Flexibility exercises are only effective when proper technique is applied, as well as understanding the difference between a tight muscle versus a muscle that feels tight, but really is just overstretched. A sports medicine professional can help you differentiate this.
When someone reports to us that their hamstring is always tight, that can, very often, be from a locked SI joint and a rotated hip that pulls on the hamstring and actually overstretches the hamstring constantly. This can give a false feeling of a tight hamstring, when actually it is very tight hipflexors and quad muscles on that same side, resulting in the antagonist muscle, the hamstring, being overstretched. The SI Joint is the axis of the body that we start with and work around. We always make sure the SI Joint is mobile and moving equally bilaterally, prior to any session.
Muscles that commonly “tighten up ” in youth and adolescent athletes:
1) Hamstring tightness – this tightness is usually due to the overstretching of the hamstring. Focus on hip flexor stretching first to see if the hamstrings become “more flexible”.
2) Hip Flexor tightness – this tightness is usually due to an anterior rotated hip and locked SI joint.
3) Low Back tightness – this tightness is usually secondary to very tight hip flexors.
MOBILIZING THE SI JOINT & STRETCHING HIP FLEXORS
This is a great way to stretch the quad. The flexed hip on the non stretching leg stabilizes the pelvis and results in a true quadricep stretch. When both hips are neutral you can get a false quad length from lumbar extension.
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