Simple as tight hamstrings?

As far as complaints of tightness, hamstrings definitely lead the way.  Whether or not it mechanically leads to pain is one thing, but are the hamstrings actually tight in the first place?  A common assumption is that if you keep your knees straight, bend at the waist, and can’t touch your toes then you have tight hamstrings.  Well maybe, but there is a good chance that something else may need to be addressed.  So what else could it be?

Touching your toes is a measure of hip flexion.  So, the position of the hip and pelvis will have a huge effect on whether or not someone can touch their toes, or feels tightness, or has pain.  Sometimes we need to address hip flexor or low back tightness, or core strength.  Especially in a day and age when we are sitting more than ever, faulty hip and pelvic mechanics are compromised.

anterior pelvic tilt

In some cases we may find that the hamstrings are tight, but hamstring flexibility isn’t prescribed.  As it relates to the pelvis, the hamstring can be considered “locked long” where tightness in the hamstrings are felt, but they are under constant stretch because of the forward tilt of the pelvis.  Stretching them can make them worse.  In some athletes the hamstrings need that tight springy function to help performance.  In other cases nerve issues can be discovered and treated and the hamstring tightness drastically improves with no stretching advised.  The body is a complex thing and sometimes we have to peel off the layers before we can assume cause and effect.

Social tagging: > >

Leave a Reply