Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Personal Training: Relieve your Tight Hamstrings through your Feet by Anders N W Lindgreen

The most common muscle in need of lengthening and resulting in injuries in that I come across in my personal training clientele are the hamstrings. Your hamstrings are the big chunk of muscle on the back of your thigh and it’s comprised of three separate muscles called biceps femoris, semi tendanosis and semi membranosis. In performance our hamstrings assist our gluteus muscle (the bum) in walking, running and sprinting (e.g.). It is also what stops us from slipping all the way when we lose our footing on slippery surfaces. So, how do we lengthen these babies? Well, the conventional stretches I’m sure you are all aware off, but what about doing it through your? Let me explain.

Feet and Hamstrings

Your entire body and all its muscles are covered by a bodysuit going from your forehead down to your feet. Most muscles also attach to this suit and imbalance in tension or length will pull and cause pain or discomfort, possibly on a whole other location on your body. A lot of tension is gathered underneath are feet, and this tension is many times the reason for our hamstring tightness, which may have nothing to do with the hamstrings at all. To trial this, bend forward and reach down as far as you can and remember how far you got. Now get two golf balls, take your socks off and place one golf ball under each foot. Press down on the balls with your feet while you roll it around, making sure you cover the entire sole of your feet and do so for two minutes. Do the test again and if you got further, this is something you should look at.

Keep doing this exercise for five minutes every day and see if it gets better, if not or only slightly, visit a massage therapist with myofascial expertise (just ask if it isn’t obvious in his or her credentials). Myofascia is just a fancy word for the “bodysuit”. There is no point spending all that time stretching the hamstrings if the fascia is the issues and vice versa. A word of caution though, myofascial release or treatment and be really painful if you happen to have a lot of tension built up inside it, but the soles of your feet however is more often a wonderful and pleasurable experience to have treated, which can almost make the long-term benefit more of a positive side-effect by comparison.