Wray Watkins
- Wray Watkins is the director of strength and conditioning at MVP Sports Centers in Lake Forest, Calif. He has worked with athletes from the NFL,...

3 Key Hamstring Stretches for Athletes

November 5, 2012 | Wray Watkins

Must See Flexibility Videos

MLB P Craig Kimbrel Lateral Lunge/Slide Push-Out Combo

Baseball Partner Stretches With Jimmy Rollins

Dwyane Wade Slideboard Dynamic Glute/Hip Stretch

Coming Up

MLB P Craig Kimbrel Lateral Lunge/Slide Push-Out Combo

The typical sports career is fleeting, weighted heavily on an athlete's youth. Injuries mean spending valuable time in the training room rehabbing instead of on the field making plays.

In many sports today, injured hamstrings are all too common. Hamstring muscles are vital to many athletic movements, like sprinting and changing direction; but these movements are most often involved in hamstring injuries.

With a proper flexibility program of hamstring stretches, athletes can make performance gains and greatly reduce their chance of injury. Here are three different types of stretches, each with specific uses and effects that can benefit athletes.

Dynamic Stretches

Performed while in motion, dynamic stretches allow you to stay warm and loosen your muscles while preparing for activity. They are best performed as part of a general warm-up prior to exercise.

Straight Leg March

  • Raise leg straight out in front while maintaining upright posture
  • Reach opposite arm across and touch toe of raised leg

Sets/Distance: 2x20 yards

PNF stretches

These are active assisted stretches that stimulate certain proprioceptors within the muscles to elicit a maximum range of motion. PNF stretches are great for an acute, post-exercise routine.

PNF Hamstring Stretch

Advertisement
  • Lie on back with resistance band or cord attached to leg being stretched
  • Lift leg straight up to position of slight discomfort
  • Push down with leg and resist with band for five second
  • Relax leg and stretch to maximum range of motion

Sets/Reps: 2x5 each side

Static Stretches

Usually focused on individual muscle groups, static stretches involve holding a specific range of motion position for 10 to 30 seconds. Best performed as part of a cool down routine. For best results, muscles should be warm prior to stretching.

Standing Toe Touch

  • Assume athletic stance with feet hip-width apart
  • Push hips back
  • Reach down towards toes
  • Keep chest erect and back as straight as possible
  • Maintain position for specified time

Sets/Duration: 2x20 seconds

Photo: SportsMD.com

Wray Watkins
- Wray Watkins is the director of strength and conditioning at MVP Sports Centers in Lake Forest, Calif. He has worked with athletes from the NFL,...

Connect

Advertisement

Resources

Performance Center

Custom workouts and performance tracking

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be the fittest you ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

Varsity

High school sports community and content sharing

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes