Have you ever wondered the importance of hamstrings and in what way they help your body? They are a group of muscles that cross the knee joints and hip, which are responsible for aiding your walking, jumping, running, and every physical activity in your life by flexing the knee joints. 

Hamstring meaning is associated with tendons that are present at the back of the knees. Furthermore, it will aid in extending the thigh backward to propel various moves. The quadriceps are present in the front thigh portion, whereas hamstrings are present at the back of the knee. 

Hamstrings originate at the sitting bone and stretch with every sitting motion. Hamstrings have a higher risk of injury, and therefore strengthening of the hamstring is vital. However, if you intend for a longer duration, it will affect the functionality of the hamstrings, thereby leading to tightness. There are hamstring stretching exercises to be effectively followed by sportsmen to reduce the risk of any muscular injury. Let us take a closer look at the anatomy and possible damages associated with hamstrings before going ahead and strengthening them.

Anatomy Of Hamstrings

There are three major hamstring muscles, and their names are biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus. All these hamstring muscles with exciting names are connected to the bone of the knee, lower leg, and pelvis through a soft tissue known as tendons. To understand the hamstring muscles anatomy, let us read in detail about the muscles.

Biceps Femoris

Biceps Femoris consists of a long and short head which work together for a hamstring muscles function like rotating the thigh externally at the hip and extending the leg backward. These hamstring muscles action is for hip extensions and to aid with rotation of the knees at the joint. The Biceps femoris is attached to the lateral tibia, or shin bone has sciatic nerves running through them.

The long head biceps femoris is a hamstring muscle group and is the most lateral part of the hamstring. They originate from the sitting bone and insert onto the lateral side of the lower leg bone called the fibula. 

Short head biceps femoris originates in the femur bone in three places. Therefore, they are more close to the knee than the hip. In some instances, some experts do not consider the short head biceps femoris part of the hamstring muscle group as they do not cross the two joints.


A semitendinosus is a significant and long muscle that originates from the back of the thighs. The semitendinosus hamstring muscles location is close to the biceps femoris. They are at the inner side of the sitting bone and attached to the fascia of the leg. It is the longest hamstring muscle that crosses the knee and gets connected with the inner upper part of the shin bone. Furthermore, a semitendinosus hamstring muscles function allows the medial rotation of both thighs and knees. 


This medial muscle is similar to semitendinosus, except that it is more tucked away. These semimembranosus hamstring muscles’ location is on the inner portion of the shin bone and originated from the sitting bones. Semimembranosus is the largest hamstring muscle that connects to the inner part of the upper tibia. These hamstring muscles’ action aids with extending the hip joint and flexes, thereby rotating the knee medially towards the midline. Furthermore, it helps in turning the tibia. 

Common Hamstring Injuries 

Hamstring injuries are referred to as contusions or strains. They range from minimal to severe and occur in three grades. The minimal damage regains its functionality with rapid rehabilitation, whereas a partial muscle rupture will cause pain with loss of some functions. Complete tissue damage will lead to functionality disability that becomes very difficult to recover. Even if it does, it takes a long time. The damages or injuries occur because of any external force hitting them due to any sport or physical activity. The most common symptoms are swelling, stiffness, pain, and restricted range of motion.

Hamstring injuries are prevalent, and the onset usually suddenly occurs without any anticipation. However, the mild strains are easy to treat with just sufficient rest and pain killer medications. Full rehabilitation is necessary to prevent any relapse. According to research, it is recommended to get treated entirely before returning to physical activity as the recurrence rate of hamstring injuries is 12% to 33%. If the pain continues even after the rehabilitation, consult your doctor for further diagnosis and treatment.

How To Avoid Hamstring Injury?

As we all know, prevention is better than cure. To prevent or avoid hamstring injury, it is always better to perform hamstring stretches before and after any strenuous sports activity. The best hamstring stretches to prevent injury are:

Seated Hamstring Stretch

Perform this by sitting with one leg straight extended in front of you. Bend the other leg on the floor with the foot touching the knees. Slowly lean forwards and reach the hands towards the toes. As you do this, you must be able to feel a stretch on the hamstrings. Hold it for 30 seconds. Do two stretches every day on both legs.

Lying Down Hamstring Stretch

A lying-down hamstring stretch is done by lying on the back with the knees bent. Hold one leg with the help of your hands behind the thighs. Now raise the back flat and lift the leg towards the ceiling. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Perform two stretches every day with both legs.

‚ÄćThe Bottomline

Hamstring meaning is often related to the opposite of the quadriceps owing to their placement in the system. By understanding the hamstring muscles anatomy, you must now be open-minded to accept that a hamstring discomfort or pain is liable to happen every once in a while. Whenever you start some physical activity in your daily schedule, you are at a risk. But with proper hamstrings stretching before the strengthening exercises, you can avoid the injury or reduce the level of damage. Attempt to get guidance with the hamstring exercises with your physical therapist, trainer, or coach to prevent any injury.

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December 22, 2021

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