In the anatomy of the body, hamstrings are a group of muscles that stretch down the back of the thigh of a human being, from the knee to the pelvis. Hamstrings are made up of three muscles:

  • Semi-membranosus
  • Semi-tendinosus
  • Biceps femoris

These muscles are responsible for hip and knee flexion. They a re important for physical activities such as: running, jumping, walking etc. However, the hamstring muscle could be strained or hurt by excessive activity, as observed in athletes or by sitting for long hours, which make the hamstring muscles become short and tight.

However in this age of ever increasing technological innovation, there are certain exercise machines  that would stretch and work your hamstrings by keeping the rest of your body fixed in a stationary position as you flex your leg against weighted resistance, keeping your hamstrings strong and flexible while chances of injuring your hamstring muscles is greatly lowered.

While these machines abound, the varieties that exist can be classified as:

  • Seated
  • Prone
  • Seated Hamstring Machine

This hamstring stretching machine fixes your body in an upright position on a bench  or chair with a padded support roll over your thighs, mainly to keep your thighs immobile and an adjustable padded lever support against the back of your calves. The padded lever is generally attached to weighted plates through a pulley system. Once the lever has been adjusted to the length of your legs, you bend your knees against the weighted resistance provided, contracting and releasing your hamstring muscles to complete the range of motion. Click here.

  • Prone Hamstring Machine

A popular variation of the seated hamstring machine is the prone hamstring machine. This hamstring stretching machine requires you to begin by lying on your stomach (prone position in anatomy) on a bench, then place your ankles beneath a padded lever that is attached to a stack of weighted plates provided. Once the machine’s pivoting axis of rotation has been aligned to the length of your legs, you grasp the handles under the bench to immobilize your hands and stabilize your torso, then, you flex your legs up against the lever, contracting your hamstrings against the resistance of the stacked weights provided. The hamstring muscle stretching exercise provided is similar to the exercise provided by the seated machine, apart from a small amount of additional resistance provided by the pull of gravity.

  • Other Options

Other fitness equipment options for stretching the hamstrings that  do not require expensive machinery include:

  • Seated hamstring stretches using resistance bands
  • Body elevation stretches using foam rollers
  • Kettlebell cleans and swings
  • Barbell squats

Also, physical exercises such as: lunges, squats, step aerobics, rock climbing, jump roping and sprints are all great ways of strengthening and stretching your hamstrings while working the major muscle groups that interact with the hamstring muscle. So, given the above equipment for stretching the hamstrings, overuse of the hamstring and sedentary lifestyle should b avoided at all times for healthy living. More details in site: