Get Over The “Pain In the Butt” High Hamstring Tendonitis Pain

Hamstring Tendonitis

Hamstring Tendonitis is a real pain in the butt. Here’s what I’ve learned about getting rid of high Hamstring Tendonitis pain and helpful tips on how to heal your body and return to the sports you love. Contact carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com  to get personalized coaching to help you heal your hamstrings.

Hamstring Tendonitis
Hamstring Tendonitis

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Have you ever had dull, aching, pain in the butt? Pain right where the hamstring attaches to the butt muscle? You feel it when you walk, you definitely feel it when you bend forward, and the idea of running faster than a shuffle sounds almost impossible.

I’ve been there. High Hamstring Tendonitis. It’s a major bummer. Major.

Hamstring Tendonitis pain is a bad injury for anyone to deal with, especially for active people who need those hamstring muscles to be working correctly to do what we love the most, our sports! The hamstrings are an essential muscle group that help us move our best.

I had my first encounter with High Hamstring Tendonitis in 2012. I was an active runner and yoga student at the time. I’d run a few times a week and attend Vinyasa Flow classes with the best teachers in SF (we are very spoiled in the Bay Area when it comes to incredible yoga teachers – this place is a mecca of talent, knowledge, and skill!). I loved it until things started to hurt.

It all began with  a vague, aching soreness high up on my hamstrings and deep into my buttock muscles. It felt like a big knot I needed to massage out and I knew something was off. I probably just have “tight runner hips”, I thought, “I must need more stretching and foam rolling”. So I did more of that.  But it didn’t seem to help. In fact, the pain got worse.

The next thought was to stop running completely until things get better. So I retired my running shoes and spent more time doing yoga, still with the idea that stretching out my “tight runner hips” was the solution to my hamstring pain. I was wrong. What was causing my hamstring pain? Why wasn’t it going away with more resting and stretching?

High Hamstring Tendonitis
High Hamstring Tendonitis Source Yoga International 

For many people who practice yoga, hamstring injuries develop over time, usually where the hamstring attaches to the sit bone. This is a tendon injury, and unlike a muscle tear, it doesn’t happen suddenly. Instead, it is “death by a thousand cuts”: each tiny rip in the tendon is relatively minor by itself, but because it does not fully heal, repeated injuries accumulate over time, until an ill-considered bit of overstretching or an overly aggressive adjustment from a teacher finally puts the injury over the edge.

To give you a visual: if my hamstrings were a hair rubber band, over stretching had forced the band to rip and fray, causing them to lose their elasticity and no longer work to hold things together. Because it was so loose, my body had to fight to hold on and was in pain.

I didn’t need more flexibility, I needed stability. My hamstrings and hips had become so overstretched they could no longer support the demands of movement. The repetitive stress of countless downward dogs, forward folds, and hip openers on my already bendy body was ripping my hamstrings apart.

Stretching was actually causing my pain. What I needed was strength.

I stopped stretching and picked up the weights. I worked to realign my spine and regain strength in my butt, hips, and core. Squats, stability ball hamstring curls, Deadlifts (with good form!), and kettlebells were my best friends. I avoided all forward folds, downward dogs, and hip openers. A consistent strength program and a moderate rate of progression helped me heal my hamstrings. I was very lucky to have several incredible colleagues and coaches to help guide me through the process of figuring out what helped my hamstrings feel better and what didn’t. But real talk here: Your Body Is Your Business. Others can give you information to help you grow. But the only person responsible for figuring out what you need for your body to heal is you. 

Have you had high Hamstring Tendonitis or are working through hamstring pain? Here are a few more details on high Hamstring Tendonitis pain and an exercise video that can help you gently get your hamstrings to work again.

