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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

R.E.P.S.! 
Return to Extraordinary Performance Series
Innovative and Progressive Sports injury prevention/management Techniques.
This is a first in a monthly series discussing common fitness related injuries and how to prevent and/or manage them.
Part 2 of 2


"...But I can't feel it"
and other ways to hurt yourself

Some weeks ago I left you with some ideas about stretching (see BUT I CANT FEEL IT part 1/July 6). I Apologize for taking so long.  So lets pick up where we left off......

Now when I demonstrate the proper series of stretching techniques for the hamstring, calf and back and a host of other muscles, the common refrain is "But I don't feel it." And there lye's the problem. The notion that you have to 'feel' it for it to work. But for centuries that has been ingrained into our fitness psyche, 'no pain no gain' and 'feel the burn' and "if it hurts then I MUST be doing it right". Put another way, if you keep hitting your thumb with a hammer, hopefully you'd stop. Hopefully. But there is a better way....

THE BACK AND 'HAMMIE' (hamstring)
The best stretch for stretching the low back and hamstring is called a BRACING technique(there are 3 but will only show 1 this time). It is the easiest and yet the most effective for relieving the 'global' overall low back soreness that comes with the 'tucking' and 'pulling' from the powerful butt (glute) muscle, the latsissimus dorsi( back), muscles that attach from the lumbar spine to the inner femur.  
Unfortunately, the traditional stretching techniques do not work. Those would be: 1. bending over to touch your toes, 2. 'butterflys' where you sit almost 'Indian' style but instead of crossing the legs,the feet face each other and you 'press' down on the knees to stretch the groin, 3. Putting your legs up on a bench and bending forward to stretch the hamstring, 4. sitting on ground with legs apart and bending forward to stretch the back and hamstring. How do I know these don't work? Because I have treated SO many low back and hamstring injuries! And when I ask 'what are your fave stretches for the back/hamstring?' and the answer is ALWAYS the stretches I described above. 

HOW TO STRETCH THE BACK AND HAMSTRING(follow photos)

Moving from top top left:
1. Stand next to object that you can place your foot on.
2. (side view) place foot closes to box on top of box
3. Then flex at waist, and arm of leg on box, reaches across to outside of foot on floor. Pay special attention to last photo showing position of arm in relation to 'box' leg.
4. Hold for 10 sec. Alternate to other side. 3 each side.










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