my hip flexors are now loose, why aren't my hamstrings?

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caangelxox
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my hip flexors are now loose, why aren't my hamstrings?

Post by caangelxox » Fri May 06, 2011 5:53 pm

anyone know? 1 week ago in the weightroom I did a lot of hip flexor stretching including kneeling split stance cable rows and press (one arm), and glute work. Now I can do the thomas test and pass it with no problem. I thought the hip flexors prevents people from being able to touch their toes when tight? Now that my hip flexors are loose now, my hamstring flexibility is the same. When I stretch my hamstrings, it feels like my low back or sacrum hip area is stopping me from going down to touch my toes.

Anyone know what my next step is? I am glad my hip flexors are loose now and I can also sprint faster with more strides too. I stretch them everyday now and especially after getting off the computer and getting out of bed in the morning, but my hamstrings and area above my sacrum (lumbar area) is preventing me from touching my toes. Its like one area gets loose and then another area I fine a problem at. I know my left low back QL muscle has a knot that I try to loosen up, but its hard to loosen it up and when I do, it doesnt do anything for my hamstrings. All it does is make me feel taller on that side and especially after rolling my vastus lateralis muscle/TFL/IT Band & stretching it.


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Re: my hip flexors are now loose, why aren't my hamstrings?

Post by robertscott » Fri May 06, 2011 6:52 pm

I don't know the answer to this, but I hope someone does because I'm in the same boat as you. I stretch my hip flexors like hell thinking that it'll cause my pelvis to tilt back and loosen my hamstrings but it doesn't seem to make any difference. I always thought stretching your hamstrings was bad if you're in anterior pelvic tilt but I can't think what else to try.

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Re: my hip flexors are now loose, why aren't my hamstrings?

Post by caangelxox » Fri May 06, 2011 8:15 pm

I am not in anterior pelvic tilt anymore because my hip flexors are flexible now. I am trying to now figure out why I still cant touch my toes.

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Re: my hip flexors are now loose, why aren't my hamstrings?

Post by Jungledoc » Fri May 06, 2011 10:05 pm

Why do you want to touch your toes?

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Re: my hip flexors are now loose, why aren't my hamstrings?

Post by caangelxox » Fri May 06, 2011 11:49 pm

because my mom can and majority of athletes can. when I see people stretch on my softball team, dance class, fitness class, etc....they all can touch their toes and I cant.

can you please tell me what my next step is in being able to touch my toes? I got the hip flexors taken care of, now I should be able to touch my toes with no problem but its not happening..even after I get a low back massage, still doesnt work. the lowest I can get is about an inch below my knees.


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Re: my hip flexors are now loose, why aren't my hamstrings?

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Sat May 07, 2011 12:12 am

bend your knees?

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Re: my hip flexors are now loose, why aren't my hamstrings?

Post by Jungledoc » Sat May 07, 2011 12:17 am

caangelxox wrote:because my mom can and majority of athletes can. when I see people stretch on my softball team, dance class, fitness class, etc....they all can touch their toes and I cant.
That doesn't really seem like a good reason to me. Let me rephrase the question. What functional movement would be improved for you if you were able to touch your toes?

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Re: my hip flexors are now loose, why aren't my hamstrings?

Post by DavidMcF » Sat May 07, 2011 7:34 am

Do you do any stretches for your hamstrings?

all the stretches you could ever want! http://www.trickstutorials.com/content/flx3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: my hip flexors are now loose, why aren't my hamstrings?

Post by Ironman » Sat May 07, 2011 12:56 pm

DavidMcF wrote:Do you do any stretches for your hamstrings?

all the stretches you could ever want! http://www.trickstutorials.com/content/flx3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Are you kidding? A better question for her would be "Are there any hamstring stretches you don't do".

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Re: my hip flexors are now loose, why aren't my hamstrings?

Post by Jungledoc » Sun May 08, 2011 1:44 am

Ironman wrote:
DavidMcF wrote:Do you do any stretches for your hamstrings?

all the stretches you could ever want! http://www.trickstutorials.com/content/flx3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Are you kidding? A better question for her would be "Are there any hamstring stretches you don't do".
:smile:

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Re: my hip flexors are now loose, why aren't my hamstrings?

Post by DavidMcF » Sun May 08, 2011 7:39 am

Sorry, I don't know much about the user :(

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Re: my hip flexors are now loose, why aren't my hamstrings?

Post by stuward » Sun May 08, 2011 11:22 am

DavidMcF wrote:Sorry, I don't know much about the user :(
The OP does every assistance exercise ever invented but doesn't deadlift or squat enough, even though that's what we keep telling her.

Monica, how's the softball season going?

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Re: my hip flexors are now loose, why aren't my hamstrings?

Post by KPj » Mon May 09, 2011 5:56 am

Couple of things, really...

If you go down the Gray Cook way of thinking, which I tend to do, then forward bending is an essential movement pattern. Remember the premise of his thought process is to not build strength or fitness on top of dysfunction so, his FMS is a test of general, every day "function". Basically, function is "movement" and there's a whole bunch of movements you should be able to do before loading up your body with heavy weights. For example, you should be able to squat deep (with toes forward) before you start squatting heavy, regardless of how deep you actually squat when training or how you point the toes. In the same way that many use the deep squat pattern as a test to decide whether someone can squat "heavy", many use the toe touch as a test to see if someone should be dead lifting. You could say the the deep squat assesses the squat pattern and the toe touch assesses the "hinging" pattern (hip hinge, really, although it doesn't just look at the hips). Remember a squat isn't a DL and a DL isn't a squat. In "real life" you have the deep squat "movement" and you have the forward bend. In training you have the Squat and you have the Deadlift. So, you shouldn't build a strong squat on top of a poor Deep Squat Pattern and you probably shouldn't build a strong DL on top of a faulty Toe Touch Pattern.

