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-   -   Hamstring flexibilty (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7273)

Daniel Hand 01-10-2014 06:16 AM

Hamstring flexibilty
I have very poor hamstring flexibilty and have been trying to improve it using the stretchs in Greg Everetts book.

Im not sure If I'm hitting them too hard but they affected by last training session. I felt twinges during extension and my lower hamstrings felt destroyed the day after.

I had been doing the stretches every evening after a hot bath before going to bed. I'm not sure if its just me adapting to the mobilty regime or if I should scale back the streching to every training day after training (4 days per week)?

Also I'm curious as to why my squat is apparently unaffected by the tight hamstrings? I can maintain a tight back to full depth and can perform a squat jerk with good form.

Patrick Haskell 02-10-2014 08:01 AM

As I age, my success is not great with improving my own hamstring mobility, so I obviously don't have any silver bullets, but I can offer some observations from my own experience, and you can decide if any of this applies to you.

If I do static mobility work without a heavy dose of dynamic mobility work first (ideally a full workout), I'm wasting my time. I get no gains from it and sometimes end-up with jacked-up hamstrings. This is apparently pretty common for aging desk jockeys.

I, too, have decent squat depth, even when things are so tight that I can't touch my shoelaces, let alone my toes. When I can barely touch my toes, I can cossack squat ATG. Some people's hips just don't bend forward great, but turn the legs out and things can open up nicely. YMMV. Regardless, if your range of motion works for what you want to do (e.g., oly lifting), don't wreck your hamstrings getting better at something that you might not care about (e.g., yoga).

Gary Echternacht 04-26-2015 09:32 AM

An older thread but do want to say something about flexibility. Weightlifting is not my priority, but dance is. Dancers in general are really flexible. Having said that, I'm the most inflexible dancer I know. I can barely touch my toes, but my comfort and positioning in the low squat is really good. As an inflexible dancer, I am constantly stretching. I've done every stretching method and just about every yoga asana method over the 20+ years I have been dancing. I think I can say that most all approaches to gaining flexibility have merit. I don't think there is a best method. I am certainly more flexible now than I was 20 years ago, but the reason for that is simple persistence. I've stretched almost every day and when I take evening classes, I do a one hour stretching session as a warm-up for class. Gains in flexibility have come slowly.

The best piece of advice I'd give to anyone seeking greater flexibility is when stretching, don't try to look flexible. Learn to stretch by feeling the stretch. Think of what us dancers call oppositional forces. For example, when touching the toes, think of a force coming from the top of your head directly into the ground and at the same time another force coming from your tail bone straight up. Those are oppositional forces that create the sense of lengthening rather than crunching.

As a person with a reasonably athletic build, I'm naturally inflexible. When I began dancing I hated stretching. With time and gaining a sense of feeling a stretch, stretching has become one of my most pleasurable physical activities.

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