Yes, we’re talking about you, hip flexors and hamstrings.
We hear this often... “I’ve been stretching my [insert muscle here], and it doesn’t ever seem to loosen.” Or “what’s the best stretch for my…” and “I do all of this stretching, but my back STILL hurts!”
Does any of this sound like you? As controversial as this may sound, stretching those tight muscles really isn’t doing all that much.
There, I said it.
There is a very small population of people who really DO need lots of flexibility, and therefore stretching - think competitive gymnasts or dancers. Is that you? No? Then maybe it's time to look for a better solution to your specific problem.
For the average person, loads of flexibility is NOT the answer. A tight muscle is oftentimes a WEAK muscle. Think about it... your body is an incredible thing and is very good at protecting itself. At signs of weakness or in areas of dysfunction, your body will tighten up to protect itself. This is why your muscles get tight!
So if not stretching... what should you do about it?
A tight muscle (which we just learned is also a weak muscle) needs stability! These muscles often do not get strengthened and spend a lot of time in the same position.
Think about your hip flexors, for example. When we spend a lot of time sitting these muscles are chronically shortened, and that's why we see a lot of tight hip flexors. But if these muscles are spent in this one position day in and day out they are also not being strengthened through their full range of motion. Your hip flexors aren't just tight - they are weak!
I would be willing to bet that you have tried stretching those ‘tight’ hip flexors without much success. That’s because what these muscles likely need is strength and stabilization!
Does this sound like you?
If all the stretching you’ve been doing is not helping your back, hip, or knee pain, ask us if you can apply for a complimentary Discovery Visit. During this 30 minute session you’ll meet one of our Physical Therapists and have a conversation about what would be most beneficial for you.
We can help you get to the root of all of this tightness, and show you what you can do to actually help it!
You can request a free 30 minute discovery visit here, or call us at 720-722-0685 to find out if you qualify.
Empower PT & Pilates
We help you find a LASTING SOLUTION to back, hip, and pelvic issues so you can age with ease -without having to rely on painkillers, injections, or surgery!
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