If your warm up is longer than your workout you have a problem. You stretch, stretch and stretch and most often than not, the stretching doesn’t seem to solve your nagging pain, and sometimes it can even make the problem worst. Understanding the CAUSE of your muscular pain is important so you can treat it effectively.
A muscle imbalance can result either from repeated movements in one direction, sustained posture, or as a result of a neuromuscular imbalance, which predisposes certain muscles to be either tight or weak.
Our sedentary habits and sitting posture every day highly predispose us to developing muscular imbalances.
Muscles prone to tightness are also known as tonic muscles, the most common you will find tightness in are the hamstrings, upper traps, rectus femoris, TFL, iliopsoas, pecs, QL, piriformis and erector-spinae.
Muscles prone to weaknesses are phasic muscles. Some of the common ones are rectus abdominis, serratus anterior, lower and middle traps, neck flexors, rhomboids, glute med and max and vastus medialis
Lets take the hip for example. You commonly complain about tight, stiff painful hamstrings. You keep stretching in an attempt to release some tension but nothing seems to help. What you don’t know is that lengthened and overstretched muscles can also send “pain” signals. An anterior pelvic tilt is common in those who sit a lot. This pelvic tilt is caused by tight hip flexors, tight quads and tight lower back. This pulls the hamstrings and glutes into a LENGTHENED AND WEAK position, which gives you the feeling of it being taught. Stretching the hip flexors and strengthen your abdominals, glutes and hamstrings in this case will release tension and restore balance.
Who thought stretching your hip flexors could help ease your ‘tight’ hamstrings?