Flexibility Exercises do NOT Always Improve your Flexibility!

By Andrew on 03 Mar 2018

‘My hamstrings have always been Tight’

This is one of the most common phrases that clients tell me.

Followed by ‘stretching doesn’t seem to help’

So why are they tight?

Let’s look at why muscles get tight or spasm.

1)Painful joint

2)Painful / irritated nerve

3)A weak muscle

4)Surrounding muscles are weak (so they try and
help out but cannot cope with the demand)

5)Held in a sustained position for long periods at
a time (cast, sling, poor posture, etc etc)

That’s it ...

So let’s take a look at the pelvis and at a very common presentation in my clinic.

A client comes in with very tight WEAK shortened quadricep muscles (front of the thigh), this causes the pelvis to tilt forward. On the reverse side of this, is the hamstrings (back of the thigh).  If they are on the opposite side of the pelvis, they will now be in a lengthened WEAK position.

If a muscle is short and tight OR long and stretched, it’s in a WEAK (number 3 on our list above) position. Therefore in this scenario, both muscles are weak.

The hamstrings are on full stretch, therefore stretching them, even more, will not help and they will also feel ‘tight’. This makes people think they have tight hamstrings and they embark on a stretching programme that makes no difference. The issue is with their strength and muscle imbalance between the hamstring and the quads.

I am not saying that this is always the case but it is extremely common especially in runners.

If you think you have ‘tight’ hamstrings or Struggle with Hill Running, then we have the answer for you. We will be able to identify where your problems arise from and design a specific programme, which will get you FLYING up those hills.

Posted in: Training Considerations , Injury Mechanisms, Injury Management

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