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hammy maintenance for cubicle monkeys

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
out of curiosity, I'm wondering if any of you cubicle monkeys do anything to keep those hammies in order. Ive come to realize in the past few months that I seem to often have tight hamstrings when doing simple stretching after exercising, and have learned that the mere fact of sitting in a chair for much of the workday is a huge contributing factor of tight hamstrings. In turn, tight hamstrings can be the cause other problems like low back and hip soreness, since its pulling against those muscles constantly.

just curious if any other cubicle dwellers have noticed tight hammies and have some good tips to share. I hike and bike on weekends, and stretch after working out at the gym every day, but when stretching it seems like Im not making progress in how much I can stretch before they start to hurt.
post #2 of 4
We all live in a state of 'flexion'. Hamstrings,hip flexors,chest,shoulders.
Sitting behind a desk,leaning over a computer,driving ,watching tv.
All these muscles tend to shorten and cause all kinds of problems.
The first thing most people skip at the gym is Flexability work. And I'm guilty as charged,no where near enough stretching.
I sent you a PM with a link that should give you most of what you need.
Good luck ,get off the computer and go stretch
post #3 of 4

Restoring the team work in the hip area


Fighting the sitting position is one of the main tasks in order to maintain function and optimize movement.

The problem is often somewhat multidimensional and it often requires a systematic approach with a few main focuses. Stretching the muscle might bring relief for a short time but a long-term solution could be somewhere else and require more than just flexibility training. A few main focuses could be....

1. Restoring the team work of the muscles. Tight or shortened hamstrings might just be one symptom of overall dysfunction in the area. The part of the source causing the dysfunction is often the tight hip flexor which inhibits the gluteal muscles a.k.a. the butt from contracting properly. Now, when the butt doesn't do its job as a hip extensor, the hammies and lower back must work overtime.

2. Stability + flexibility! The goal of stretching is increasing range of motion, right? The range of motion is good but without stability the mobility is not utilized correctly. Increasing multidimensional stability might help.

3. Combine strength, flexibility and stability. Bring the muscles and the motor skills all together to work as a team in a functional movement pattern. The goal is to re-educate and activate the whole movement system.

Well, without practical example that information is useless. So, here is a sample progression that we have used.

1. PICTURE on the left. Stretch hip flexor and quad complex for 30 sec/side. Actively contract the butt cheek (the side you are stretching) as you do this stretch.

2. PICTURE in the middle. Do 12 one-legged hip bridges/side. Try to extend your hip all the way as you push against the ground through the heel. Lower the hip down and up again.

3. PICTURE on the right. Stand on one leg with the knee slightly bent. Reach down to your foot with the opposite side arm. Return back to upright position. Repeat 10 times/side.

Seems like it doesn't have anything to do with hamstring, but the goal is to restore the correct movement pattern around the hip area in order to take the load of the hamstring.

Just an idea....Let us know if you try them..

Snotrainers Alex & Tommi
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
thanks for the good tips. I will definitely add those to my stretching routine I do daily at the end of every workout no matter what it is.. gym, hike, mtb, etc. I dabbled into pilates a bit also recently... just striving to have the flexibility and range of motion as a 20yr old in my late 30's
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