Tight hamstrings in the back of the legs most commonly originate from overuse and tightening of the hip flexors in the front of the thigh. The tight hip flexors pull the pelvis which in turn leaves the pelvis in a slight tilt.
In response to this tilt the lower back muscles tighten as they try to stabilize and compensate for the pelvic tilt. Once the low back muscles are tight the hamstrings also tighten in efforts to keep stability for the pelvis and central spine. These chronically tight muscles can become extremely painful and prone to spasm and injury.
How to Get Relief
It is helpful to stretch and elongate the tight hamstrings so that the lower back and front hip flexors can release.
There are many stretches on the Pilates Reformer that help to relieve the tight hamstrings. In the following blogs I introduce a variety of stretches that vary the position of the body while increasing muscle length and strength.
All of the Pilates Reformer exercises in these blogs can be adapted to the mat if individuals would like to practice them at home. If you want to develop your own home routine to help relieve tight hamstrings contact me at A Room For Pilates in Sebastopol and I can help you develop a routine suited to your body.