Are you looking to heal an injury but can't tell which hamstring rehab exercise routines are right for you?
Or maybe you know which exercises you should be doing but aren't sure how often or how hard to push yourself.
Either way, you're in the right corner of the internet.
Dealing with a hamstring injury can be incredibly frustrating and complicated. Located at the back of our thigh, this group of muscles plays a huge role in daily activities – from walking to running and jumping.
So, imagine how annoying it can be if you’re dealing with a hamstring injury that’s keeping you from doing the activities you love.
Fortunately, the right form of exercise program can speed up the healing process and get you back to doing what you love. In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive into some of the best hamstring rehab exercises that can help your hamstrings heal and get back to full strength in no time.
We’ll also explore ways in which you can maximize the healing process and customize your program to suit your needs.
Let’s dive in!
The Best Hamstring Rehab Exercise Routines for Optimal Fitness
With a wide variety of rehabilitation exercises for your hamstrings, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you.
That's what we'll be exploring in this section.
From strengthening exercises to gentle stretches, here are some of the best hamstring rehab exercise routines that can help speed up your recovery:
1. Hamstring strengthening exercises
Strengthening exercises are an important part of any hamstring rehab program.
They help to rebuild the strength and stability of your knee joint muscles, as well as increase flexibility. Here are some of the best routines you can try:
Hip extension lag
Hip extension lag is an exercise that helps build strength and stability in your hip muscles and hamstrings.
It's one of the best hamstring exercises for those who are recovering from a severe injury.
To do this exercise, lie on your back and lift one leg off the ground. Then, bend your knee so that your foot is pointing towards the ceiling. From here, slowly straighten your leg and hold it for a few seconds before returning to the starting position.
Repeat this 10–15 times before switching legs. If you’re feeling up to it, you can increase the number of repetitions or even add ankle weights for more resistance.
Second on our list of strength training exercises for hamstring muscles to try is the glute bridge.
This exercise helps to strengthen the hamstrings as well as improve muscular imbalances in the legs and hips.
If you're wondering how to do this exercise, it’s actually quite simple.
Lay flat on your back. Then, bend your knees to keep your feet flat on the floor. Next, press through your heels and lift your hips off the ground, keeping a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold this position for 10 seconds before lowering your body back to the ground.
For an added challenge, you can hold a weight in your hands while doing this exercise.
Prone hamstring curls
Another great exercise for those recovering from a hamstring injury is the prone hamstring curl.
Does it mean I'll have to hit the gym?
No, you don’t have to hit the gym to do this exercise. All you need is a yoga mat or something soft to lay on.
Then, lay on your stomach and bring one leg up while keeping it bent at the knee. Squeeze your hamstrings to lift your heel off the ground and hold for a few seconds before releasing your foot back to the ground.
You can do this exercise 10–15 times before switching legs.
Lying knee extension
If you are looking for an exercise to help increase the strength of your hamstrings, then you should definitely try the lying knee extension.
This exercise is similar to the glute bridge, but with more focus on the hamstrings.
All you have to do to get started is lay flat on your back and bend one knee up so that the foot is flat on the floor. Then, press through your heel to lift your hips off the ground and hold for a few seconds before slowly returning to the starting position.
Once you’ve mastered this exercise, you can increase the difficulty by adding a weight to your ankle or increasing the number of repetitions.
When it comes to strengthening your hamstrings and other leg muscle fibers, Romanian deadlifts are one of the best exercises you can do.
They help to build strength and stability in the posterior chain, as well as improve your balance and mobility. One of the great things about this exercise is that you don’t need any equipment; all you have to do is stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and then hinge at the hips while keeping your back flat.
From here, slowly lower your body until you can’t go any further, and then return to the starting position. You can do this exercise for 10–15 reps or add a weight to make things interesting.
Just ensure that you don’t overdo it, as this can cause injuries like hamstring tears.
2. Hamstring stretching exercises
While strengthening your hamstrings plays a big role in rehabilitation, it’s also important to make sure you are stretching them out as well.
A few great stretches you can try include:
Simple hamstring stretch
First on our list of stretches to try is the simple hamstring stretch.
True to its name, this stretch is simple to perform and can be done anywhere with minimal setup. It helps increase flexibility in the hamstrings and improve range of motion.
All you have to do is stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and then slowly bend forward at the hips. Reach down towards your toes as far as you can comfortably go, and hold this position for 30 seconds before releasing.
Feel free to repeat this stretch a few times.
Standing hamstring stretch
Another stretch exercise you can incorporate into your rehab routine is the standing hamstring stretch.
When performed regularly, this stretch helps to ensure that your hamstrings remain flexible and mobile. Other proven benefits include helping to reduce lower back pain and improving your range of motion.
For this exercise, you'll want to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and then place one foot up on a chair or bench. From here, lean forward and reach down towards your toes as far as you can comfortably go.
You should feel a stretch in the back of your legs. Keep your back flat as you do this and maintain the stretch for 30 seconds before repeating on the other side.
Foam roll hamstring stretch
Next on our list of stretching exercises to incorporate into your rehab routine is the foam roll hamstring stretch.
