Most sports rely on quick movement across a surface, be it a basketball court, a football field, a track or even many of our BOOTCAMP 619 workout exercises. Flexibility in the legs and hips in important to success in almost any sport or athletic exercise. When muscles are chronically shortened, it is harder for them to contract and react. They can also cause pain the the gluts, legs, hips and feet.
Without proper stretching, athletes and exercise buffs can be prone to chronic shortening of the muscles.
Hamstrings Shortened hamstrings can contribute to lower back and knee pain. It is very important for runners to stretch their hamstrings, as it can even shorten and weaken them.
One good self-stretch for the hamstrings involves wrapping a towel around your heel. Straighten the leg and, holding the towel taut, raise the leg up from the floor toward a position over your hip to form a 90 degree angle with the floor. Never pull the towel, but use it to steady and position the leg.
Quadriceps The quadriceps are four muscles that extend from the hip to the knee. Shortened quads can result in knee pain or instability.
Another towel stretch for the quads has the stretcher lie face down on the floor or mat. Use your opposite hand to hold the ankle in place behind your gluts. You can do this with just your hand or use the towel to provide more stability if you find it easier.
Hip Flexors Also known as the psoas and iliacus, hip flexors that are too tight can cause lumbar problems and lower back pain.
To stretch them, stand with your left leg forward and right leg back. Your upper body should be straight and lower back flat. With your right foot on the floor, push forward with your right hip. Allow the left knew to bend slightly. You should feel a stretch high on the front right thigh. Now do the reverse with the left leg back and right leg forward.
Over the years, I have helped many clients at BOOTCAMP 619 and through individual personal training solve the mysteries of their aches and pains though a healthy stretching routine combined with good physical exercise.