Article submitted by: Alicia Bell of Trainitright.com
The average person spends most of the day sitting down. Our muscles get stiff, our joints don’t get to move and we become less supple as the years go on. Do your body a favor and make stretching a daily priority. According to McAfee and Charland, flexibility is very important for everyone not just elite athletes. Stretching the hips and legs are especially important for everyone. From those who are very active to those who live a sedentary lifestyle. When a muscle is shortened through daily living or even strength training it can cause pain and pull your body in all sorts of uncomfortable ways. This is can be one of the many reasons why people with desk jobs often suffer from low back pain. Also if muscles are not stretched they are unable to be used to their potential. This will also limit the range of motion that could normally be achieved.
When an athlete has tight hamstrings the quadriceps will work harder because they are working against the hamstrings to compensate. This causes both the quadriceps and hamstrings to fatigue and sets the stage for a poor performance or makes the runner prone to injury.Tight hamstrings are a huge contributor to lower back pain, knee pain and leg length differences. If the hamstrings are tight and don’t fire properly, neither do the gluteus maximus and this causes the erector spinae to contract first, followed by the glutes and then the hamstrings and this puts massive stresses on the lumbar spine causing back pain. This also can happen to you!
The following are some great stretches for your hips and legs. Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30s and repeat each stretch for both the right and left leg 3 times. Make stretching a priority and part of your daily routine.
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