Test your Hamstrings
Test your hamstrings…
Sitting for prolonged periods of time can affect your hamstring tightness. In this blog you can find out how to test your hamstrings and what you can do to help.
Can you touch your toes?
Stand up straight and as you try and touch your toes, hinge from the hips. Can you touch your toes? Do you feel a stretch in your hamstrings that stops you touching your toes? This is a great way to test your hamstrings.
Why is sitting bad for hamstrings?
Prolonged periods of sitting leave your hamstrings in a flexed and shorted position. This can not only affect your hamstring tightness and your ability to touch your toes but also places increased stress on the low back. Tight hamstring can lead to lower back pain and stiffness.
2 ways to help
1. Take a break. Try taking a break every 30-40 minutes to get up and move around, releasing the tension in your hamstrings and getting some movement in your body.
2. Dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching allows you to move through the stretch rather than holding a fixed position. This type of stretching is recommended before exercise to warm up the muscles and joints but can also be done at home as part of your regular mobility routine. Stretching the hamstring muscle can help reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve root and improve lower back pain and mobility.
Do this first:
Try this dynamic hamstring stretch after you’ve warmed up by going for a 10minute walk beforehand, this will help improve blood flow to the hamstring before stretching and loosening the muscle.
What to do:
Alternative Hamstring reaches:
- Stand with both feet on the floor, hip width apart
- Take a small step forward with your right leg, resting your heel on the floor and foot flexed (toes pointing up)
- Hinge forward from the hips keeping your back straight, and reach your right hand to your right foot
- Return upright and repeat with the left hand reaching to the right foot
- Perform 8-10 reps then repeat on the opposite leg
If you have any pain on performing this stretch, please stop and make sure you have warmed up properly. If the pain continues, stop altogether and consider seeking professional help.
Lisa Smycz, chiropractor