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How to Roll Out Your Hamstrings

by
author image Clayton Runner
Clayton Runner is a professional writer specializing in health, human anatomy and fitness. He is pursuing a Master of Health in kinesiology from West Virginia University.
How to Roll Out Your Hamstrings
A foam roller aims to lengthen and break down the muscle by applying a steady, firm pressure. Photo Credit Satyrenko/iStock/Getty Images

Rolling out your hamstrings using a foam roller is effective for aiding in recovery as well as injury prevention. A foam roller aims to lengthen and break down the muscle by applying a steady, firm pressure. Use a tennis ball as an alternative to a foam roller. When you encounter a tender area, remain on that spot until the tenderness is gone.

Foam Roller

Step 1

Set the roller on the floor. Sit so that the foam roller is underneath your knee. Your legs should be extended out straight on top of the roller. Cross one leg over the other to add weight; this will apply more pressure to the hamstrings. Roll back and forth until your hamstrings feel loose. Repeat for the other leg.

Step 2

Roll the outer portion of your hamstrings. Begin by lying on your side on top of the foam roller. Start from the hips and roll all the way down to your knee. The illiotibial band is also located on the outer portion of your thigh, so be prepared for moderate pain.

Step 3

Roll the upper hamstrings. Sit on top of the foam roller and focus on the area just below your glutes.

Tennis Ball

Step 1

Start by placing the tennis ball under one leg. For best results, elevate the leg that is not being rolled. On the leg that is being rolled, pull your toes toward you. Focus on any tender spots and roll until your hamstrings feel loose.

Step 2

Roll your outer hamstrings. Unlike with a foam roller, you will not lay on the tennis ball as this may inflict serious pain. Instead, lay on your side and prop yourself up with your arm. With the tennis ball in your hand, roll the outer portion of your leg that is facing up. This will allow you to control the pressure applied.

Step 3

Roll your inner hamstrings. This is difficult to achieve with a foam roller. Begin by sitting down with your legs out straight. Now spread your legs out so they form a "V." With the tennis ball in your hand, roll your inner thighs.

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