If you’ve ever tried to fix a sore low back or tight hips with a stretching routine, you know from personal experience just how problematic tight hamstrings can be.Your legs extend your spine, so stretching shortened hamstrings muscles is an essential part of relieving low back pain.
On top of that, if your hamstrings muscles are tight, that one factor alone can aggravate your hip pain.
Yet very few people stretch their hamstrings muscles correctly.
Common mistakes you may be making include:
- Holding your breath. When you hold your breath, you stay in the sympathetic side of your nervous system, making it difficult for you to relax.
- Bouncing. You have protective tension in your hamstrings muscles. Your muscles must relax in order to lengthen.
- Not holding your stretch long enough to lengthen the muscles. It’s important to understand that it takes time to lengthen. If your hamstrings are very very tight, you may do best holding the stretch on each leg for 60 seconds up to 5 minutes.
- Bending your knees. Your hamstrings attach below your knees. When you bend your knees while you are stretching, you make it more difficult to lengthen the muscles completely.
- Turning your foot. Your foot position controls the position of your hips. If you turn your foot, your hip will not be settled properly in the hip socket, placing uneven tension on your hips and hamstrings as you try to stretch.
- Not stretching often enough. Pay attention to how your muscles feel. If you feel tight, incorporate stretches for your hamstrings into your regular workout routine. You can stretch before or after your workout or rest between weightlifting repetitions with a strategic stretch. I include hamstrings stretches in literally every yoga class I teach because most people do not stretch these muscles often enough!
Here’s one effective way to stretch your hamstrings correctly:
- Lie on your back, starting with both knees bent.
- Put a yoga strap on the ball of your right foot.
- Straighten your right leg as much as possible as you gently pull towards a 90 degree angle.
- If you find yourself bending your knee, lower your leg until your knee lengthens.
- Straighten your left leg out on the foot and be sure to point your left toes straight up to the ceiling to set the left hip bone in the socket properly.
- Draw from your right kneecap towards your right hip.
- Contract your quadriceps in the front of your right thigh to increase the stretch in the hamstrings in the back of your right thigh.
- Press the inner groin of your opposite leg down into the floor.
- Hold 1 minute, then repeat on the other leg.
- Stretches your hamstrings.
- Relieves back and hip pain.
- Improves knee pain.
- Relaxes your spine.
- Improves your posture.
- Be sure to breathe deeply and relax!
To learn more about how you can get out of pain naturally without drugs, read my eighth book and sixth Amazon Number 1 bestseller, The Difference Between Pain and Suffering.
The Difference Between Pain and Suffering is a complete handbook for hope and healing for pain relief without drugs. Written by medical intuitive healer Catherine Carrigan, this book outlines tips you can follow to restore your health naturally. Drug overdose is now the No. 1 cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.Learn how to feel good without opioids or over-the-counter medication.
- Your Physical Body: Learn how to heal pain through nutrition, yoga, posture exercise, restorative movement, juices and smoothies and food healing.
- Your Energy Body: Take advantage of the hidden secrets of your chakras, energy healing, Reiki, balancing your acupuncture meridians and breathing exercises.
- Your Emotional Body: Release the emotional stress behind your suffering, overcome your broken heart, understand the messages from your body and let go of the payoffs for chronic pain.
- Your Mental Body: Change your story to think like a rich and healthy person.
- Your Spiritual Body: Raise your vibration past pain and suffering and learn how to comfort others when all you have to give is love.
This book includes an appendix with 41 therapeutic yoga exercises, charts and directions on how to balance your own acupuncture meridians and recipes for radiant health.
Want to learn more about how you can eliminate chest, shoulder, upper back and neck pain naturally? Call 678-612-8816 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment. I’ll analyze your posture and explain what’s going on in your body and what you can do to feel better today.
To join Catherine’s ongoing yoga classes, follow the directions at this link. We meet Tuesday evenings from 7:30 to 9 p.m., Thursday mornings from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Thursday evenings 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Private lessons meet by appointment Monday through Friday.
Photo courtesy of Diane Fulmer of Savannah, Georgia.