Causes of High Hamstring Tendonitis Pain

  • Repetitive stress particularly from activities like running, jumping, kicking, and yoga which can involve excessive lengthening of the hamstring muscles
  • Weak hamstrings, hips, glutes, and core muscles
  • Muscular imbalances, especially between the hamstrings and quadriceps
  • Overstretching of the hamstring, hip, or butt muscles

How to get rid of High Hamstring Tendonitis Pain

Always consult your doctor or physical therapist before starting this or any exercise routine.

I am not a doctor, but have successfully overcome high Hamstring Tendonitis pain as well as helped many others heal from the condition through my work as a fitness professional. I share my story and what I’ve found helpful to give you insight and hope that you can heal from High Hamstring pain and return to the sports you love.

For me, strength training has been an essential piece of recovering my hamstrings to full health. At first I was scared to do any movement, but I discovered that smart strength training and a moderate rate of progression helped me put the bounce back into my muscles and heal from pain.

Unlike most injuries, you can not get over high Hamstring Tendonitis by resting. It actually takes a lot of work to physically change what is causing the issue. You want to Keep Moving Mindfully! A muscle in tension stays in tension until you change its position. Functional movement is the key to healing strong and mobile muscles. Get a support team of trusted health professionals to assist you in your healing process. Trust me: you and your body are worth the investment. But no matter what, remember that you must heal yourself. Everything and everyone that helps is just an “assist” to your body’s own healing capacity.

For me healing from high Hamstring Tendonitis was a process of trial and error: noticing the exercises that helped get rid of pain (hello stability ball hamstring curls!) and noticing the exercises that caused pain (goodbye forward folds!). I encourage you to work slowly, listen to your body, and notice what helps you feel better and what you need to avoid to heal. I always say to my coaching clients, “you only have time to feel good”! So keep the exercises that work for you and avoid the ones that cause you to hurt!

Hamstring Tendonitis
Hamstring Tendonitis

Exercises to Help High Hamstring Tendonitis Pain

Since High Hamstring Tendonitis pain can result from bodily imbalances and misalignments, these basic exercises can relieve hamstring discomfort by realigning the hips and the knees.

However please keep in mind that everybody’s body is different and no exact program found online will address your specific needs. I want to offer you a general menu of specific hamstring exercises that I found helpful in healing my hamstring and relieving pain. Consider adding this exercise video to your High Hamstring Tendonitis rehabilitation program. I believe if you do the following exercises once a day you’ll be able to bring some relief to those hamstrings. To get personalized coaching to help you heal your hamstrings, contact me at : carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com . The exercises you’ll do in this video include:

Double Leg Glute Bridge: Lie on your back with the knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Place arms at your side and lift up the spine and hips. Slowly bring the hips back down, then lift back up or hold this position for 10-60 seconds.

Exercises for Hamstring Tendonitis Pain
Exercises for Hamstring Tendonitis Pain Photo Credit Kuroda Studios
Exercises for High Hamstring Tendonitis Pain
Exercises for High Hamstring Tendonitis Pain Photo Credit Kuroda Studios

Single Leg Glute Bridge: Same form as the above double leg glute bridge but with one leg instead of two.  Hold this position for 10-60 seconds or lift hips up and down for 10-15 reps.

Side lying clamshell: Lay down on the side of your body with your legs bent in 90 degrees. Lift the top leg up and down, with the foot facing forward. You should feel this on the side of your butt and in your hips. Perform 10-20 reps and then switch sides.

Hamstring curl: Lie down on belly on your mat with your legs extended straight. Lift one leg off the floor and curl your heel towards your butt using your hamstrings, glutes, and core muscles. Repeat 10-15 reps and then switch sides.

Front Plank: Lie on the stomach with elbows close to the sides directly under the shoulders. The palms should be facing downwards. Now, engage the abdominal muscles. There will be a sensation of tightness around the ribs and lower part of the body. Now, contract the thigh muscles and straighten the legs and flex the ankles. Now, slowly lift the torso and thighs off the floor. The legs need to be kept as rigid as possible. Try maintaining this position for about 10 seconds.

Ready to get started? Pay attention to the alignment cues and have fun! I hope this hamstring exercise video helps you feel better.

