Hamstring & Hip Flexor Stretches – Multiplanar Variations

I’m always talking about the importance of strengthening a given muscle through range in all three planes of motion. The same multiplanar approach can, and I believe should be, taken with stretches.

In the short video below, I demonstrate a number of multiplanar variations I commonly use within a hamstring and hip flexor stretch…

As runners and triathletes, we often get so hooked-up with training, strengthening and stretching in ‘straight lines’ predominantly in the sagittal plane. Breaking this up and working into all three planes is so beneficial for our general athletic development, and avoiding common imbalances that lead to injury :)

About The Author

James has an academic background in Sport Rehabilitation and a special interest in Applied Biomechanics. He currently coaches a large number of Runners and Triathletes across all levels of ability and performance. He's grown a strong reputation for enabling athletes to improve their running performance and overcome running injuries through improving their Running Technique and developing Running Specific Strength.

 

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7 Comments

  • Hi, love your videos thanks! I have a question please, my hamstring has been hurting for a while, more when I get up from sitting, but never affected my running until this week, now it hurts to run and I’m worried I’m making it worse…what can i do about this, or how can i find out what is wrong? should i go to a sports doc or a physio?
    Thanks so much for any help you can give,
    Zoe :)

    • Hi Zoe,

      Thanks for your kind words about the videos. I’l enjoying making them!

      Definitely go and see a sports physio as soon as you can, and don’t run through pain! Where abouts hamstrings region is your pain? Right at the top…? Down by your knee…? Muscle belly…?

      If it’s a high hamstring pain, I’d actually suggest avoiding the stretch in the video above as it won’t like the depth of hip flexion in this variation.

      Cheers,

      James

      Cheers,

      James

      • Hi James, thanks for the quick response! It’s hard to tell but i think it’s more towards the middle Anne bottom at the knee, it’s weird as it never bothered me when running before, but maybe because i kept running i made it worse? I got a foam roller but it doesn’t seem to do anything..thanks.
        Zoë

        • Definitely time to go and see the physio…

          It *could* be muscular in nature, given the pain in your hamstrings. However, it could equally be neural in nature, as I often see in distance runners / triathletes with posterior thigh pain. Worth getting it checked out properly :)

          I hope it improves and clears up soon.

          Cheers,

          James

          • Ok thanks so much for your help, will do!
            Zoë

  • Hi James,

    I am a varsity runner and competitive triathlete and I have been experiencing varying forms of pain in and around my right knee for the last 3 months. I was diagnosed with itbs and went through rigorous physiotherapy to loosen the band and work on hip strength. After the inflammation had subsided and the band had been loosened, I was able to return to running for a brief period of time (~1 month). I slowly ramped up my mileage and intensity and was able to complete workouts of varying intensity and design with minimal pain. However, over the last week, I have developed a new form of pain in and around the knee that prevents me from running completely. It is a sharp, jolting pain which I cannot run through, nothing like the gradual, friction like pain of itbs. The pain is very sudden and there is very very little inflammation afterwards. It’s gone within an hour and there is no residual pain remaining after that period. The pain occurs in the loading phase and only seems to hurt when I perform running movements in a straight line (I.e. I can play sports like tennis without aggravating the injury.) I am in physiotherapy again, loosening my hip flexors and it band and strengthening my hips. But I am not sure this is addressing this new issue, which does not feel muscular- it feels much sharper and serious. I have bought a brace in order to fix any issues regarding patella alignment but it does not seem to help. The pain is on the lower outside quadrant of the right knee.

    Thanks in advance for your advice on this issue.

  • Morning James

    I’ve been having some ITB problems for a couple of months and recently started some dry needle therapy, (which I admit seems to be working). I have been told to foam roll twice a day and do some stretches as well but I’ve read an article on here recommending not to foam roll and streching IT band isn’t really possible as band is so strong, massage etc wont really effect it. Just wondered if you had any experience with this and any advice.

    Many thanks
    Chris

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