Anatomy in 100 Words: Hamstrings

Anatomy in 100 WordsPicture of the HamstringsThe Hamstrings are a group of muscles in your posterior thigh that flex your knee and extend your hip. Hamstrings are actually three separate muscles: theHamstrings in Squatting semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris. Where are your hamstrings? The Hamstrings attach to your pelvis on one end and your tibia or fibula on the other. This stretches them across two joints, making them very long and powerful. Hamstrings play a strong role in squatting below parallel, jumping, and running. Lack of Hamstring flexibility and strength is the most common reason athletes cannot achieve a full squat with a neutral spine.

4 thoughts on “Anatomy in 100 Words: Hamstrings

  1. I hate to sound like I’m nit picking but the hamstrings also attatch at the femur, specifically the short head of the bicep femoris which is responsible for knee flexion only and not hip extension

  2. Eli, thanks for generating discussion. Writing about a topic in 100 words makes brevity and summation essential, which means I have to generalize some things, but I always appreciate technical corrections.

  3. Jeff, instructors always accentuate the importance of the hamstrings in the golf swing. Can you expand on this topic?

  4. Will, I know next to nothing about golf swings, but that won’t keep me from hypothesizing. Your hamstrings are one of the prime movers that determine the orientation of your pelvis. I would expect that keeping correct pelvic alignment during a gold swing is important. Also, from my memory of golf, the hip is slightly closed (flexed) in the starting position and open in the finish position. This means that hip extension is part of the golf swing, although it may not happen during power generation. Hamstrings are a prime antagonist of hip extension. You’ll also need adequate hamstring flexibility to get into the starting position of a golf swing and hold it through your setup. That’s just my best guess. Hope it helps. Best of luck!

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