Better than a hamstring stretch

Stop stretching your hamstrings.

Why this matters:

One of the most common stretches you’ll see when treating sciatica and low back pain is the hamstring stretch. This will often be done in a forward fold, or just a seated toe touch. There are three limitations to this: 1) if your hamstrings are tight (and the source of pain), you’ll be bending forward at the back (which can irritate your discs); 2) static stretches improve range of motion because you’re muscles are relaxed; 3) There isn’t a plan to ensure that the hamstrings stay in a lengthened position.

The key to improving hamstring flexibility and reducing pain is by implementing motion through the stretch. We call it mobilizing or flossing. We also need to be sure to lock the pelvis in, so that the spine is stable, and the motion is occurring at the hips and truly targeting the hamstrings.

Action steps:This new hamstring mobilization will help improve range of motion, improve blood flow, and reduce pain, if tight hamstrings are the cause of your pain. If you find relief with a hamstring stretch, but the effects are short lived, then this new stretch may be for you.


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