Extremely tight hamstrings

  • Creator
  • #47488

    Hi – I’m mostly focused on trail running but also do a bit of skiing (both in-resort and backcountry) in the winter. I’ve chronically had tight hamstrings, so I’ve been trying to build strength and flexibility with a combination of deadlifts (both single leg and both legs) and yoga, targeted at my hamstrings. But it doesn’t feel that I’m making much progress, and I’m still always sore for multiple days after deadlifting.

    Any tips on other things I should be doing? Should I be worried about the prolonged soreness after deadlifts?

    Note: My strength training program, which I’ve been doing fairly consistently since July, has me deadlifting once a week.


Posted In: Injury & Rehab

  • Participant
    Rachel on #47490

    I foam roll my hamstrings. It’s more intense if you roll one side at a time, and put the other leg on top if you need additional pressure. When I started I did not need any extra pressure though! I also use a lacrosse or tennis ball to do targeted myofascial release. You sit on a (hard) chair and put the ball under your hamstring and find the spots that really need it and stay there for a while. I’ve totally stopped stretching my hamstrings, I find the myofascial release does more for me than stretching ever did.

    Anonymous on #47586

    That prolonged soreness sounds more like DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). This happens when the muscle is working against a resistance much greater than it is accustomed too. It’s a sign of micro tears in the muscle, which when not taken to an extreme are a signal for the muscle to get stronger. However, when you have persistent DOMS that lasts for more than a couple of days or is severe enough to affect normal daily movements then you have probably over done it.

    I recommend reducing the resistance you are using and doing more reps to condition the muscle to these movements and most importantly doing these exercises 2 times/week. A smaller but more frequent training stimulus will probably give you better results than a too large training stimulus less often.

    Aside from this rolling like Rachel suggests is a good idea too.


    Pete Dickinson MS,PT on #48486

    I agree with Scott on doing DL’s more frequently with less resistance to see if that helps with your soreness, it won’t be such a ‘new’ exercise for your body to adapt to.
    I also agree with Rachel about foam rolling being more effective than stretching for hamstring mobility. Placing the hamstring on a prolonged straight leg stretch can irritate the sciatic nerve which can cause tightness and soreness chronically in the hamstring…..so….how is your back?

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