sciatic nerve basically runs from your spine to the bottom of your foot.

So, the sciatic nerve runs right down the back of the thigh (with branches for the muscles it innervates). It splits behind the knee but continues all the way down to the foot. 

This is important to mention because if you are rounding your back to stretch the hamstrings, which stop behind the knee, and you feel a burning or stretching into the calf or lower then we have got a problem. 

Not only are you not stretching the muscle, but you are pissing off a nerve you do not want angry at you. 

Hamstring stretches:

1. Should not involve rounding the back or reaching towards the foot

2. Should be felt in the back of the thigh ONLY

Check out the video for the proper way to not stretch the sciatic nerve.

If you are tired of stretching your sciatic nerve instead of your hamstring, watch this video. Nerves do not typically like to be stretched. So not only are you pissing off the sciatic nerve, but your hammies are still guitar strings. Don't forget to give the video a thumbs up and don't be afraid you subscribe to EBM's channel.

One last thing. If you like this video, subscribe to EBM’s YouTube page by clicking the link below to get notifications when new videos are posted. There are currently 500+ (and counting) videos on the page.

Until next time,

Dr. Tom

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