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3 Stretches for Happy Hamstrings

You'd be hard pressed to find a runner who doesn't say that their hamstrings are in need of a little love. Stretching your hamstrings is not only good for your overall leg health and physical comfort but also essential for a healthy back. Tight hamstrings are a common cause of low back pain.

Today I have three easy hamstring stretches that can be performed anywhere and are great for pre or post run.

The first stretch demonstrated is a leg swing and is a dynamic stretch best for pre-run. To perform the stretch, hold onto something steady like a pole or a tree and swing the leg back and forth while keeping it straight and engaged.

The second stretch opens up the entire back side body. You can use anything from a car to a wall to brace yourself against. Press your palms firmly into a flat surface as you push your hips back, pull your chest through your shoulders and press into your heels. This one feels great!

The last stretch is an easy forward fold. You can either grab opposite elbows and hang out or interlace hands together behind your back to add a little shoulder and chest stretch. This stretch is the best if your back is feeling tight.

Jen DeCurtins is the content manager for Run Charlotte Run. She is a certified personal trainer, 200-hour registered yoga teacher, CrossFit coach, running enthusiast and food and fitness blogger at Peanut Butter Runner