Did you know that flexibility is one of the components of physical fitness? It is the one components that most people do not take the time to develop. Being able to move all of your joints through their full range of motion is important for good joint function as well as being able to walk, lift and step normally. If your knees cannot extend all the way, extra stress is placed on the hip and lower back. A short tight muscle limits the joint’s ability to move normally. If the hamstrings are too short, they limit the ability of the pelvis to tilt, which affects the lumbar spine and can lead to lower back pain.
One of the most common tests used to measure flexibility is the Sit-and-Reach test. This test provides some information about the hamstring muscle group. The more the hamstrings allow one to reach forward, the less it restricts movement of the pelvis. Tight hamstrings pull the pelvis down and away from the lumbar spine and makes the lower back instable and more prone to injury and pain.
Simple Hamstring Stretch
Lay down on your back. Bend your knees, lift them from floor and place a yoga strap around the sole of your foot. Extend your leg straight up toward ceiling. Hold stretch 20 seconds and repeat with other leg.
Midtown will be offering free Sit-and-Reach testing to members during the month of October. We will also be showing a series of stretches for you to do to increase your hamstring flexibility and offering retesting during the month of December.