When you are ready to make PROGRESS in healing your hamstrings for good, my Strong Body program includes all of the strength work I did in healing from this injury in addition to Physical therapy exercises. The programming is really solid and I am positive when you feel ready to start re-training the hamstring to move in a HEALTHY way, the workouts in the 6 weeks will benefit you. Check it out here . And yes, both men and women have been using the course to rehab their injuries and return to their active lives.

You can also contact me to get personalized coaching to help you heal your hamstrings at : carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com

Injury is a great teacher, most often arising from patterns and habits of movement developed over long periods of time. Injuries awaken us to these patterns–and to new ways of moving and being within our body.

Many people don’t believe me when I tell them that too much yoga can be a bad thing. In the mainstream culture Yoga is seen as something that is safe to do everyday. But too much of anything is never a good thing. Have you ever suffered from High Hamstring Tendonitis? Have you ever had an injury from too much flexibility? What did you do to help your body heal? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear your story and what has helped you.

For more reading on yoga injuries and high Hamstring Tendonitis, check out these posts:

I hope this post serves you in feeling your very best. Here’s to keeping our hamstrings healthy and happy for life!

With love and squats,
Caroline

Contact carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com  to get personalized coaching to help you heal your hamstrings.

Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

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47 Replies to “Get Over The “Pain In the Butt” High Hamstring Tendonitis Pain”

  1. OH MY GOSH THANK YOU!! I googled my symptoms, found the name of my affliction, and then found this post. Just what I needed. I’ve always done lots of balanced strength training and running but recently have gotten very into yoga, doing it 4-5 times a week thinking that it would be helpful for my training. My hamstrings did get super flexible and I was so proud of my progress, until I got a pain from doing dynamic warmups for crossfit sprints a few weeks ago. Since then, even jogging is painful, and bending at the hip, but squatting feel ok, as do some other lower body movements. Going to begin incorporating these exercises in daily and I’ll let you know how it works. Haven’t been to a doctor or PT because I’m a trainer and figure I’d try to handle on my own, being mindful of course.

      1. Hi Iv suffered from this tendon injury on and off for for 3 years ,I wanted to do my yoga teacher training , but iv over stretched it again recently ! Do you still practise yoga ?

        1. Hi! I no longer practice traditional flow yoga classes as I am HYPER Mobile and do not need more mobility (it creates instability and pain in MY body). I still meditate and practice other elements of yoga <3

  2. Thanks much. I just started these exercises, so will let you know. I think I finally discovered what’s been wrong with me for a year of pain. I began Pickleball a year ago April. And I’ve been playing 3-4 times a week for up to 2-3 hrs! Then, I’d sit all day & night at computer for my 2 full time jobs, etc & caretaking my mom. Never rest…I knew it wasn’t good but kept playing until my legs just buckled when I’d try to sprint to net! Stretching made it worse. Deep tissue massage helps a bit, but I’d sleep with ice packs under glutes & hammies every nite with no relief! I finally stopped playing PB & could just cry, I loved it so much. At 64, I became highest scoring female at our Rec center. Now, just can’t play. I’m going for an MRI asap to confirm this self diagnosis. Everything everyone was saying just didn’t work. I’ll let you know! Am praying this will be the answer! Thx again 😉

  3. Thank you for this! I’ve been dealing with this pain for over a year and I’m desperate for it to go away. I will definitely give these exercises a try. A quick question though…you said to not run or swim in the video – I haven’t run in two months but was curious on your thoughts about spin classes and the elliptical for cardio? I don’t want to do anything that is going to make it worse than it already is! Looking forward to some relief! Thanks again!

  4. I’ve been having issues with my hamstrings for over a year now and I ran across this post. I am going to start doing the exercises religiously (while praying that they help me too! haha). I love your positive attitude. You’re giving me hope about this situation!

