Hamstring Stretching Exercises

By S.F. Heron
Hamstring strength and flexibility are important for golfers, simple exercises can help prevent injury.
Hamstring strength and flexibility are important for golfers, simple exercises can help prevent injury.

Hamstrings work as part of the large muscle group on the back of the thigh and allow individuals to extend their leg backward and bend their knees. They also aid in running, sprinting and jumping. Accordingly, stretching the hamstrings can be an integral part of improving flexibility when performing a sport. And it's important, because hamstring injuries can sideline even a fit athlete. So stretch these muscles before every workout and sporting activity, and golfers should stretch the hamstring muscles every day to improve flexibility and prevent injury.

Prone Hamstring Stretch

Lie on your back in a comfortable position and align your neck, back and hips for proper posture. Bend your left leg and place the foot flat on the floor. Lift your right leg, bend the knee slightly and place your hands on the back of the thigh. Try to straighten the leg slowly to a count of five. You should feel the stretch along the back of the thigh, and do not bounce or pull the leg. Repeat five times on each side.

Standing Hamstring Stretches

Standing hamstring stretches work the muscle group as well as seated or prone stretches. Stand with feet spaced shoulder width apart. Bend down and place your hands on your right thigh. Bend the right knee and slide the left leg forward to balance on the heel. Press down carefully, feeling the stretch along the hamstring on the back of the left leg. Hold for a five count and release. Your back should be parallel to the floor. Repeat five times for each leg. The next stretch involves using a step or chair. Stand in front of the step or chair and lift one foot onto the surface, balancing on the heel. Place both hands onto the extended leg and lean forward in a measured movement for a five count. Switch legs and complete five reps for each leg.

Seated Hamstring Stretches

Perform these exercises right before you leave the house for your golf match. Sit comfortably on the floor with legs stretched straight out in front of you. Bend one knee, tucking the flat of the foot against the inside of the other thigh in a hurdle position. Keep your back straight as your stretch forward towards your toes. Hold for 10 count and release. Focus on a slow, measured movement instead of touching the toes. Repeat this stretch five times for each leg. You can also perform this stretch with both legs extended forward. The object isn't to touch the feet but instead to slowly stretch the backs of the thighs. Never bounce to extend the stretch. Over time, you'll get closer and closer to touching your toes.

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