Is the Leg in the Air Hamstring Stretch Good for Your Back?
Today, I am replying to a question I got through customer support. The question was from the video called 5 Stretches that are injuring your back and what to do about it.
In the video, I talked about a Hamstring Stretch that I don’t really like that puts a lot of stress on the back, increases the risk of injury, and increases the risk of back pain.
Ann sent in an email asking:
“Rick, that was a great video, but just one question — You don’t like the Standing Hamstring Stretch, and I can understand why but is the Single Leg Hamstring Stretch just as bad for your back?”
She is talking about the hamstring stretch where I lie on my back, knees are bent, which puts my back in a better position, and then I would bring my knee towards my chest. Doing it this way is fine, effective, and good for the back. I would straighten that leg out, and I am looking at getting that hamstring stretch.
A common mistake people would make is they will end up straightening their leg, and they look at the goal of bringing this leg as far back as they can.
And when I bring that leg as far back as I can, my pelvis ends up tilting, my back ends up flattening out, and that ends up putting a lot more strain on the back, increasing the risk of injury and leading to more back pain especially if you have a sensitive back.
The things to remember are:
- Bring the knee up
- The pelvis isn’t changing
- The back is not flattening out
- Straighten the leg out
- Look at getting a Hamstring stretch
- Do the stretches for 20 to 30 seconds twice on each side
It’s not that I don’t like the lying on the back leg in the air hamstring stretch. It’s to remember to do the stretch correctly. It is important to focus on the stretch instead of how far you can bring your leg up.
If you end up doing that, just focusing on that hamstring stretch part, you’ll be fine. If you focus on getting that leg as far as possible, you increase your risk of back injury, making your back pain even worse.
Thank you very much, Ann, for the question. And I just looked at the video, and it looks like there are a whole bunch more questions, and I will answer them in the upcoming videos.
Make sure to swing by ExercisesforInjuries.com and enter in your injury or pain; there’s a good chance that I have a video, interview, or blog post that will help you with your injury or pain.
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Take care and bye-bye.
Fix my Back Pain
The program we talk about, Fix My Back Pain, will be available today for friends, fans, and subscribers of mine.
Fix My Back Pain will be available on ExercisesForInjuries.com, EFI Facebook Fan Page, and EFI YouTube channel. It will only be available in those areas for a few days. And will not be available to everyone until later this year.
Rick Kaselj, MS