The Issues with a Hamstring Stretch
- He picked a surface to rest his leg on that was a little too high which made it difficult to get the foot up there. This then puts an already shortened and tight muscle on an extra stretch – and that’s just to get to the start position. Unfortunately, this then has the issue of potentially aggravating the injury.
- Due to the height of the leg, this left him a little off balance. As I have to be super safety conscious this could, of course, lead to a fall and so another injury, which we definitely don’t want
- Taking the above two points into consideration, he was then in an awkward position, off-balance and so was not able to perform the correct technique that was initially taught.
The Solution/way to correct
Setting yourself up correctly…
- If using something to rest the foot on, make sure the height is at the level of your knee or lower when standing up straight
- Make sure the leg being stretched is straight
- Keep your hips and body facing forwards
- You’re wanting to feel the stretch on the back of the thigh
- Keep the back straight throughout – if you feel back pain then stop and seek advice
- If the stretch becomes painful then stop
- Hold for at least 15 seconds
What to look out for…
- The hips may be rotating and not facing forwards – in these photos below the hips are rotating
- or the back is not kept straight
- What you could do, to prevent the hips from rotating and keep the back straight, is to lie on the ground, hold the back of your thigh and then straighten your knee.
- Ideally, you want a small arch in your low back, rather than it flattening against the ground
Sometimes the technique of stretches just needs a tweak, so as a suggestion, get someone to have a look at your form to give you some feedback (if it’s me then I can be very picky..!).
Images courtesy of E.Arshamian, owner/director of Fortitude Physiotherapy
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Remember – Listen to Your Body!
Please remember to listen to your body. Get any aches and pains checked out sooner rather than later.
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