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Tweaking Stretches So They Help Your Back

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Filed Under (Fitness, General) by Rick Kaselj



I wanted to answer another question that a Fix My Back Pain customer had, it was kind of a clarification when it comes to the standing. This is about the Performance Stretch and the Hamstring Stretch.

Here is Justin’s question:

“Hi Rick. When performing the standing performing stretch I am not sure where I am supposed to feel the stretch in order to concentrate on it. Would I feel it in the hip, the glut area or somewhere else? The only tension that I feel is in the front or the pelvis area.”

I will get Orsy to go through the stretch that I am talking about where it’s bringing one knee up and then with the opposite hand bringing it across. You are bringing it from here to the opposite shoulder and you are looking for a light stretch in the hip area.

Now if you don’t feel that stretch, you can change where you are pulling that knee. I can pull it towards the armpit and I can pull it towards the shoulder so I can change the angle and what I am looking for is to feel it in the hip.

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You put your leg down. I want to find out exactly where if I stand kind of off load my leg. If I rotate my hip in and out and I put my finger in my hip joint area, I will kind of get to the ball of the hip joint and what I should feel is that’s the area I want to stretch out so that is where the performing muscle is.

If all you feel is in the front of the hip, what that means is you are having an overactive hip flexor or rectus femur. What we need to do is work on loosening that up. I would start off with Foam Rolling through there or start off with the hip flexor stretch before you end up doing a Performance stretch.

I will get Orsy to do a typical Hip Flexor Stretch. So from stretching out that right leg that gives it a good stride. She’s contracting that glute and bringing that hip forward. I am looking for a stretch in the hip flexor.

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Other thing is if I don’t really feel it, I can rotate that hip in or out in order to change the angle that I am stretching at.

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I am looking at two things: I alternate both sides holding for about twenty seconds and loosening up that hip flexor, and Foam Rolling out that hip flexor and quad.

I am going to get Orsy to go through that again and then you can see if that has decreased the sensitivity in that hip and allowed her to get to that performance muscle better. So give that a go Justin.

And then the second part of Justin’s question:

“During the standing hamstring stretch I feel it more in the calf area. Any tips to focus on the hamstring as intended. I have been playing with bigger and smaller steps forward but it doesn’t seem to make a difference.”

This is the stretch that Justin is talking about, I will get Orsy to do it. Leg out in the front and bending through the waist and then look for the Stretch in the Hamstring area.

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If all you end up feeling is all in the calf area, what I will end up starting with is the Calf stretch or Foam Rolling Out that Calf. I will get Orsy to go through a good calf stretch.

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We will start off with the leg straight so that we can end up focusing just on the calf area, twice on each side for twenty seconds. Then we will move to a Soleious stretch, cut the distance in about half and then both knees are moving to squatting down.

Now what I will end up feeling is I got the belly of the calf just underneath that belly of the calf I will feel a lighter stretch. It tends to be about 25% as intense as the calf stretch. I am loosening up the calf and Soleious and then I would end up going through that hamstring stretch.

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I will get you to do Standing Hamstring Stretch.

And as Orsy does that I am going to step over and grab the Foam Roller. When it comes to the 2 Foam Rolling exercises that I will get you to do.

For the calf stretch,I would end up doing a Calf Stretch with a Foam Roller. I will prop myself up and go from just below the knee joint just to the heel, about five repetitions in order to loosen up that calf area. If I loosen this up, I will be able to target the hamstring better.

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For the one that we were talking about the performance, Rolling Out that Quadriceps. I would end up going from the thigh and rolling up to the top of the hip and then back just above the knee and rolling through it for about five repetitions back and forth.

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There you go Justin, I hope those answer your questions. Give this a go and give me your feedback and let me know how this goes.

This is Rick Kaselj from ExercisesForInjuries.com and FixMyBackPain.com

Fix My Back Pain

Take care and bye bye.

Rick Kaselj, MS

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