How to Foam Roll Your Hamstrings

In today’s new video on our YouTube channel (check out more of our videos here), I demonstrate a couple of my favourite techniques using the foam roller on your hamstring muscles.

The hamstrings muscle group is formed by three major muscles: semitendinosus, semimembranosus and biceps femoris. With little variations in our positioning on the foam roller, we can target each one!

The foam rolling routine featured in today’s video is great for runners, and athletes in general, who suffer from tight hamstrings, which can be a contributing factor to knee pain amongst other issues.

Traditionally it is relatively difficult to effectively work on the hamstrings with a foam roller, but the last two of the techniques I demonstrate above both help to achieve the better results!

Try the routine in the video and let me know how you get on in the comments below 🙂

Last updated on March 2nd, 2021.


  1. Hi James, my hamstrings and calves are the bug bearers for me. Just been told about foam rolling so video really helpful. Good stuff!

  2. Hey James! Love the video. I strained my hamstring during a race 3 years ago and didn’t fully realize it then, so, sadly it’s still a problem. I’ve gone to therapy for it only this year, which increased flexibility but I’m a long way from healed and believe I have adhesions that need breaking up. Do you recommend the type of roller shown in the video? I have two – both just foam. Also using a LAX ball for ART and movements as you show here and this had helped. Interested to know if ridges in a roller or harder surface would prove extra beneficial. Thanks!

    1. Hi Pamela, sorry to hear about your ongoing injury problems. If you’re already using a roller, and the ART etc techniques with a LAX ball I’d be surprised if you get any added benefit from using a roller like the grid (featured in the video). I’m pretty sure the ridges are just a gimmick. I like that specific roller as it’s super firm… not because of the ridges.

      1) Have you been given specific hamstring strengthening exercises?
      2) Has your therapist ruled out neural involvement in your injury?

  3. My hips get very tight and uncomfortable. Do you have any exercises to help with the tightness? It only happens after a run. Thanks

  4. Hi James

    An area I suffer with, more whilst running rather than post are my adductors. The main problem I have is they tend to be the first place to cramp up when on long runs. Is there an ideal way to maybe eliminate this issue?


    John Withinshaw
    JDW Fitness

  5. Another great foam rolling video James, thanks!
    I get some tightness in around the gluts and hips area sometimes after runs.

  6. Hi James,
    Great video, as always.
    My problem area are my hips. I find them quite difficult to work on with a foam roller. Do you have any tips? Many thanks.

  7. Hi James. I suffer with lower back issues when running over about half marathon distance. Read recently that keeping a better posture, head up more would help and definitely seems to have helped. Any other advice would be great! Thanks

  8. Excellent advice just going to try it now, as always a really easy to follow and insightful vid, thanks.

  9. Nice video for hamstrings…i tend to get tight in hipflexors and TFL with ++tenderness on anterior iliac crest -especially after long runs….suggestions?

  10. Physio said who chain from shoulders to calves are tight. Right quad and left hamstring have huge knots in them. Is it these that have caused my left piriformous and hip connector to blow. Can’t seem to roll it out with a tennis ball or massage. Any thoughts?

    Berlin marathon on Sunday then rest, so I can rehab. Is it worth me booking to see you again?


  11. Hi James
    I have years of ongoing tight upper back, left hip drop when running and seriously tight hip flexors!
    So there in lies the challenge !!

  12. Hey James, great video. I struggle with my it band and have done on and off for a couple of years and tight hip flexor, any suggestions?

  13. I’m a bit late to the party, but… Great video and info! I’ve often used the cross-frictional motions, but using the bench is a new one I can’t wait to try.

    At what stage of a hamstring strain is it okay to begin foam rolling? I strained mine 9wks ago bending to pick something up, thus over-stretching while still tight/fatigued from a run. I’m still experiencing discomfort in certain (normally easy) ROM, during muscle contractions, and after running when I attempt it. Prolonged sitting also exacerbates it till I “walk it out”.

    I’ve heard of people advising massage/rolling asap, while others say it can make the injury worse if done too soon, so am confused as to when I should start and how much I should do!

  14. Nice video James. Just what I need for the tightness in my hamstrings. I’ve done some exercises this evening and my legs are starting to feel the benefit already.