Hamstrings play an important role in a vast amount of day to day movements, they also play an important part of contact sports. They are also one of the muscles most susceptible to injury, meaning making them mobile to mitigate injury and retain day to day functionality very important.
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Hamstrings are very common sporting injury, with the highest prevalence in contact sports (1) especially. It is important that anyone who takes part in any contact sport or explosive sport ensure their mobility of their hamstrings is at an appropriate level, performing sports like soccer and American Football with a tight hamstring can dramatically increase the chance of suffering from an injury.
Whether you want to go on a hike, or just do you weekly shop, your hamstrings will be an essential component of your daily movement. If you have very limited range of motion in the hamstrings you can easily experience pain in your day to day life, which can often make moving throughout you day a struggle. This makes gaining range of motion and maintaining range of motion in your hamstrings an important task.
Hinging, specifically straight leg hinging, like the barbell straight leg deadlift and the kettlebell away from body straight leg deadlift are very effective ways to both improve that range of motion in the hamstrings while increasing strength and muscle size simultaneously. Those with very tight hamstring may want to avoid this form of work, but people with good hinge technique can essential use resistance training as a form of loaded stretching. These movements need to be performed with control and at appropriate weights to be effective.
Remember that resistance training can be a very effective way of improving range of motion over time. It allows you to see improvements in both physical strength and mobility at the same time, so is very economical for your time.
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This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.