How stretching your hips can save your lower back and hamstrings
Today I wanted to go over an often neglected area of health and fitness, that is stretching. Overall fitness can be thought of as a triangle with each point representing one aspect those points would be, strength, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility. Being able to lift large amounts of weight or finish first in a race are parts of fitness that many people strive for because of the recognition of our peers and the feeling of accomplishment it gives us. While less glamorous, stretching is just as important.
Take for example the hip flexors. Many of us spend large amounts of our days seated, whether at an office desk or in a vehicle and there are many sports that require people to be in a crouched position (hockey, football, baseball and golf to name a few). These positions result in the hip flexors being shortened or contracted for long periods of time. Ultimately, this creates an imbalance as they become shortened resulting in other muscles, such as the hamstrings, being lengthened. This causes the pelvis to rotate anteriorly, stretching the hamstrings and increasing the curvature in the lower back. This can lead to lower back issues, hamstring pulls and other issues. Many times when someone tells you they have no flexibility in their hamstrings or that their hamstrings are really tight, it is actually the hip flexors. The hamstrings are being stretched to the point where they have little range of motion left leading to belief that they have no flexibility. This is a common complaint heard by the practitioners at Pure Body Balance and one that can be addressed proactively.