  5. Hi Caroline,
    I’m a dance teacher who has always done loads of yoga! Thank you for helping me understand what’s been going on with my butt pain! I have cut right back on my stitching which is super hard for my lifestyle & have been doing your exercises. Still feeling a little pain but it seems to be easing slightly. Did you do any cardio while you were recovering? What other exercise would you suggest that is appropriate? I am feeling a little inactive & helpless! Cheers!

    1. Hi Erin! Thank you so much for reading and sharing! Focus on STRENGTH and stability and I am confident you will see progress in healing. My 6 week strength training program may really serve you: http://www.carolinejordanfitness.com/strong-beautiful-course/ . I did cardio while I was healing, spinning / cycling, swimming, and intervals. Everybody’s body is different, but Id recommend cardio exercise where your leg can’t be hyperextended or straight. This puts extra strain on the hamstring (running, lots of walking, kicking, etc). Esp. if you are prone to hyperextension / locking out your legs. Does that make sense?

  6. Thank you for this. You’ve described perfectly what I have been dealing with all summer, and I immediately felt better from the exercises. Will keep at it and hope it continues to improve.

  7. Hi Caroline, thanks for the great info. Can you comment on your level of discomfort/pain while doing the exercises noted above? Should they be completely pain-free or did you gradually feel less pain as you grew stronger and more stable? I’m afraid everything hurts at this point (ESPECIALLY stretching). Sigh.

    1. Hi Amy. I gradually felt less pain as I grew stronger and more stable. It takes a LONG time and sometimes you do a little too much, back off, and then slowly progress forward. Have you watched my Youtube video on setbacks in healing? Might be helpful. But everybodys body is different!! Maybe you just need some quality rest time before you move into these PT style exercises. LISTEN to your body it will tell you best.

  8. Thank you so much!! I’ve been dealing with this issue for about 8 months now.. really a big pain in the butt. I haven’t been able to fence properly.

    I went through a lot of PT and visits to the doctor, but my hamstring didn’t get better. My PT would give me leg compressions, massage, and a little bit strength training. After reading your article I have a good feeling that I need to start strengthening my legs.
    My symptoms were a bit different from the start, I didn’t gradually feel pain but immediately. It felt like a tear in my upper thigh at first and for about a month I couldn’t walk up and down the stairs. My coach told me to rest it for a bit and I did. Surely, the pain gradually went away and I barely felt anything when doing everyday tasks. Around four months into my injury, I went back to fence. During my warmup, I felt fine, but once I started my lessons, I felt a lot of pain. Then I went to the PT (probably a bit late..), went back to fence 4 months later; same thing. Currently it hurts quite a lot and I’m wearing a leg wrap everyday to help manage the pain.. haha.

    Thank you for your article, it gave me quite some insite and I can’t wait to start doing the exercises!

  9. Thank you so much for your experience and knowledge. It’s been so helpful for me. I’m a nurse and my providers kept telling me it was sciatica. I had that issue years ago and this is not the same at all. I now receive PT 2 times a week, which is helping slowly but surely.
    The exercises you demonstrate are so helpful.
    Thanks again!

    1. Im so happy to hear it has helped Lora! Please feel free to share with others that could benefit ! Sending you love and light <3

  10. Physio diagnosed me with this. I felt my hamstring give while doing yoga. I do yoga for running injury prevention but obviously need to do more strength training. Thanks for the exercises. Fingers crossed I can fix it

    1. Having a balanced strength training program helped me completely get rid of my pain. It took 2 years of consistent strength work! Sending you love and light <3

  11. Thank you Caroline! This video is great, I just started doing the exercises every night and am already feeling an improvement. Unfortunately I developed HHT as a runner and decided to “rehab” myself with yoga ( woops)- while my hip pain significantly improved (though remains if I try to run anything faster than a ten minute mile) my knee began bothering me on the same side which I’ve read can occur with longstanding HHT. Am hoping this will be the turning point!

  12. Hi, I’m having this pain in butt problem for more than 6 months now. I now have been seeing PT 6 times and doing your exercise daily for a week now.
    How long it took your hamstring to heal after these exercises? I feel one step forward, three steps backwards. There is time after my PT visit, I felt great for a couple days, then it went back to these pains again. Since I have high deductible in my insurance plan, I really can’ afford to see PT too many times and really hope this self treatment can work. Thank you so much to showing this video and give me some hope of this pain can go away.

    1. Hi Tina! Im sorry about your hamstring, I hope the exercises are helpful for you too! Its a long process BUT if you do the right things you CAN get the pain to go away and return to the life you love. It can take anywhere from 1 year to never without the right treatment. Restoring strength to your BUTT, hips, and core along with BODY BALANCE is essential to helping you heal. I know you can do it! Have you checked out my Strong Body program? https://caroline-jordan-fitness.teachable.com/p/strong-body-beautiful I built it to help you build BALANCE in your body. Let me know if you have any questions…. i think the program would serve you in many ways.

  13. Thanks for this. I think this is exactly what’s happening to me. I stared doing yoga about 9 months ago to help my running and I’ve noticed more hamstring and butt pain than ever. Last week I felt the big knot deep in my glutes and have been googling my symptoms ever since. This is the first post that got exactly what I was feeling!!

    My question is were you doing yoga at all during the time when you incorporated more strength training? I would like to keep doing yoga once a week or so, unless you think I that would be counterproductive.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Anna! My body is excessively hypermobile, so no, I did not practice yoga and still cant because it causes pain. But since stopping stretching, I no longer have any problems with my hamstrings. However, every body is different and yours might be able to return to a practice once it is back to healthy!

  14. Caroline,

    Thanks for sharing your experience and solution. I, like other readers of this thread, have been searching for a way to heal my HTT. I just recently started running 4-5 times per week for the pst 6-7 weeks or so and just recently began feeling the pain in the butt! It’s extremely discouraging because I was finally hitting longer distances and seeing significant time reductions in my runs…I’m afraid I may have pushed a little too hard.

    How long did your program take for the HTT pain to subside and is it completely unreasonable to continue to run a few times per week in hopes to retain the work I’ve put in to get where I’m at?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Josh! It took me about 2 years to heal completely – but I worked with a strength coach who helped me rehab my hamstring with exercises. Its all about balancing the hips, BUTT, and core. Doing the RIGHT exercises to help the hamstring heal is KEY. I now work with clients all over the world in designing strength programming to help them heal – let me know if you want some virtual coaching to move away from this pain and see positive change.

  15. Caroline,
    I am a runner and had these symptoms a year ago, They went away on their own with stretching and alot of use of the foam roller (maybe it was not true high hamstring tendonitis at the time). The pain has just started up again and I’ve been trying to stretch, use heat and the foam roller again. I have also been trying Bar Method. Would Bar have the same impact as Yoga? Some to the exercises look similar to what you show above. My butt/hammi usually feel better after taking a Bar class but the pain is still hanging around (although not terrible). I am wondering if there is a particular exercise I should modify. I’m very active. Would hate to have to stop doing anything! Ski season is coming up!
    Thanks for your thoughts!

    1. Hi Teri. I would be really careful with Barre classes as they typically overload the quads and then tighten the hipflexors (contributing to the muscular imbalance of tight quads and tight hip flexors with weak glutes that causes this issue). Have you considered my strength program? https://caroline-jordan-fitness.teachable.com/p/strong-body-beautiful ? Done consistently (and mindfully) it will help you restore balance between the back and front of your body, get ready for ski season, and rehab this issue.

  16. Hallelujah! Holy pain in the tush…and my hamstrings! I’m so happy to have found this and believe it hits the nail on the head.
    I tried to find an answer to my question with no luck. I’m having excruciating pain while driving and sitting. I avoid sitting at all cost and hate driving because of the pain it causes sitting. I’ve been using a seat cushion to help…but it doesn’t help much.
    Wondered if you have recommendations to help with the pain while sitting and or driving?

