Forward folds, seated straddle stretch and every other effort to touch your toes is completely and utterly pointless.
Because although the back of your thigh is a common area that FEELS too tight, actually, trying to lengthen these muscles more can do more harm than good!
Human beings are built in a way that makes it easier for us to bring our feet forwards of our hips than backwards.
This happens because our eyes are in the front of our heads and we are designed to walk forwards (usually towards whatever we’re looking at).
This means that the muscles in the front of our thighs and hips are repeatedly shortening during our daily activities, more often than they are lengthening (especially with the amount of sitting we do these days!).
Over time, this results in a sustained shortening of these tissues.
If the muscles in the front of our hips and thighs are gradually shortening as they get tighter, the muscles in the back of our legs (hamstrings and calves) are being pulled into an increasingly lengthened state.
Which also makes them feel tight.
So, if it FEELS tight, we make the connection that stretching will help – except it won’t.
Actually, stretching the hamstrings can put your clients at an INCREASED risk of hamstring strains!
If you REALLY want to get rid of your clients’ hamstring tightness, you need to STOP stretching them and start focusing your attention on improving the movement in the muscles around the front of the hip, down the inside of the thigh and the front of the thigh.
Because restoring the length of the muscles in the front of the body will stop the persistent lengthening of the muscles in the back of the body, which is what’s causing them to feel tight.
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