This exercise makes use of a foam roller, a self-massage tool that makes use of your body weight to roll out knots and tightness in your hamstring muscles. It's also great for improving just how flexible they are.
Start by sitting on the floor and placing a foam roller beneath your hamstrings.
Then, slowly roll up and down your legs for 10–15 seconds at a time before shifting to another area of your leg. This exercise can be repeated multiple times to help increase flexibility.
You can use a combination of slow and fast motions when doing this stretch.
Towel hamstring stretch
If you've got a towel lying around, then now may be the time to put it to good use.
The towel hamstring stretch is a great way to increase the flexibility and range of motion in your hamstrings, as well as reduce any high pain thresholds you may be experiencing. As its name implies, all you need is a towel and a few minutes of free time.
To start, lie flat on the floor and then place one end of the towel around your foot while holding the other end with your hands. Next, slowly pull your leg up towards your chest as far as it will comfortably go, and maintain this position for 30 seconds before releasing.
You can repeat this stretch on both sides and even make use of resistance bands to make it even more challenging.
Standing forward bend
Last on our list of stretches to help you with your hamstring rehab is the standing forward bend.
This exercise helps to improve flexibility and range of motion in your hamstrings, as well as reduce any tightness or pain. It can also help boost circulation and improve posture.
To perform this exercise, all you need to do is stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart and then reach down towards your toes as far as you can comfortably go. Keep your back flat and your knees slightly bent.
Hold this position for 30 seconds before releasing, and then feel free to repeat this stretch a few times.
Now that you know these five hamstring rehab exercises, it's time to start putting them into practice.
Whether you're an athlete recovering from an injury or just someone looking to improve their flexibility, these exercise routines can help you get the results you're after.
Next, we'll be taking a close look at what benefits these stretches can bring to your rehabilitation process.
Benefits of Incorporating Hamstring Rehab Exercises into Your Routine
From improved flexibility to increased strength, there are a number of reasons why incorporating hamstring rehab exercises into your routine is beneficial.
Here are just a few of the reasons why you should do this:
One of the most obvious benefits of incorporating hamstring rehab exercises into your routine is that they help improve your flexibility.
When our hamstring muscles are tight, it can limit our range of motion. This can cause stiffness and pain, as well as reduce our ability to move properly.
By taking part in any hamstring rehab routine, you can help reduce any tightness or stiffness in your hamstrings and improve just how flexible they are.
With improved flexibility, you'll also be able to move with more ease and reduce any pain or discomfort you may have been feeling.
If you've ever had to deal with tight or sore hamstrings, then you know just how painful it can be.
Experiencing hamstring pain can make it difficult to move and even stand up straight, which may even lead to lower back pain.
That's why it's important to incorporate hamstring stretches and exercises into your routine as an effective way to feel better.
With a regular routine, you can help improve the strength and flexibility of your hamstrings, reducing any form of hamstring pain you feel.
Better blood flow
While this may sound like something that's only important for athletes, improving circulation is actually beneficial to everyone.
With poor circulation, our muscles don't get the nutrients they need to stay healthy and strong. That can lead to a whole host of issues, such as muscle soreness and strain.
By incorporating any of the hamstring rehab exercises outlined above into your routine, you'll experience much better circulation throughout your body. This will help give you more energy and keep your body feeling healthy.
You'll also be able to benefit from improved muscle recovery and a decreased risk of injury.
Whether you are a professional athlete or an average Joe, having strong hamstrings is important.
Having weak or tight hamstrings can result in acute hamstring strains when performing everyday activities such as walking or running. That's why it's important to regularly perform exercises that target these muscles.
Strengthening exercises, like the extension lag or the single-leg deadlift, can help increase the strength of your hamstrings. This can be especially beneficial if you're involved in high-impact sports or activities.
While it may not be the most obvious benefit, incorporating hamstring rehab exercises into your routine can also help improve your posture.
Tight or even pulled hamstrings can pull on the pelvis and lower back, resulting in a hunched-over position. This can cause pain and discomfort and even lead to further issues such as headaches or fatigue.
With stretches like the towel stretch or the foam roller hamstring stretch, you can help reduce any tightness in your hamstrings and even out your posture. You'll be able to stand up straight and tall in no time!
Reduced injury risk
One of the major benefits of performing hamstring rehab exercises is that they can help reduce your risk of injury.
When our hamstrings are weak, they can be more prone to strain or tear during physical activities. That's why it's important to keep your muscles strong and flexible.
With exercises like the leg curl or the glute bridge, you can help strengthen your hamstrings and reduce future injuries. This will not only keep you safe while exercising but can also help improve your performance.
These are just some of the reasons why you should incorporate hamstring rehab exercises into your routine.
With regular practice, you can expect to experience improved flexibility, better circulation, increased strength, improved posture, and reduced injury risk. But what if you could take your exercise program to the next level for maximum results?
That's what we'll be exploring in the next section.
Maximizing the Benefits of Hamstring Rehab Exercise Routines
While hamstring rehab exercises are beneficial for everyone, there are certain steps you can take to make the most of your routine.
