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Sore Hamstrings? The problem may not be your hamstrings....

Posted by George Parker on
Sore Hamstrings? The problem may not be your hamstrings....

Today, I want to talk about sore hamstrings and tightness in hamstrings. This is a video I've been wanting to make for a while. Tight hamstrings is a problem that I have suffered with for over a year now. It's taken me a long time to make this video because it's taken me a long time to understand what was happening, and then to package it in a way that I think might be helpful to others.

If you suffer from tight hamstrings, you know what I'm talking about. After a run, you're constantly having soreness in your hamstring -- tightness in your hamstring. You stretch, you foam roll because your hamstrings are always tight. What I would offer to you is that if you have this situation, you may be finding out that it's not your hamstrings that are the issue --- the hamstrings are simply a  symptom of a bigger problem.

The root problem is that your glutes (butt muscles) aren't activating. By the way, over the last year, I have read many articles, I've watched many videos. I started working with a physical therapist who also works with the elite athletes in the local running club and has really opened up my eyes to how all these muscles connect. If you think the solution to your tight hamstrings is stretching and strength exercising, you may be surprised to find out there's more to it. Hopefully, this video can help you.

Transcript

Today I want to talk about sore hamstrings and tightness in hamstrings. And this is a video I've been wanting to make for a while. And it could be hopefully one of my more important videos. It's a problem that I have suffered with for, you know, over a year now. And it's taken me a long time to make this video because it's taken me a long time to understand what was happening, and then to package in a way that I think might be helpful to others. So if you suffer from this, you know what I'm talking about you after a run, you're constantly having soreness in your hamstring tightness in your hamstring. And it's awful, you know, it's annoying, and you start stretching it, you're foam rolling, you're doing all these things, because your hamstrings are always tight. What I would offer to you is that if you have this situation, you may be finding out that it's not your hamstrings that are the issue, the hamstrings are simply a system a symptom of a bigger problem. And in particular, the problem to talk about is that your glutes aren't activating your glute, your butt muscles. And so to do that, let's walk through some of the mechanics of the rent. And by the way, over the last year, I have read many articles, I've watched many videos. And then ultimately, I started working with a physical therapist who also works with the elite athletes in the local running club and has really opened up my eyes to how all these things connected and how it all comes back to what I want to talk about today. So it's taken me a long time to better understand this. And by no means am I claiming this is your problem. But if you think the solution to your tight hamstrings is stretching and strength exercising, you may be surprised to find out there's more to it. And hopefully this video can help you.

Okay, so let's walk through the mechanics of running slide straight, let me see if I can make this easier to see. Alright, so when you're running, right, the power of your run, you can't see it, but is when your foot lands. And ideally, it's landing directly underneath your center of mass. And then it's pushing back. Right, it's pushing back as you drive forward, and you can't see it here. But that's the idea of what's happening is that your foot lands on new your center of mass, and then extends backwards as it's pushing you forward. Right? And this leg expense. So in that motion, let's talk about the muscles that are allowing your leg to land, and then push backwards and extend. And you can feel a little bit if you do a running stretch, you put your foot down and you push it backwards and kind of extended. What you should feel. If you put your hand on your butt, you should feel your butt tensing clenching, because your glutes activating your glute is allowing your leg to extend backwards and push you for it should be a big glute activation. Additionally, your hip flexors are allowing your leg to make that move, but your glute is the very powerful muscle on your butt, right that allows humans to walk upright. That is the key muscle group that is making that motion happen. Where your hamstrings come into play, is as your leg straightens. As you're pushing backwards. your hamstring prevents it from going all the way in hyperextension the knee right that the hamstrings job is to prevent the leg from opening all the way up so that a hyperextension kind of keeps it in the nice line. That's its job. But the glute is a huge muscle, you get big but right. That power was the running stripe. What can happen though, is that your body can get misaligned. And it won't allow your glutes to activate. And I want to show you what I mean by that. So we'll try this again. If you're say say you're standing here, right, you're standing upright, take this and kind of stick your butt out like that. I kind of arch your back, stick your butt out. It's a very, I'm over exaggerating, but try that right stick your butt out. Now do that and try to squeeze your butt cheeks together. You're not going to be able to do it. Because when your butt cheeks are that when your glutes are that far back from your pelvis, you can't you can't squeeze them. Your pelvis has to be underneath you. Right. If you keep your pelvis underneath you then squeeze your butt cheeks you can do it right. That's the most of your pelvis needs to be in and when you run you need to have your pelvis not