So, in short, if you follow the Gray Cook principles of building fitness on top of a sound functional movement patterns, then this is why should be able to touch your toes.

It's not that you should go around constantly touching your toes, you should just "have the ability" to do so. This is because of what the Toe Touch represents in terms of mobility, stability, and movement (the movement "pattern").

To do it your hips, lower spine and upper spine, and the "core" that wraps around and connects them should all be working together properly. In other words your brain should "pattern" the muscles properly to allow the movement to happen optimally. We should see hip flexion -> thoracic flexion -> lumbar flexion. We should also see a posterior weight shift, whic to me is the biggest "issue" with the Toe Touch. What often happens is the posterior weight shift doesn't happen, so if you keep going, you'll fall. To prevent you from falling, you contract the hamstrings. They're not "tight" they're just working!

Keep your weight on your heels and legs straight, then try and move your knees forward, slowly. Eventually, regardless of how hard you try to stop it, you'll feel your toes pinch the ground and calves tighten up. It's the same thing, really. If your brain doesn't do this, then you'll fall. In Toe Touch, if you don't posterior weight shift, your weight stays forward. The hamstrings need to "save" you.

The main issue we have is, the Toe Touch just get's butchered.... "I can't touch my toes and my hamstrings feel tight therefore I can't touch my toes because my hamstrings are short" is generally what people think or imply. The Toe Touch is NOT a hamstring length test.

Here's a good blog post by Tony Gentilcore talking about it,

http://www.tonygentilcore.com/blog/do-y ... hamstrings" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The Toe touch can seem contradictory because, to do it properly, we need to flex the lumbar spine. However, this is really an over reaction to the war against flexion. Again you should have the ability to flex, you just probably shouldn't train to flex the lumbar spine. Charlie Weingroff calls this the "Core Pendulum Theory", and explains it here.

http://charlieweingroff.com/2010/10/a-q ... um-theory/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

So, to shorten this whole thing for the OP - I disagree that you can't touch your toes because of tight hamstrings.

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Re: my hip flexors are now loose, why aren't my hamstrings?

Post by KPj » Mon May 09, 2011 7:15 am

robertscott wrote:I don't know the answer to this, but I hope someone does because I'm in the same boat as you. I stretch my hip flexors like hell thinking that it'll cause my pelvis to tilt back and loosen my hamstrings but it doesn't seem to make any difference. I always thought stretching your hamstrings was bad if you're in anterior pelvic tilt but I can't think what else to try.
Think of it the other way around - If you're in APT, then why would stretching the hamstring be a "good" idea? When they're on "stretch" all the time.....

The length of a muscle is only part of the equation. It could be down to the muscle "tone" or stiffness. Remember stiffness and shortness are entirely different issues. You may have stiffness which can "look" like shortness but, actually you have the ROM that you need. What you won't have is the relative stiffness required from the antagonist muscles. In other words, maybe your glutes or abs just aren't strong enough yet?

Think again of the elastic bands pulling on each other. A thick one and a thin one. The thick one stretches the thin one at "rest" because, well, it's thicker/stronger. The thicker band can "appear" shorter because of the length of it compared to the thinner one but actually it'll have plenty of ROM, it just resists a bit more because of the added tension. If you want to pull the "joint" of the bands in the other direction, you need to make the thinner one thicker (stronger) so that the the thick one will get stretched a little more at rest.

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Re: my hip flexors are now loose, why aren't my hamstrings?

Post by KPj » Mon May 09, 2011 7:25 am

caangelxox wrote:because my mom can and majority of athletes can. when I see people stretch on my softball team, dance class, fitness class, etc....they all can touch their toes and I cant.

can you please tell me what my next step is in being able to touch my toes? I got the hip flexors taken care of, now I should be able to touch my toes with no problem but its not happening..even after I get a low back massage, still doesnt work. the lowest I can get is about an inch below my knees.
Look at the video on the Tony Gentilcore blog I posted, and try that. I doubt very much that any individual muscles or even segments are preventing you from doing it. You're probably not shifting your weight posteriorly like you should. I would go straight to elevated toes to lock your weight backwards but, try what it says in the video. Getting to just below your knees is a sure fire sign that your weight is stuck forward.

For anyone to see/feel the lack of posterior weight shift in this test, then stand back against the wall, with heels and glutes touching, and try and touch your toes. I can actually get to around where you say you can get to, before falling over (when I stand against the wall).

I'm sure from previous posts that you have Athletic Body in Balance (I get the feeling, though, that you may have skipped straight to the assessments and not actually read the book??). If so, then follow the toe touch progression, and look at leg lowering progressions, and dowel deadlifts. And read the book :wink: - it's hard to imagine that you've read the book due to how focused you still are on individual muscles and stretches because, if anything, this is exactly the kind of thought process that Cook is trying to get you out of with the book.

KPj


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