Some of the best ways to maximize your results include:
Wear the right gear
Wearing the right gear can help ensure that you get the most out of your hamstring rehab routine.
Make sure to wear comfortable, supportive clothing that won't restrict your movement as you perform exercises. Investing in a pair of compression shorts or leggings can help provide extra support and promote better circulation when exercising.
Use proper form
Using the right form is essential for getting the most out of your hamstring rehab exercises.
Poor form can lead to injury and reduce the effectiveness of your routine. Make sure you take the time to learn each exercise properly before performing it.
This means ensuring that you are using the correct posture and technique to get the most out of your routine.
Switch up your routine
Imagine following the same route to work each day. Eventually, you'd get bored, and the journey would become less enjoyable.
The same applies to your rehabilitation program. By varying your hamstring rehab exercises, you can keep it interesting and reap the benefits of each one. This could involve switching up the order of exercises or adding new ones into the mix every so often.
By switching up your routine regularly, you'll be able to keep your muscles challenged and maximize the benefits of your routine.
Rest between sets
Just as with any other type of exercise, it's important to rest between sets.
Resting gives your major muscles a chance to recover, which is essential for allowing them to rebuild, grow, and become stronger. By taking breaks between sets, you'll be able to get the most out of each exercise and ensure that you aren't overworking yourself.
You'll also be able to reduce the risk of injury by giving your body a chance to rest.
Get a massage
Do you know that incorporating massage therapy into your hamstring rehab exercise routine can help ensure maximum results?
Massage therapy can help reduce tightness, improve circulation, and promote better mobility in the area.
Regular massages can also help reduce inflammation and stimulate healthy tissue repair. This means that any current or underlying issues with your hamstrings will be addressed, allowing you to recover more quickly.
Treating your body to a massage can be achieved in a number of ways, such as by visiting a massage therapist or even using self-massage tools like foam rollers and massage guns.
As we've discussed before now, foam rollers make use of the body's pressure points to increase blood circulation and reduce tension in your thigh muscles. Massage guns, on the other hand, are handheld devices that deliver exceptional percussive therapy that helps to break up scar tissue and reduce musculoskeletal pain.
High-end models like the FitGun Elite even come with adjustable settings, so you can customize your massage sessions to your specific needs.
This way, you can get the most out of your massage routine and maximize its benefits.
Staying hydrated is an important part of any exercise routine, including hamstring rehab exercises. Water helps to regulate your body temperature and reduce fatigue, which can help you get the most out of your workout.
It's important to drink plenty of water before and after your workout. This will help you stay energized and avoid dehydration or heat exhaustion.
Feel free to add a sports drink or electrolyte mix to your water if you're engaging in a more strenuous routine. Water can also help flush out any lactic acid buildup, allowing you to recover quicker.
By following these tips, you can maximize the benefits of your hamstring rehab exercise routine and get the most out of each session. So, give them a try and see how much better you feel!
Frequently Asked Questions
Browse through a list of frequently asked questions we get about hamstring rehab exercise routines. Whether you're just getting started or looking for advice to improve your routine, this section will get you up to speed.
How often should I incorporate hamstring rehab exercises into my routine?
The rate at which you should incorporate hamstring rehab exercises depends on your goals and current fitness level.
Generally, it can be beneficial to perform these exercises at least three times a week. If your goal is to improve flexibility or reduce pain, then you may need to perform them more frequently.
But if you're just looking to maintain your current level of fitness, then once or twice a week will be sufficient.
How long does it take to get results from hamstring rehab exercises?
The time it takes to see results from hamstring rehab exercises will depend on your goals.
If you're trying to boost hamstring flexibility or range of motion, then you may start to feel a difference in as little as a few days. If you're looking to relieve any form of hamstring pain, then it may take up to several weeks before you start to notice an improvement.
It's important to stay patient and consistent with your routine in order to get the most out of it.
When should I avoid hamstring rehab exercises?
While hamstring rehab exercises can be beneficial for most people, there are certain circumstances where it's best to avoid them.
If you have any medical conditions, be sure to seek medical advice before beginning a rehab exercise routine. What's more, if you've recently had a hamstring strain injury or surgery, then you should wait until you've been cleared by your healthcare provider before engaging in any type of exercise.
With that being said, it's also important to listen to your body and stop if you experience any pain or discomfort.
Hope this article has been helpful in introducing you to hamstring rehab exercises and how to get the most out of any routine you have in mind.
Whether you opt for strengthening or stretching exercises, the key is to change up your routine regularly and remain consistent.
So, take on the challenge and get started today!
Benefits that you may experience from your hamstring rehab exercises include improved flexibility, strength, reduced pain, improved blood circulation, and even better posture.
While all of these benefits are great, taking steps to maximize your routine will help you get the most out of it. This starts with wearing the right gear, using proper form, varying your exercises, resting between sets, and staying hydrated.
Taking these small measures will ensure that you're getting the most out of your hamstring rehab exercise routine and help you reach your goals much faster.
If you still have questions or concerns about your hamstring rehab exercise routine, be sure to reach out to us. We'll be more than happy to help you out.