Golfer’s pickup for tight hamstrings

Stop stretching your hamstrings.

Why this matters:

Your hamstrings feel tight for two reasons: 1) they’re in a shortened position because you’re sitting for more than 6 hours a day; 2) they’re actually stretched and are feeling tight for protection. A simple test called the straight leg raise can help you determine this. If your leg raises 45 degrees from the floor or more then you’re dealing with an overstretched/protected hamstring. If your leg raises less than that, then you’re in fact dealing with a tightened hamstring.

A static hamstring stretch may help out with a true tight hamstring, but won’t usually work with an overstretched hamstring. The good news is that you can address both problems with a split stance Romanian deadlift, also known as the golfer’s pickup.

Action steps:If done correctly, this movement will help engage the hamstrings the way they were designed to work. A stable pelvis and spine, with the focus on hinging at the hips. You’ll feel the tension in the hamstrings as you reach down, and then use the tension to rise back up to standing. Notice the difference between left and right. I usually recommend 3 sets of 5 per side to improve hamstring function and reduce pain. This is also a safe way to pick objects off the floor when dealing with sciatica pain.


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