Keeping Me Well - Cardiff and Vale University Hospital

Hamstring stretches

As part of your treatment plan, your Podiatrist may have advised that you need to stretch to increase, flexibility and reduce muscle tightness.

The hamstring muscles are important for normal daily function, such as bending your knee. They are found at the back of your thigh.

When stretching these muscles, it is normal to feel some discomfort but it should not be painful. If you have new pain, or your current symptoms worsen, stop doing the exercises and seek advice.

The following exercises can help maintain your flexibility.

  • Stretch 5 times each side for 20-30 seconds.
  • You should select at least one of the exercises that is most suitable for you.
  • Perform the stretch smoothly don’t not bounce.

Person seated on a chair with leg on a facing chair. Back straight with hands on calfRecommended, if you find it difficult to balance.

  • Sit on a chair and place the right leg on a stool/bench in front of you. Keep the leg straight. 
  • Sit upright with your back straight and then gently lean forward from the hips, until you feel a tightening behind your thigh.
  • Repeat on the other side.

One leg straight on ground, one leg up on a step, hands on thigh of leg on stepRecommended stretch for most active people.

  • Stand with one foot on the floor and the other on a step.
  • Whilst maintaining your balance (use a support if needed), lean forward by bending at your hips. Keep your back straight.
  • You should now feel a comfortable pulling in the back of the thigh of your front leg.
  • Repeat on the other side.

If your problem does not improve as you would expect with the self-care exercises, after 6-12 weeks of following the advice, you should contact a healthcare professional for advice. 

This may be your GP, Pharmacist, NHS Podiatry Service or a Private Podiatrist. Please make sure your Podiatrist is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and look out for the letters HCPC after their name. 

Please note good compliance with daily stretching may take up to 6 – 8 weeks before the benefits are felt.

Keeping Me Well - Cardiff and Vale University Hospital

Help us improve Keeping Me Well!

We’re currently working to improve the Keeping Me Well website. If you’d like to help us make this site a better, more helpful experience for you, please take a few minutes to let us know what improvements you’d like to see.

Skip to content