More on Stretching

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Stretching your back because your back hurts is not a good idea. In many cases tight or sore lower back is caused by muscle imbalances between the front (anterior) and back (posterior) sides of the body. Most people have short tight quads and long, weak hamstrings and non-existent glutes. The quads and other muscles in the front of legs pull the top of the pelvis forward and down. This is called anterior pelvic tilt. The hamstrings and glutes pull the pelvis the other way. Because of this, stretching the hamstrings will actually make things worse!

Instead of stretching out already stretched muscle you need to strengthen them and loosen up the quads. Lots of deadlifts, swings, glute bridges and hip thrusters  will do the job.

Barbell Hip Thruster

Taking time before your training session to foam roll the quads and inner thighs and stretching at the end of your session will help balance you out and should reduce low back discomfort.
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A lot of people do yoga to help them stretch however even this can be taken to far. Over-stretching, especially in “Hot” yoga styles doesn’t stretch the muscles as much as it creates loose joints and ligaments. The structure need to remain somewhat stiff, they hold everything together. If they get too loose you might feel looser but you are at an increased risk of joint injury.

Some people, mostly women shouldn’t do yoga at all. If you are hypermobile, you should stay away from yoga. How can you tell if you are hypermobile? If you can do most yoga poses without difficulty you are probably hypermobile. If you can bring your thumb to your wrist you are hypermobile.

If you can do any of the above you are hypermobile and should do a lot more strength training to create much needed stabilization. Too much mobility is just as bad as too little. 
If you aren’t hypermobile you can do yoga or other stretching to improve your movements just take your time and don’t force it. As with everything else you need to ease your way into stretching or yoga.

By | 2017-03-21T08:02:09+00:00 July 14th, 2014|Blog|Comments Off on More on Stretching

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