Importance of Hamstring Mobility
Just like Goldilocks, your hamstrings need to be just right. Being on either end of the spectrum can have detrimental results. From micro tears to shortening, optimal hamstring health can be a bit complicated. But in this blog we get into the nitty gritty of your hamstrings to clear up all misconceptions and look at how you nurture stronger and more mobile hamstrings.
It can seem very trivial. What should you be doing and when? The solution to that involves being in tune with your body and noting when to stretch and when to strengthen. And when this feels overwhelming, you can always consult a professional. And with time you will be able to understand your body more intimately.
3 Things That Happen When you Don’t Stretch Properly
- Your training is causing your muscles to over-stretch and as a result weaken. In this instance, including strengthening exercises can have phenomenal effects.
- You’re overstretching your tendons and ligaments to reach your desired range of motion.
- And lastly, micro tears in your muscles are triggering your immune to patch the tears with fascia.
Hamstring Mobility and Injury Prevention.
Having sufficient hamstring mobility can have tremendous effects when it comes to injury prevention. A quick look at the structure of the hamstrings and you’ll notice the connection to the pelvis. Tight hamstrings tend to pull your pelvis down and increase the risk of hurting your back, knees and hips.
When your hamstrings fall on the limber side however, your hips and back are properly aligned. In turn the risk of injury drops significantly.
Hamstring Mobility and Posture
A majority of us spend copious amounts of time just sitting all day. From the office to driving. It’s unavoidable to say the least. This in turn results in the shortening and tensing of our hamstrings as our quads elongate. Your hamstrings then suffer from chronic tightness.
When your hamstrings tighten, they tend to pull your pelvis forward, making the natural arch on your back vanish. The absurdity of it however is your hamstrings begin to overcompensate for this postural abnormality in your lower back by becoming shorter. The influence of these two factors on each other promises a cycle with no end in sight.
Hamstring Mobility and Reduced Back Pain
Your tight and inflexible hamstrings are really doing a number on your pelvis. When this tightness compromises your pelvic range of motion. Your bottom lumbar spine offers to compensate. Making the stress in your lower back unbearable.
The hamstrings muscles pull the pelvic bones backward and downward into a posterior pelvic tilt. This causes the low back extensor muscles to tighten in order to resist the pull of the front abdominal muscles which adapt for the pelvic tilt.
Instances of you having lower back pain increase to more and more frequent episodes. It might seem like this is your new life.
Additionally, tight hamstrings cause pain in your knees and hips. Which seems like an unnecessary amount of suffering.
Hamstring Mobility and Increased Flexibility
You might wake up one day and come to the realization that you can no longer touch your toes. This hypothetical situation is very likely to come true. Especially if your lifestyle is mostly sedentary. However, improving your hamstring mobility comes with the perk of increasing your range of motion.
Flexible hamstrings make your daily activities fun and more manageable. Climbing the stairs is more fun. You’re also bending and lifting with greater ease. You might even notice that the length of your stride and speed are slightly improved when you walk or run.
A Deeper Understanding of your Hamstrings
A few universal truths you might be familiar with in regard to your hamstrings is that short hamstrings are bad and overstretched hamstrings are in the same ballpark. In the spirit of making comprehensive lists. Here are some vital things to note regarding your hamstrings.
- Your hamstrings are attached to your pelvis and their health is strongly associated with your pelvic movement and range of motion.
- Your hamstrings are very tendinous and can accumulate an unhealthy amount of fascia.
- When there is an excess of fascia. Your hamstrings might find themselves in a frozen position. Whether short, long, twisted, or a combination of these. Making movement unbearable.
- When your hamstrings are inflexible, they can hold your pelvis in a dysfunctional position. Creating poor alignment in the hip and knee joints, compression in the spine, and poor posture in the shoulders and neck.
- Increasing hamstring flexibility and pelvic movement creates the foundations for a healthier body that moves efficiently from head to toe.
And with this we hope that you have a great foundation on which to build upon your hamstring routine. The point to remember is that the perfect balance lies right in the middle. Strong and healthy hamstrings get an equal dose of both strength and stretching. Here's a hamstrings routine you can start today. Be sure to join in on the fun and follow along.
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