If you are walking, you are using your hamstrings; there is very little way around this.
The hamstrings cross the hip and the knee and are most important just before your foot hits the ground, they slow the lower leg down so you don’t hit the ground fast and hard. At the same time the other leg’s hamstrings are busy making sure the leg doesn’t buckle.
The faster you walk, the more the hamstrings need to work to stop you from wobbling.
So any weakness in these muscles can end leave you walking with your bum sticking out and your lower back curved inwards. You might not even notice this, but your back will suffer.
On the other hand, if you have really tight hams, you will find you are taking shorter strides and flattening your back. Shortening and tightness can come from long periods of sitting and general lack of activity. Yet another reason to take regular breaks at work and get active.
For runners, fatigue or overuse of hams can result in a shuffle run on one or both sides (short stride and little rise off floor.)
However, if you get a pain sensation in the hams, you need to have a look at the other side of your leg, the Quads. Weakness in these can often cause pain sensations on the back of the leg.
If you want to know more, have a look at this video, or drop us an email.
Miranda Asher, Biomedical Engineer