View Full Version : Best way to strecth my hamstings
First post in the forum and looking for help. I have had three back operations, I live alone and I'm 59 years old. There are times that I can hardly put on my shoes, and I know I need to strecth the hamstrings. I can't even sit on the floor and put my legs straight out. Sleeping is always a problem, as I can't straighten my leg's out and sleep in the fetal position.
What are someways that a person living alone can do this. I cannot afford physical therapy and worst, I can't afford to take any more days off from work, because of my pain.
Appreciate any suggestions..
I have no direct experience with this, so anything I say will be pure speculation. I would suggest an exercise program that emphasises multiple joint movements. Matt Furey's "royal court" is something you can do at home by yourself with no equipment.
These ar not "his" exercises, but he is kind of bringing them back into vogue. One is the "hindu" squat, the "hindu" pushup and the neck bridge. You may discover that your lower back and butt are weak and tight. By getting them moving and getting blood pumping through them you may find relief.
I am not a doctor, and I am not familiar with your condition, so you should really see a physician first. The only trouble is that most doctors do not seem to believe in the healing power of exercise. There was a thread not too long ago on matt furey's conditioning.
This may be the link to the matt furey thread. If not, it is in the Martial Arts section of GT.
Well, I could not do it. But scroll through the Martial Arts forum, and look for the discussion labled "matt furey".
First of all, the disclaimer: You've had surgery--call your doctor and ask if there's any problem with you doing stretching. I have no idea what condition your back's in, and I'd hate to see you make it worse. :(
A couple things to keep in mind:
First of all, remember that healthy stretching is stretching to feel good--not stretching to be flexible. The flexibility will come in time but if you hurt yourself trying to get there too quickly, what's the point? :)
Second, try to warm up your muscles before you stretch. This can be anything from walking around the block to riding a bike a mile or so to simply taking a hot shower. Warming the muscles drastically decreases the chances of an injury while increasing the benefits to flexibility.
Third, when doing any stretching, do NOT "bounce". This doesn't help flexibility in the slightest and will increase your chance of injury. You're looking for a nice, comfy, slow stretch. You should feel the muscles stretching, but not to the point of actual pain. Go into the stretch slowly and release the stretch slowly.
I'm in the same boat you are--we're both just naturally inflexible. I stretch all the time and I'm still *very* inflexible. That's ok. Try this:
Grab a belt and put on some loose, comfy pants. Now sit down on the floor with your back against the wall for support. Extend both legs. Now curl one leg up so the outside of your calf, knee, and thigh are agains the ground and the sole of your foot is resting against the inside of your other thigh. Get comfy in that position. Now sit up straight--don't curl your back or lean forward with your head and shoulders. Loop the belt around the extended foot, and lean forward from the waist. Remember--don't lean your head, neck, and shoulders, let all the leaning be done from the waist (back should be straight). You may not even need the belt at first, as just sitting up against the wall may give you a good stretch.
Here's a link (http://www.marathontraining.com/marathon/m_stretch.html) to a picture of what you're looking for (second pic). You won't be *nearly* as flexible as the woman in the picture, but it'll give you an idea of the position. Notice the position of the head in the picture--it's wrong. :P
--edit-- Also, stretch just before you go to sleep and just after you wake up. You'll be sore for a week or so but when the soreness goes away, it'll help your sleep. :)
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