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  • Writer's pictureLionel Pannunzio PT / SCS

Tight Hamstrings in Soccer Players


Playing soccer demands a lot from your hamstrings due to the repetitive sprinting a player does during the game.

In my opinion a healthy hamstring needs a combination of stiffness and flexibility.

As you may know I’m not a big fan of static stretching per se.

I would rather do mobility workouts and active stretching where the muscle is challenged “more naturally “.

1. Active Stretching of Hamstrings using Eccentric Hip Extensions

This is a win - win exercise for clients with tight hamstrings.

You will not only get your gluteal muscles and hamstrings stronger but also get them more flexible , increasing its length .

The key of this exercises is the return , so be sure you control the way back trying to keep the opposite leg down against the ground to create separation between both legs.

2. Core strengthening and Hamstring Stretch

In this video I show you a good combination of core strength and hamstring stretch .

Set Up with a belt or thick rubber band around your foot , pull the leg up until you feel the stretching in your hamstrings.

From there engage your core muscles and start bringing the opposite leg to the level of the stretching leg.

Repeat several times trying to control the raising and falling of the opposite leg. That movement is creating an active stretch of the hamstrings in end range at the same time the core stabilizes the pelvis and trunk for a more effective stretch.

3. Active Hamstring Stretch with Posterior Chain mobility workout

My favorite exercise for tight hamstrings


Begin lying on your back with one leg straight and the other leg bent.


Bring your knee toward your chest and grab the back of your thigh with both hands. Slowly straighten your knee until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh and hold.


Make sure to keep your back flat on the floor during the stretch and the opposite heel pushing against the ground during the stretch.

4. Active Hamstring Stretch with split Stance Single leg RDLs

This exercise shows how to increase flexibility in your hamstrings using an active stretch technique.

On the way down you control the movement and increase the length of the hamstrings eccentrically.

On the way up push with the front foot to return to the standing position by activating your glutes and hamstrings.

Be sure you only do a hip hinge and descend till you feel your hip cannot go back anynome and your lower back starts rounding. Do not try to go lower by rounding your lumbar spine.

Start with a light weight and add more as you tolerated

Lionel Pannunzio is a Physical Therapist Certified in Sports Injuries. With more than 20 years of experience helping athletes return to their sports after an injury. He is the Owner of White Bay Sports Physical Therapy and Fitness, conveniently located in the beautiful City of Weston, where he treats Soccer Player, Runners and Athletes of all ages

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Lionel Pannunzio

Physical Therapist

Board-Certified Sports Specialist

Owner of White Bay Physical Therapy

“Keeping Athletes in the game”

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