The hamstring group, which starts at the bottom of the pelvis and runs along the back of the thigh to the back of the knee, is partly responsible for correct pelvic position. But what does the lower back have to do with it?
The hamstrings are one of many muscles that attach to both the pelvis and the top of the shins. When a group of hamstrings contracts, it can cause the pelvis to tilt back or the tailbone to tilt toward the back of the thigh.
The exact direction (i.e. forward to the front of the thigh, back to the back of the thigh, down to the side, etc.) depends on where that muscle lives. In the case of the hamstrings, the pelvis moves towards the back of the thigh because that is where the hamstrings meet.
From this explanation, you can probably see that the thigh muscles , including the hamstrings, have the ability to alter, and in some cases correct, the position of the pelvis.
Hamstring Stretch Suitcase
But the question still remains: where does back pain come from? Well, the spine is anchored between the two hip bones at the back. (The two thigh bones together make up the pelvis.) The pelvis and lumbar spine tend to move together due to their joint joints.
When the hamstrings contract chronically, they keep the pelvis retracted. This, in turn, disrupts the alignment of your lower back, flattening your normal lordotic arch, which can lead to overstretching and / or weakening of the back muscles.
Without a balanced pelvic position and adequate muscle support in this area, lower back pain is possible. Chronically tight hamstrings can play a role in other back problems.
With that in mind, let's look at various ways to "pull the strings", whether you're a beginner or a seasoned athlete.
One way to stretch your hamstrings is to touch your good toe. While standing, lean forward at the hips to try to touch your toes. There are a few tips to help you make this safer and more efficient.
First, to relieve prolonged stress on your hamstrings, don't jump. The rebound activates a mechanism called the stretch reflex, which, in short, can cause more , not less, muscle contractions.
Instead, hold the stretch for about 30 seconds at a comfortable, pain-free level when you feel like something is "happening." (You can also apply this to all of the hamstring stretches discussed in this article.)
Second, yoga advises us to raise our bones from the seat to the ceiling while in this position. This lengthens the hamstring muscles.
Third, make sure your hips are just above your feet. Don't let your butt hang behind your legs. This is a mistake often made when you may not be aware of alignment, but it gets in the way of stretching success.
Finally, if your core muscles are weaker, you may want to consider replacing a support such as a table to help you return to a standing position.
A general rule of thumb for your safety: go as far as possible without back pain or insecurity.