January 21, 2017
Tight hamstrings? Read below to find out why stretching them might not be the answer to your problem!
Pain is not the problem... It's the signal (last weeks post). More often than not, pain is our body's way of signaling a problem. Surprisingly, the pain that we feel is not the actual source of the problem. This is especially true when it comes to the hamstring muscles.
What are the hamstring muscles & what do they do?
You have 3 Hamstring muscles that run up the back of your thighs, the Semimembranosus, Semitendinosus, and Biceps Femoris. These muscles are responsible for knee flexion (pulling your heels to your buttocks) and hip extension (driving your upper leg backwards). The hamstring muscles are also important in slowing down/stopping during movement.
Why are your hamstrings tight?
Before stretching your hamstrings, it is important to ask why they are tight in the first place. Is it overuse? Are they weak? It is extremely important to address the cause of the problem rather than the symptom itself in order to avoid reoccurrence.
There could be a number of different reasons why your hamstrings are tight. 3 main reasons are:
1. Too much sitting
2. Tight Quadriceps muscles
3. Weak core muscles.
Today's post will focus on reason #2; tight quadriceps muscles.
If the front of your thighs (#Quadriceps) are tight due to incorrect recruitment of your glutes and/or incorrect #workout programming, then this can effect your Hamstrings. Your Quads attach to the bottom of the front of your pelvis. If these muscles are shortened through tightness then they will actively rotate your pelvis forwards (anterior tilt) lengthening the hamstrings. So although your hamstrings may feel tight they may actually just be long & weak.
If this is the case then you would be better off stretching your Quads and strengthening (not stretching) your Hamstrings.
Stretching your #Hamstrings under this condition will make the problem worse because you are trying to stretch an already elongated & weak muscle while letting the source of the problem (tight quads) remain the same. I'll do another post for solutions! #MobilityMonday #Flexibility #Biomechanics#Movement #Athletes #Fitness
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