Loosening the Hamstrings using a softball

Welcome! I’m Brian Hagan with HealthySteps.  Our vision is to give you the education, techniques, and support to help your steps on your unique health journey


This video is about working the Hamstrings muscles in order to get rid of the scar tissue and adhesion that have accumulated over the years. Scar tissue and adhesions cause you pain soreness, stiffness, lose of flexibility, loss of range of motion and increases the risk of injury to the muscle. Before performing this or any activity I always recommend discussing this with your doctor. Always start slow and easy into the activity.

So how do we do that. Well we are going to use a softball to help break up those hamstrings. The reason for this is that the foam roller can not get deep enough to do the job. We need something harder and more focused. The softball is perfect for this. A quick note here a lacrosse ball works just as well.

The starting position for this techniques is to sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend the non-working leg until the knee is completely bent. The working leg stays straight and on the floor. You are going to want to put a moderate stretch into your Hamstrings. (you feel a gentle stretch but no pain) Try to sit upright ( upper body at 90 degrees to your lower body) as much as you can without straining the hamstrings or your back. Some people this is a good gentle stretch in the hamstrings. For others this is to much, and that is okay. Lower your upper body until the tightness reduces but you still have a gentle stretch in the hamstrings. For some people it means your upper body is at 45 degrees. What every works safely for you.

Place the softball right below the sit bone. The sit bone is the actual part of the skeleton that you sit on when you are sitting. To find it place you hand on your Gluteus Maximus (Your Butt) and apply a little bit of pressure and slide your hand down toward your leg. You should feel a bony bump. That is your sit bone. You are going to place the softball below that bone. Because this bone is where all three hamstring attach.

This is your starting point. Your objective is to roll the softball slowly down the Hamstrings until you reach approximately 1/2 inch from the back of the knee. Now you have three Hamstrings. One on the outside of the leg and two on the inner part of the leg. To work the outer one simple rotate your foot so that it is facing outward. To work the inner two, simple rotate the foot inward. Slowly work your way down the hamstring stopping to work those area that seem especially tight. Work your way down the hamstring muscle to approximately 1/2 inch above the back of the knee. Then roll back up the hamstring to the sit bone. Again you want to work all three hamstring muscles. It takes roughly a minute or two to work one leg. Once you are done, remove the softball and bend the leg you just worked. Now we want to loosen the tendons of the hamstrings. Slide your hand down your leg to just above the back of the knee. You should feel fairly tight bands on both side of the knees. These are the tendons of the hamstrings. Take your fingers and gentle push up into them. Now bend and straighten your leg. This helps the tendon release helping the entire muscle to relax. Finish with a nice gentle hamstring stretch, by straightening your legs, straighten your upper body and lean your upper body toward your feet. Be gentle and breath into the stretch. Always remember to do both side.

Softball in the Glutes


Welcome! This is Brian Hagan with HealthySteps. Our vision is to provide you with the education, support, and techniques to help your steps on your unique health journey.

Today we are going to talk about using a soft ball for self care of our muscle. The reason for the softball is that there are three muscle groups that the foam roller just can get deep enough. They are the gluteals specifically Gluteus Maximus (Rear end) Deep lateral rotators and the Hamstrings. The foam roller can’t get deep enough because its flat and these muscles are big and deep. S0 we use a softball.
Today we will cover the Gluteal maximus and the lateral rotators

We are going to be working the area between the sacrum, The greater trochanter of the femur, and the sit bone. Now you are not rolling over the bone but you will need to roll right up against them.

To start you will sit with one glute cheek on the softball and that leg will be straight. The other leg is bent with the knee up.

This is the beginning position. Now you just roll over the glute muscle make sure you are getting along side the bony part of the leg bone (Femur)
and the sacrum, and the sit bone

This may be fairly tinder for some people. You can use you bent leg to take some of the load of and that will help. Remember the deeper you go the better.

In time it will be less tinder and you will need to go deeper to do that you will need to pull you straight leg in toward the center of you body which will add more weight onto the softball.

Eventually you will be able to lift both legs up and only be sitting on the softball. This may take some time but you will get there and you need to get there.

Throughout doing this you can add movement into this by moving your leg up and down and side to side. Movement and compression is always good for breaking up muscle.