How To Stretch Your Hamstrings

How To Stretch Your Hamstrings

OVERVIEW

Do you have tight hamstrings? Does it seem like you have been stretching them forever without much change?

If so, then the first thing to do is assess if you actually have tight hamstrings and if they need to be stretched. You can do this by doing an active straight leg raise on the ground one leg at a time. Can you achieve 80-90 degrees without compensation?

If no, then you may need to work on your hamstring mobility by doing this hamstring mobility exercise. If you can, but still feel that your hamstrings are “tight” then this exercise may still be good for you by creating strength in your hamstrings’ range of motion, especially at the end range.

The biggest problem we see time and time again with this stretch is that people always round through their lower back. Keep your spine neutral and hinge only through your hips.

Give this stretch a shot and see if you notice a difference!

Carries

Carries

Do you perform loaded carries of any sort?

There are so many variations of carries that you can perform and they all have their each unique benefits. Front rack, farmers, suitcase, bottoms up, overhead carries, you name it.

Carries, especially unilateral, are an amazing way to challenge your frontal and transverse plane stability.

These planes are often neglected in traditional strength training, yet are very important for spinal health.

Carries are also great for grip strength and elbow health! We often give our golfer’s elbow patients carries to really isometrically strengthen their forearms before adding in other exercises.

Do you perform carries? What’s your favorite type of carry?! Drop a comment below!

Deadlifting Bad for Your Back?

Deadlifting Bad for Your Back?

Have you been told that deadlifting is bad for your back?

If the person who told you this is your personal trainer, doctor, physical therapist, or chiropractor, then it’s time to find a new one.

Deadlifting is not back for the back!

However, it may be “bad” for your back if you’re not prepared for the exercise. It may also be “bad” for your back if you don’t know how to deadlift properly. But in either case, it’s not the deadlift’s fault. It’s not a bad exercise. It’s just that you’re either not prepared for it, or you simply don’t know what you’re doing.

The deadlift is actually one of the first exercises we teach ALL of our patients who have lower back pain.

And we have amazing results with it. Teaching patients how to hinge at their hips and not constantly move through their spine is often very important in eliminating back pain. And keeping your back pain-free for a lifetime.

And don’t ever let anyone ever tell you that deadlifts are fine, but “don’t go too heavy with the weight.”

That’s non-sense. If you follow proper training principles and progressively overload your tissues in a safe and effective manner, your tissues adapt. You become stronger, more resilient, and mitigate your chances of injury.

If deadlifting aggravates your back or causes pain, that’s not normal.

Contact us to schedule an appointment. We’ll get you back to deadlifting pain-free FAST!

Knees Past Toes

Knees Past Toes

Have you ever been told your knees shouldn’t go past your toes?

Or have you said that to your clients/patients?

Do you have any idea why that became one of the “Exercise Commandments” that we all must follow at all times?

1) Question everything you hear that is presented as an absolute.

ESPECIALLY before adopting this “truth” and spreading it like wildfire. When it comes to human movement, there are a lot less absolutes than most trainers, coaches, clinicians, and professors would like you to believe. A LOT

2) If the knee should never go past your toes, then why is it able to?

Why do we have so much dorsiflexion if we “aren’t allowed” to use it?

3) The human body can handle a lot more than we think.

Stop instilling fear in people by telling them how terrible the knee tracking past the toes is. We should be making our clients/patients feel strong and resilient, not fragile and weak!

4) This was harder than it looks because I was actively pulling myself down into this position rather than falling into it.

I have a ton of range of motion. Including ankle dorsiflexion. By exploring the ranges I have, and actively using my muscles and contracting in those positions, I’m beginning to own some of these positions. Gravity is not the friend of bendy people like myself.

Flexibility without active control is a liability.

Knees traveling past your toes is not necessarily a liability, got it?

PS, no knees were harmed during the making of this video.

Hip Pain & Squatting

Hip Pain & Squatting

Do you have pinching or pain in the front of your hip (or hips) when squatting?

If so, you’re not alone. This is a very common complaint we hear and see. And probably one of the most common dysfunctions clinicians treat with crossfitters.

So why does this happen?

It could caused by a wide variety of things, including improper core stabilization, lack of ankle dorsiflexion, lack of hip internal or external rotation, bony abnormalities at the hip joint, your squat stance, or even your motor control/squat technique itself.

As you can see, there’s more to look at than just the hip.

So if you’ve been continually mobilizing your hip with a monster band without much luck, maybe it’s time to look elsewhere!

And as always, it’s best to get assessed by a licensed clinician who can find your cause, rather than you blindly guessing on what to work on.

You can probably see a trend in our posts.

We’ll never tell you what exactly to do. Because we haven’t assessed you. Until then, the solution is always, “It depends.”

There’s never one “best exercise” to get rid of hip pain when squatting.

Squatting & Knee Pain

Squatting & Knee Pain

There is a lot that goes on within the squat movement.

Movement at the hips, knees, and ankles. Stabilization of the spine. Balance. The list goes on.

The point?

Why guess what the problem is? Your best solution is to get a thorough assessment. One that looks at not only the knee, but the entire body.

At Movement Upgraded, we like to start by first looking at how you move your ENTIRE body.

This gives us a great idea about your motor control abilities as well as how ALL your joints work.

Next, we assess ALL ranges of motion in nearly EVERY joint in your body. Yes, both active AND passive. This gives us a great idea about your mobility and flexibility and if there is a difference between the two.

Gathering all of this information helps us understand why your knee is hurting.

Is that all?

Absolutely not! We also check the squat movement itself.

Maybe all of your joints work fine and we just need to critique your squat form. Maybe you just need to practice the squat more. Maybe you need to change up your squat stance. Again, the list goes on.

Are we done yet?

Hell no! Maybe your tissues are just not strong enough yet (or you loaded the tissues too much too quickly). Maybe the pain only happens at certain parts of the squat and all you need to do is strengthen your tissues in that exact part of the squat.

Is that all? No. Did we forget to talk about something very important? Probably. And that is our point.

Social media and blogs are a great place to become informed, but DO NOT get free medical advice from random social media and blog posts.

One post may help some people, and that same post may harm someone else. Take your health seriously, it is kind of important. If you have pain, get assessed.

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