Thursday, November 3, 2016

My hamstrings are tight!!!!!

Are you one of those people that feel as though your hamstrings are always tight, no matter how much stretching you perform? This is a common problem, and in a lot of cases NOT a hamstring problem. In many of these the tight sensation arises from the hamstrings actually being tired from being chronically elongated.  I know you’re trying to imagine what I’m talking about.

I have people do this simple test.  Lay on your back with your legs straight out, toes pointed to the ceiling.  While keeping them straight, raise one leg as high as possible.  If you are able to attain a vertical (90° angle at the hip) leg, your hamstrings are not tight. 

Now we have to look at the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex (LPHC).  The pelvis may be anteriorly tilted, which causes the hamstrings at be chronically lengthened.  Simplistic visual of the anteriorly tilted pelvis is to imagine the pelvis as a bowl filled with water, and if the bowl is tilted forward the water will spill down the front.  This constant or chronic position will cause the hamstrings to feel tight.

So, if you pass the laying leg raise test, your core must become more active on a regular basis.  Try this lumbo-pelvic-hip complex (LPHC) reset and core activation steps:

•Start in a standing position and squeeze your glutes hard.

•Take a couple deep belly (diaphragmatic) breaths.

•Upon exhalation, pull tummy tight to a level 2 out of ten (0=full relaxed, 10 is squeezed as hard as possible).

•Relax Glues, keep core tight.

The LPHC is now neutral and under the control of the core.  This position will take some work in the beginning.  Go through the reset steps to program the position before you sit, pick anything up or doing just about any movement.  This will become your new normal with training and your hamstrings can finally get some rest.