    Thanks, Amy

  17. Thanks for this! Just ran my first marathon (with this injury). I’ve been in PT for 2 months without much success. When will I know I’m ready to run again? Should there be no pain? THanks so much! Also have the pain after sitting and commuting like the comment above.

    Thanks again 🙂

  18. Hi. How often I should do this routine? I have been doing it every morning, should I do another round later in the day or several times a day? It seems my symptoms getting worse when the days goes on.

  19. Hello Caroline, I just started doing your exercises and crossing fingers this will help heal! My HHT has been gradual with running and yoga. It’s only on my right side. When I do your second clam exercise you say not to use my hip flexor. On my HHT side I can’t seem to isolate my glute in this position and it very much uses my hip flexor. Advice on how not to do this? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Lena! Its not uncommon to have “sleeping booty” syndrome on one side. This glute may need different exercises or an alteration on form. Its hard to say how to not use your hip flexor without working with you in person – but happy to set up a virtual appointment with you if you want to figure it out. Keep healing and stay positive! I know you will progress with all the right exercises and mindset 🙂

  20. Hi Caroline –

    Thank you so much for posting this! I had an onset of pain after doing my first Ironman in September 2016 and it has been a nagging pain in the butt ever since. I have been feeling particularly discouraged lately because I finished a couple of months of physical therapy without feeling like I was making any progress, so your reassurances that I’m doing the right thing (focusing on strengthening my hamstrings and glutes) really helped. I was starting to feel like I would never fully recover from this injury, but you’ve given me hope.

    One quick question – I know you suggested taking it easy with running, but I wanted to get your opinion on switching to an elliptical? Does that stretch the hamstring in the same way that running would? If so, I can stick with swimming and cycling as my cardio options for now, but I thought I’d check.

    Thank you again for sharing!

    1. Hi Ashley! Im so happy the post has helped you! Its a LONG process of recovery, but Im positive you are on the right track with healing. Its ALL about strength esp in the butt and core. You may also want to look at lifestyle habits that put excess stretch on the hamstring (how you walk, stand, etc) to see if any of those are slowing down the recovery process. Elliptical could be ok depending on how your body moves when you do it. I’d say try a small dose of elliptical and see how your body responds to it.

      Have you checked out my Strong Body program? It includes all of the strength work I did in healing from this injury in addition to PT. The programming is really solid and I think when you feel ready to start loading the hamstring in a positive way, the workouts in the 6 weeks may really benefit you. Check it out here https://caroline-jordan-fitness.teachable.com/p/strong-body-beautiful . Let me know if you have any questions and keep positive! You are healing and I KNOW will return to healthy hamstrings.

  21. Yes..thank you! The video was helpful. However, just doing one session of your video to strengthen my hips has made a considerable difference with my driving. I can actually be comfortable for about 15 minutes before really focusing on my posture.

    THANK YOU!!

  22. Hi Caroline, after reading your post on HHT I am now convinced that mine was caused from yoga. I also do jujitsu three times per week and a Les Mills body pump class once or twice per week. I am going to discontinue the yoga but what are your thoughts on the body pump class? Are there certain exercises in body pump zi should avoid? I am not willing to take a break from jujitsu. There is a lot of bridging in jujitsu so I am hoping that will help my HTT.

    1. Hi Kent – is there a lot of kicking in jujitsu? That may be contributing to a lot of the over stretching on the hamstring and causing pain. I would be very careful!

  23. Thank you for posting the high hamstring exercises video. I could not drive more than 2 miles without the sitting pain getting very intense.I had a 15 hr roundtrip road trip coming up and was psyching myself up to endure the pain that i thought was going to be present through the drive. I saw the video 2 days before the trip ,did the bridges ,and would activate the glute and hamstring muscles while driving…The pain was minor! Just got back today and will continue the therapy so that i can go back to running…thank you!

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