tilted backwards or forwards. It needs to be up and down under Eat your body. And that allows you then to squeeze the glutes and activate them. That's the motion. And so if you watch a lot of videos on YouTube, which is what I was doing, they're giving you all these different drills to activate your glutes, right? They're saying, all right, and what they're trying to do is to remind you to not have your pelvis and your back arcs when you run, and to keep a tuck underneath you. So you can squeeze those butt cheeks, which then allows you to use that but to move your leg forward. But you shouldn't have to always be reminding yourself to tuck your pelvis in, your pelvis should be naturally tucked underneath you. So if it's not, what's happening is there is something that's causing your pelvis to not be underneath you to be tilted away. And what I've learned by working with the physical therapist is you have muscles, right, you have your lower back muscles, and you had your so as a front, and the job of these two muscle groups, is to control the tilt of your pelvis, your lower back muscles, if they're too tight, for instance, we'll pull it and your so as, which are your muscles that run kind of, you know, here down to your upper thigh, they also control your pelvis and will tilt the other way as well. So if you get tightness in these muscles, it will cause your pelvis to be tilted the wrong way. And so one of the ways you can then start diagnosing this problem is look for that tightness in your lower back. And that tightness in your so as, and so as is a common name that you hear now, because you can see the advertisement for the sole, right, which is a great tool, and we'll talk about that in a second. But it's something that I think a lot of people haven't learned a lot about, because it's controlling the pelvis tilt. And what may be happening to you is if your pelvis isn't aligned correctly, because you have tightness in your lower back, which might be pulling your butt back, or tightness in your so ads, which can also be messing up the tilt of it. If there's some kind of tightness here, that's taking the alignment of your pelvis out. When you do that running stride, and your legs extending your butt muscle isn't activating, because it's not in position, it's tilted the wrong way. And so your leg still needs to go back right, your brain says, Hey, you're moving your leg back. And so it has to compensate with every muscles it has, and it starts relying on other things, your hamstrings, your quads, maybe your calves. And these are all such smaller muscle groups compared to the glutes, and they will fatigue easier. And so you're overworking them. And the sign of the soreness in the fatigue is your body telling you that hey, this muscle is working a whole lot harder than it probably needs to be because it's not recruiting the whole leg. You could run your speed, you can do your things, you can do all that. But you're going to fatigue earlier, and you're not optimizing you because you're not using your powerful button muscle. So the way to solve this is obviously you can go work with the PT, you could do those type of exercise, you can do glute activation, the place that I think you might want to start is paying attention to the tightness in your lower back in your so as

look into tools like the soul, right, which you can find online and look into tools like tennis balls, like not tennis balls like lacrosse balls that you use for the the pointed pressure release when you have like a knot in your calf or something like that you sit on those balls. Look into that look into that literature. And I think what you might find is if you use that, it starts slowly over just a matter of weeks, not that long. Start looking at these muscles, you're so as in your lower back. And you start finding these area tightness and you sit there and you relax and release them, I think what you're going to find is very immediately you're going to get relief, your pelvis is going to start moving in the right spot. And when you do your running stride, you're going to notice if you put your hand on your butt, you're going to notice how much more your glute is activating. And that's going to make such a huge difference and not having to recruit your hamstring muscles as much anymore to run. And instead go back to the powerful muscle group that power is running, which is the glute muscle. And then is less about making sure you're running forms right and activating you can come in your pelvis, tucking your pelvis because your pelvis should be more naturally aligned if things aren't tight throughout your body. So that's what I want to suggest for you if you're suffering from tight hamstrings and soreness and constant soreness in your hamstrings and it's been that way for While and your solution has been stretching and foam rolling and icing and all those things, I want you to pause. And I want you to consider the fact that maybe the hamstring tightness isn't the problem. Maybe it is a symptom of a bigger problem which I propose. For a lot of us. For me, it's been the issue, your glutes aren't activating, and it's causing your hamstrings to work harder than they should be for an efficient running stride. And the reason your glutes aren't activating is because something is causing your pelvis tilt to be wrong, which could be tightness in your so as or your lower back and concentrated massage work on those for a short period of time can make significant improvement in your running efficiency as well as soreness in your hamstring. I hope this helps. Remember, it's not luck, it's training. The more you know, the faster you can run

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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