Exercises for high hamstring pain can help you recover as soon as possible. In fact, when I see high hamstring pain in my chiropractic practice exercises are always the foundation of the treatment strategy. It’s important to rehab high hamstring pain because oftentimes just waiting and hoping it gets better on its own doesn’t work.

The great thing about exercises for high hamstring pain is that you can do them at home and need very little equipment. That’s why I’m going to teach you how to do them, so you can get back to running, strength training, or maybe just your normal activities without pain. If you’re just finding this content and you haven’t read my previous advice on high hamstring injuries, I’d suggest reading them as well. Start with the first piece I’ve written and work through the progression using the links below.

To review, I generally recommend addressing high hamstring injuries by progressing through a rehab program like this:

  1. Isometric hamstring loading exercises
  2. Isotonic hamstring loading exercises with minimal hip flexion
  3. Isotonic hamstring loading exercises with increased hip flexion (the routine I’m covering today)
  4. Energy storage and impact loading exercises

I’m going to break down the isotonic hamstring loading exercises with increased hip flexion so you know exactly how to do them. Just as a quick note, if you’re not sure you’re dealing with a high hamstring injury confined to the muscles or tendons, make sure you get examined by a healthcare provider. I recommend trying a chiropractor who’s experienced in treating sports injuries. Even if you are sure why you have high hamstring pain, I still recommend getting treatment from a chiropractor experienced in these injuries.

At our chiropractic clinic in Cary, NC we provide manual therapy techniques like joint manipulation or mobilization (chiropractic adjustments), dry needling, and Graston Technique IASTM to help speed up the process. These injuries can linger so getting some manual therapy can make a huge difference in speeding up the recovery process.

If you’re not looking for a chiropractor in Cary, NC because you live somewhere else, then you can find near you the Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance. You can book an appointment with one of our Cary chiropractors here.

Five Exercises for High Hamstring Pain

These exercises for high hamstring pain are called isotonic hamstring loading exercises with increased hip flexion. Isotonic exercises mean that a muscle is shortening against resistance. A really easy example of an isotonic exercise is a hamstring curl. Increased hip flexion means that you’re bending at the hips, like if you were to hug your knees to your chest.

Now that that’s cleared up, here are the exercises for high hamstring pain (stage 3):

  1. Slow hip thrusts
  2. Forward step-ups
  3. Walking lunges
  4. Romanian deadlifts
  5. Deadlifts

Let me teach your how to do these and then I’ll give more information on sets, reps, and frequency later on.

Slow Hip Thrusts

  • Use a Theraband tied into a loop with one end attached to a post and the other end around your waist near the front of your pelvis. Face away from the post and take a few steps forward.
  • In a slow and controlled motion hinge at the hips. Do this by keeping your back strong and pushing your butt back like you’re about to go into a sitting position. Then push your but and hips forward (thrusting motion.)
  • You should feel the resistance of the band pulling your hips backward when you’re thrusting.

Forward Step-Ups

  • Find a tall step or something about 24 inches off the ground that’s stable to step on.
  • Step up onto it putting your whole foot on the surface. Squeeze your butt and straighten your leg bringing your other foot all the way onto the surface until you’re standing straight.
  • Make sure that you don’t lean forward too much while you perform this. Use a handrail for support if needed. Step down easily and avoid jumping. Repeat stepping up with the opposite leg.

Walking Lunges

  • Take a big step forward (larger than you think you need to) and keep your foot about 15 to the outside of straight.
  • Keep your back active, avoid leaning forward too much, and push off your back foot to bring it up to the side of your front foot. Stand straight up and squeeze your butt.
  • Make sure you’re not letting your knees cave in and think about pushing them out during this exercise.

Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

  • This exercise is simply an extension of the slow hip thrust. Hold a PVC pipe, broomstick, or kettlebell so it’s touching your thighs.
  • Push your hips back as you did in the slow hip thrust, keep your back active, and then slide the PVC down the front of your legs until you feel tension on your hamstrings and can’t go any further without bending your back or knees.
  • From the bottom of the position, rise up and push your hips through.


  • This exercise builds off the slow hip thrusts plus the Romanian deadlift. Hinge at the hips while pushing your but back. When you feel hamstring tension, bend at your knees slightly like you’re going down to pick something up.
  • Make sure you’re not rounding your back. Keep your shoulder blades squeezed together. You can do this with a PVC pipe, broomstick, or kettlebell.
  • Once you’re at the bottom of the motion then straighten your legs, push your hips through, and return to a standing position.

How to Perform these Exercises for High Hamstring Injury

Exercises for high hamstring injury in this phase are aimed at doing two things:

  1. Restoring some basic functional movements.
  2. Restoring strength in the hamstrings and other muscles associated with the hip.

You can achieve these two goals by doing these exercises until you feel fatigued. I recommend you run through these in a superset of 15 repetitions each. That means do each one for 15 repetitions and then move on to the next until you’re done.

Also, you should perform these exercises for high hamstring pain slowly. Focus on the quality of your movements and make sure you’re not creating pain in other areas like your back.

Perform the hamstring exercises every other day at least, but you can do them daily if you tolerate them well. Consistency is key but also making sure you don’t have significant pain while you perform them is also key.

Finally, I would recommend using this program in conjunction with some manual therapy from a chiropractor. I know I mentioned this earlier, but I can’t stress this enough. Getting treated can reduce your pain, speed up your recovery, and may help prevent your injury from returning.

Our Cary chiropractors focus on treating acute and chronic injuries, especially sports injuries, and want you to get back to pre-injury status with no pain and full function. Now that you know these high hamstring injury rehab exercises, get to work on them, and feel free to reach out to us if there’s anything we can do for you.

Dr. Jason Williams DC is a chiropractic physician practicing at AccessHealth Chiropractic in Cary, NC. He treats neuromusculoskeletal pain and injuries using chiropractic manipulation, dry needling, acupuncture, rehab exercise strategies, and other supportive therapies. Primary areas of focus include back pain, neck pain, muscular pain, extremity pain, and orthopedic injuries. Dr. Williams is experienced in treating athletes, especially those in the CrossFit, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and MMA community.

If you’re interested in whether he or another AccessHealth provider can help you, navigate to our contact page or follow this link to request an appointment.

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