How to Relieve Hamstring and Back Tension at Home with a Partner

Often my clients tell me that they’d like to give more massages to loved ones at home, but that they find it challenging because their hands get tired so quickly.

This month, I’d like to share with you a hands-free massage technique that you can do at home with a partner. This technique reduces tightness in the hamstrings. It also can be quite relaxing, not only for the legs, but also can help reduce lower back tension by reducing the tug-of-war effects from the muscles below.

This technique comes from the Thai massage tradition. It’s best performed while the receiver is fully clothed, and preferably, lying face down on a padded floor. If either the giver or receiver has a difficult time getting up and down off the floor, you can have the receiver lay on the side of a firm bed instead.

Directions for Hamstring Massage:

1) Position the receiver’s legs hip-width apart so that mid-lines of the legs are parallel to each other.
2) Choose one leg to start with and begin by palpating your receiver’s thigh to get a feel for where the center is. Then, sit sideways – facing away from your receiver, with the middle of your bottom just a little higher than the center of their thigh. Make sure you keep your own spine straight while you sit.
3) Sit on this spot for a couple of minutes. When you feel the tissue begin to soften, lift your bottom, and move an inch closer to the knee. Sit on this second spot until you feel the tissue soften or for the same amount of time as the first area. Be mindful not to sit on the knee joint itself – always stay a couple inches away from the knee joint.
4) Repeat the above procedure on the other leg.
5) When you begin, you can sit for 2-5 minutes on each leg.  As you become more comfortable with the technique, you can sit longer and incorporate some compression on the calf or lower back with your hands.

If you’d like to see a live demonstration, I have created a short YouTube video to show you exactly how to perform this technique. There’s a link to this video on my blog: The video also includes an alternative seated position where you straddle the leg.

Enjoy this fun and easy hands-free home massage! If you practice it regularly, it can really make a difference for acute or chronic hamstring or back tension.

Contraindications: This technique should not be performed on people with heart conditions, varicose veins or pregnant women.