When we sit for prolonged periods the short thick and powerful gluteus muscles become weakened, leaving the long thin hamstrings running down the backs of your thighs to pick up the slack when they are not designed for the job.
For instance, when you push up into bridge, the Glutes are meant to power you up and keep you there, working against gravity to hold the position (hips in the air). For many of us though we suddenly at some point in the process get cramp in the backs of the thighs and it’s a sign that the hammys have taken on the role for weak glutes but the strain is a little too much, resulting in the extra grip from the hamstrings to save the work from the Glutes.
Before you Stretch Your Hamstrings, Know Your Pelvic Positioning
The hamstrings may feel tight if you have an anterior tilt but they actually only feel tight because they have to be at their maximum stretch to allow the pelvis to tilt forward. So trying to lengthen them further will not help the anterior tilt condition and may even exacerbate it. Therefore I do not recommend focus on hamstring lengthening for those with hyperlordosis. Your focus instead needs to be on releasing the front of the hip so that the pelvis can come into a more neutral positioning.
On the other hand, if your tailbone is tucked under, you have a posterior pelvic tilt and the hamstrings will necessarily be tight and shortened and the following exercises will be beneficial for you as well as Glute strengthening work. Thank you to my teacher James Knight for training me in this fabulous Gentle Somatic Yoga Flow for releasing tight hamstrings. Hamstrings often respond poorly to being pulled and stretched about with what we call the stretch reflex. They should never be stretched when cold so ensure you do this near the end of your session or after your workout / run. This sequence is designed to avoid that phenomenon and uses Pandiculation instead to achieve a much better result. Avoid straining to reach your limit. Please seek the supervision of a qualified Advanced Somatic Practitioner (with additional Seniors qualifications if you are over 50 years) before performing these flows on your own.
Here is how you can release the hamstrings from a standing position: