Home Recipes Healthy Recipes Don’t Ever Stretch Your Hamstrings! (Unless You Read This)

Don’t Ever Stretch Your Hamstrings! (Unless You Read This)

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Guest submit by Jason Parsons

Every time I see somebody bent over doing a hamstring stretch, a tiny tear types within the nook of my eye.  No, it isn’t as a result of my allergy symptoms are appearing up once more or as a result of I simply chopped up some onions.  You see, this tiny tear was born from the next:

  • Sadness, as a result of I do know the person is just making issues worse.
  • Anger, that’s directed on the large misinformation that’s rampant in EVERY fitness journal on the cabinets.
  • Frustration, figuring out that folks aren’t born doing the incorrect factor and which means any individual needed to educate this ridiculous stretch.
  • Confusion, as to why this has been allowed to proceed on for therefore lengthy.

I would be the first one to confess, I don’t like crying in public, not as a result of it’s embarrassing, however quite as a result of I don’t normally carry any tissue with me to wipe away the inevitable snot bubbles I’ll be creating. Nobody likes snot bubbles my good friend.

So how am I going to attenuate the possibility of me crying in response to this oft maligned exercise?  Well, I determine one of the best factor to do is whip up this right here article giving YOU the reader a bit of extra information so you are able to do the correct factor the following time you’re tempted to bend over and contact your toes for no good motive in any respect.  I like to think about it as me saving the world, one hamstring at a time.

First, let me start with a quote (and NO, this wasn’t mentioned by Albert Einstein):

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

It’s a enjoyable quote to say the least, however let me change it round a bit of bit to higher match our subject at hand.  Here is my model of the way it ought to be mentioned:

“Every tool has a purpose. But if you judge the value of a hammer by its ability to change a light bulb, well, you need to stay out of the toolbox.”

lightbulb

You could be questioning, what does this must do with stretching your hamstrings? Well, one thing to remember as we go alongside, is that ALL exercises (sure, that features stretching) are mainly instruments that can be utilized for good.  The problem for  most individuals is lining up the fitness objective with the proper exercise device.  The fact is that doing a hamstring stretch by bending over to the touch your toes, has a price.  The downside is that the overwhelming majority of the individuals doing this stretch are NOT doing it for the correct motive.

So, why can we stretch any of our muscle groups? Well, there are many good causes to stretch.

  • Your sport requires you to be versatile (gymnastics, ballet, jiu jitsu, full contact Twister)
  • You are rehabbing an damage and have to return regular/full vary of movement to a joint/muscle
  • You have over-shortened muscle groups which are inflicting irregular motion and/or ache
  • It feels good

All of those are nice causes to stretch, however the issue is, most individuals will not be stretching their hamstrings for any of those causes. The overwhelming majority of individuals stretch with the false hopes of eliminating muscle soreness because of exercise, to enhance athletic efficiency or to stop accidents.  Sadly the science does NOT inform us that one can obtain any of those outcomes, quite, the precise reverse is true. Mechanically lengthening (stretching) a muscle that’s already sore from exercise, causes extra trauma to mentioned muscle, thereby slowing the therapeutic course of. Stretching muscle groups previous to exercise “loosens” them up, also called reducing muscle tone.  When muscle tone decreases, they’re much less capable of generate pressure so efficiency goes down, and as if that wasn’t dangerous sufficient, loosened muscle groups can not maintain the joint(s) they work together with as tight (secure from transferring improperly), thereby rising damage alternative

Wait a minute. What?  Stretching does NOT lower the length of muscle soreness because of exercise, it really decreases athletic efficiency and will increase alternatives for accidents?  Say it ain’t so! (Take a peek on the included hyperlinks to the scientific analysis so that you don’t suppose I’m simply making stuff up)

confused-face

Please let me be clear, I’m NOT saying stretching is dangerous for you.  What I’m saying, is that every person wants to ensure they’re stretching for the correct motive and that mentioned motive is backed by science that claims it really works. Science is our good friend in any case, so why not use it to our benefit?

Just so that you don’t suppose my ADD dragged me utterly astray from our fundamental subject, the hamstrings, let me inform you a bit of about what DOES work while you simply have this sense that the backs of your legs are needing an excellent stretch.  Now, we perceive higher than ever that stretching for the incorrect causes may be detrimental, so what the heck are you presupposed to do when your hamstrings really feel like overtightened piano wires? This feeling you’re experiencing is almost definitely because of your hamstrings being overactive and in an over lengthened (stretched too far) place all through the day since you sit round an excessive amount of, lengthening your hamstrings throughout the hip joint. Over lengthening any muscle will trigger it to need to contract in an effort to return to regular size and that is why your hamstrings really feel “tight.” On the sofa, within the automotive, at your work desk and on the bathroom (some greater than others), all of us have a tendency to sit down far more than our our bodies have been ever meant to.  It is simply a part of how our worlds have developed, so as a substitute of pretending like we’re going to change that in your daily life, let’s have a look at what we will do to assist out these overactive, over lengthened and simply plain offended hamstrings.

  1. First of all, do NOT stretch your hamstrings otherwise you run the danger of creating them really feel tighter than they already are. Stretching an already over lengthened muscle is a recipe for catastrophe to say the least.
  2.  To calm down these overactive hamstrings, seize your self a foam curler and take a look at my article I wrote guaranteeing you get probably the most out of this implausible device.
  3.  Now that these offended hammies are relaxed a bit of extra, you might need to strengthen them a bit of bit (hamstrings are sometimes below developed and damage inclined) by performing some hip extension exercises like kettlebell swings, varied kinds of squats and even hop on the rower.

Stretching has its place in your fitness routine, so don’t go giving up on it simply but.  All I’m encouraging is for everybody to ensure they’re doing it for the correct causes. Remember that hammer and lightweight bulb factor I talked about earlier than?  Yeah, don’t try this and try to be simply wonderful.

Jason Parsons, NASM Certified Personal Trainer | Certified Mixed Martial Arts Conditioning Coach – City Athletic Club (Las Vegas) | Follow Jason on Twitter: @JasonMParsons

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