Our hamstring muscles, which move to the back of our thighs and connect our hip joints with our knee joints, tend to get smaller and stiffer thanks to the sedentary lifestyle we lead. “They’re really interesting in that they affect two different joints,” said Abigail Fitzgerald, DPT, associate professor in the physical therapy program at Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles.
Back pain? Knee pain? Out-of-hack pose? It could all be due to the hamsters.
Fitzgerald explains that sitting for long periods of time trains the hamstring muscles to shorten and become flexible or stiff. Together, scarcity and persistence are known as “restraint”. But this is not the end. Combining that effect with your feet stuck to you or in a position where your knees are bent at an angle of more than 90 degrees. This leg posture is usually leaning forward in the chair, so you are sitting on your tailbone instead of your butt muscles, which tells your hamstrings to get smaller. womp womp.
Tight hamstrings use a lot of your other muscles, making them more difficult both when exercising and during your daily life. For example, if you do a bend-down motion and your hamstrings are tight, you will rely too much on stretching your lower back, which can cause lower back pain.
“You’re supposed to have to work to get the activity done to make it work harder,” Fietzer said lower back.
Or, if you are standing upright with tight hamstrings, your pelvis may be tilted forward, your whole posture may go out of alignment, and there may be pain in other parts of your body. “If they’re too short or too tight, they can get you out of that good position,” Fitzgerald said.
How can you check if your hamstrings are too tight?
Basically, hamstrings are a huge nexus point in your body, and if they are too tight, they can pull everything. So how do you know if you have a tight hamstring? There are a few simple tests.
“Unless you have some pre-existing injuries, most people should be able to have their fingers touch the ground when they bend,” Fitzgerald said. Sounds like a long order? This is probably because your hamstrings are tight!
Brad Baker, DPT’s performance coach at Future, says there is another test, known as the 90-90 test, that physical therapists use to diagnose tight hamstring.
“Lie on your back, bend your hips and knees 90 degrees so that you are at the top of the table and support the back of your thighs with your hands,” Baker said. “Straighten your knees to full extension. A positive test, which means you have a stiff hamstring, if you are unable to extend your knees vertically at an angle of 20 degrees.”
What to do for a tight hamstring
What is the verdict? Tight hamstring? If so, there are ways to loosen those bad guys.
Fitzgerald says that heating them is the first key to overcoming tightness. Stretching your hamstrings will be much more effective if you use a heating pad before stretching. Or you might consider warming up first (or waiting for your workout to stretch) so you’re warming up from the inside out.
He recommends a dynamic stretch routine on a static one. That is, a pair of rice like a hamstring extension with a swing or walk.
“Static stretching may be effective, but dynamic stretching is best,” Fitzgerald said. “So when you’re sure the muscle is really warm, and you do some sort of walking and gentle swinging of the legs, keep the hamstring stretched, it’s better than trying to sit up straight in front of you. Your toes. “
Don’t let your daily miles harden your hammocks. Cool post-runs with this dynamic stretching routine:
Strengthening your hamstrings can also be a missing element that brings relief.
“If you have hamstring tightness, one of the best things is to strengthen them at full speed,” Baker said. “Exercises like staggard deadlift, single leg deadlift and Romanian deadlift This is a great example. Tightness is often associated with weakness, so if you are strong through full range of motion, your muscles become more relaxed so that you can access more flexibility. “
And of course, an ounce of resistance goes a long way. Fitz advised to take a break from sitting and make sure that when you sit down, sit up straight and bend your knees 90 degrees and put your feet on the ground. This, of course, strengthens your abs and back muscles.
Who knew you would need so many moving parts to keep your hammocks flexible?
Build a strong core to support better posture with this workout: