Tight hips and hamstrings can lead to chronic pain, weakness, and discomfort. They can also affect your everyday life significantly by limiting your mobility. The good news is that the causes of these issues are often easy to fix and the solution sometimes comes down to simply changing what you do.
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Understanding the Anatomy
Both hips and hamstrings are composed of three muscles:
- Psoas major(inner thigh)
- Iliacus(outer thigh)
- Gluteus Maximus(buttock)
The hip joint is approximately at the level of your navel. The hip joint is composed of a ball, socket, and femoral head which is connected to the hipbone (thigh bone). This joint also has a notch where the head of the femur fits into. The bones in your thigh join together with a ligament called the iliotibial tract, which runs down both sides of your leg. There is also cartilage that covers the joint and smooths out movements between two bones so they don’t rub against one another.
The hamstring muscle originates from the back of your pelvis and runs down through your buttock to attach on top of your leg just below your knee. The hamstring connects to other muscles like the gluteus maximus, quadriceps femoris, adductor magnus, sartorius, etc. They help to extend/straighten the knee or hip flexing or rotate it as well as plantarflexion/dorsiflexion (lifting the foot up or pushing the foot down).
Know your Symptoms and How to Fix them
If you are experiencing joint pain, it’s important to first know your symptoms before you can know what kind of stretches to do. Make sure that the stretch is gentle enough for this type of pain and observe how well it helps. If not, consult a healthcare practitioner who has experience with arthritis or joint-related injuries such as a physical therapist or doctor.
Importance of Stretching
Although stretching is an important part of every exercise routine, it can also be done on its own. Stretching provides a sense of refreshment after having been sitting in the same position for too long or spending all day at work even if you do not have any physical problems that need to be addressed with stretches.
Additionally, many people rely upon these gentle movements during pregnancy and post-partum periods when they are recovering from birth trauma or injuries. When engaging in a stretch session without actually exercising, try focusing on slow deep breathing exercises throughout the duration as well as positive affirmations about healing your body through regular movement and self-care practices to help make each stretch more effective while calming yourself down enough so that paint won’t become intense.
Here are 4 ways to fix tight hips and hamstrings so you can live pain-free again.
1. Hamstring Walkouts
Perform one set of 5 repetitions. The intensity of this exercise is light to moderate.
2. Foot to Hand
Foot to Hand
Perform one set of five repetitions on each side. The intensity of this exercise is light.
3. Hip Hinge
Perform one set of five repetitions. The intensity of this exercise is light.
4. Deep Squat With Hold
Deep Squat With Hold
Perform one set of five repetitions, holding the end position for five seconds. The intensity of this exercise is light to moderate.
Tight hips and hamstrings are very common and can cause a number of issues like lower back pain, knee pain, and poor posture. Stretching regularly can help improve your mobility and decrease your risk of injury. Tight hip flexors can also cause a variety of symptoms such as hamstring tightness, low back pain, sciatica, lower back pain, hip pain, and knee pain. The key is to stretch the muscles and strengthen the muscles that support the hip.
Rick Kaselj, MS
If you want to get rid of your stubborn hamstring injury once and for all, then click here to check out the Hamstring Injury Solution program here.