This has been plaguing me forever, even when I was at peak physical condition when I was an athlete (martial artist).

Basically, any exercise or movement that requires legs to stay straight, I feel some strain in the back of my knee, and I can't figure how to fix this, specially now that it is severely getting in the way of exercises I am trying to learn (example: it seemly makes straight leg L-Sit impossible)

Because of... mistranslation, I always believed THOSE were the hamstrings, and kept searching how to improve hamstrings, only some time ago I found out hamstrings are the muscles in the back of the leg.

I also found out then how to test hamstrings flexibility and strength, and both are actually fine, only the tendons themselves behind the knee that are feel short and stiff.

So I don't even know the name of whatever I want to fix, so where do I get started?

  • 3
    Have you been evaluated by a physical therapist? The area you describe is prone to a Baker's (Popliteal fossa) Cyst. Either way, you should determine the cause before "fixing" it. – rrirower Dec 22 '16 at 22:12
  • I don't feel any cyst there... and it has been that way since my childhood, or more accurately, for as long as I remember. – speeder Dec 23 '16 at 20:51
  • All the more reason why to have it checked out by a medical professional. – rrirower Dec 23 '16 at 20:57
  • Is it easy to spot? From what I've read about it (I never had heard of it before), it is usually related to arthritis... I went to a doctor specialized in that a couple times (for other reasons), and that doctor in routine checks DID examined my knee (among other things) and never found anything. Also, the symptons seemly show up both when you extend, and when you contract the leg... What I described is that when I fully extend the leg, it feels like the tendons are short, there are no pain, and there are no problems in contracting the leg. – speeder Dec 23 '16 at 21:11
  • Could be your calf muscles? Does it change if you point your toes or pull your toes back? Can you put your toes on a board and bend forward to touch them? Have you tried foam rolling around the area? – Dark Hippo Jan 10 '17 at 10:14

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