Hands up if you have tight hamstrings! I am guessing most of us have tight hamstrings.
Hamstring strain is one of the most common injuries for runners. 1/3 of runners who experience a hamstring strain will re-injure themselves within the first few weeks of returning to running.
Our muscles need to be strong and flexible to prevent injuries. There is a fine line between having muscles that are too strong and muscles that are too flexible. In this part 1 of 2 posts, we talk about how to release those tight hamstrings But first, a little bit of anatomy (feel free to skip the next 2 paragraphs. There will be no hard feelings) We want our muscles to be strong because they can store and return energy to propel us forward. However, if they are too stiff, it becomes tight. Tight muscles are more prone to being strained and have a higher chance of producing delayed onset muscle soreness. Stretching helps release this tightness in the muscle. Stretching creates flexibility. Being too flexible is also prone to injuries. Flexible muscles store less energy so they have to work harder to create the same amount of force. This flexibility also has less reinforcement to stabilize our joints.
When your hamstrings are tight, your hips actually get pulled down toward the ground. It is almost like you are in a constant state of ‘sitting’. This can lead to low back pain or knee pain = poor performance.
The video below demos Standing Forward Fold to release those tight hamstrings.
MOSTLY IMPORTANTLY - LESS IS MORE. As long as you feel something perfect! No need to force our bodies to go deeper. You will end up hurting yourself more than anything else. Injury body = no training = sad triathlete
Remember that our bodies are different, so your pose might look different than mine, and that’s totally cool!
Stay tuned for the next post to learn how to strengthen your hamstrings.
If you are brave enough to share, comment with a picture of what your ragdoll looks like. Remember that this is a safe space and there won’t be any judgement, so feel free to share.
Keep being you, the world needs more you! 🌻❤️