Unfortunately for the majority of people they aren’t even stretching their hamstring, they are instead stretching their sciatic nerve. And just incase you didn’t know stretching nerves is a really bad idea.
The Best “Hip” Stretch you Aren”t Doing
Of all the muscles we utilize during a normal running gait cycle we can narrow down some of the big players to include the Hamstrings, Glute Max, Quads and Adductor Magnus.
Yes the Adductor Magnus. This muscle is effectively divided into two components. There is an adductor portion, which its main function is hip flexion(and adduction). There is also a hamstring portion, which its main function is hip extension.
This sounds a lot like running!
Problems with the Adductor Magnus in terms of length or ability to produce strength can cause running form issues which can result in a number issues such as lower back or knee pain.
The video uptop is a simple and effective way to stretch primarily the hip flexion portion of your Adductor Magnus. Next week I will address how to stretch the hip extension or hamstring portion of the Adductor Magnus and why you are most likely stretching your hamstrings incorrectly.
Biggest bang for your buck mobility | Part 1
I often get asked what is the best drill for this or the best exercise for that? These questions usually come up when I am coaching or teaching a seminar, which means I have 90 seconds max to provide the athlete with some useful information.
Over the next few weeks I am doing a series of the “Biggest bang for your buck” drills/exercise/stretches that I find myself recommending to athletes. There are an infinite number of things an athlete can be doing on a regular basis to be getting themselves better. Why these specific ones? Regardless of who you are you should be doing these drills and you will be making yourself better. Secondly they are for the most part self correcting exercises which means the athlete can’t screw them up on there own. Lastly they are simple to execute so in an effort to have an athlete start developing productive useful habits I want them starting simple(seeing results) then progressing to complex.
What are we going to cover in part one?
Laying face up on a foam roller. YES that’s it, just lay there!
I find this especially useful with my non proactive patients that aren’t motivated to do anything on there own. This goes back to point number 3, starting them with something simple and getting them results. Depending on how you decide to lay, there are an infinite number of benefits to this. First of all when you lay lengthwise, this for the most part places the spine in a neutral position. From there depending on how you position your arms this is a great way to open up the shoulders, chest and arms. This is a great position to put the desk jockey in, that is sitting all day in a hunched forward turtle position. As this is the complete opposite position.I like to explain it as, we are almost bringing you back to neutral or balancing you out by doing this position. This is also a great position to practice belly breathing in as most of us are chest breathers and it is very difficult in this position to breath with your chest.
Where do I start, what is my call call to action?
Start with ten minutes a day just laying there. Everyone has 10 minutes a day.
This is the minimum effective dose. I will also say that you can’t over do this one, so accumulate more than 10 minutes a day if you can. Think about how much time you spend sitting either at your desk, commuting to/from work and at home on the couch. 10 minutes isn’t much to ask for, especially when you ask so much of your body. Most of you reading this are most likely on your back following a tough workout anyway, you might as well be productive while catching your breath at the same time. Move your arms up and down like a snow angel, focus on belly breathing or you can just lay there and listen to a podcast for ten minutes.