Tight hamstrings, lower back pain

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Respeezy, May 12, 2014.

  1. Respeezy

    Respeezy Purple Belt

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    Hi just posting to see if someone might recognize my problem and has a solution or good advise.

    My hamstrings are pretty tight, i have a bit of lordosis and had/ have a small hernia in my lower back. Since i started lifting everything has been pretty stable and as long as i dont play too much closed guard my lower back is usually fine.

    Now i started a new stretching regimen and think i would benefit a lot from also stretching my hamstrings, but everytime i do, my lower back gets inflamed.( not immediatly, but i will have some pain in the days following up the stretches).
     
  2. jrams

    jrams Black Belt

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    Google "Anterior Pelvic Tilt" and read around. Could be your hamstrings are already stretched out and it doesn't make much sense stretching them as compared to your hamstrings, hip flexors, and lower back.

    Neanaderthal No More on T-Nation is/was a popular series in fixing postural problems including APT. Others could probably point you in a better direction than I can.


    I have APT and haven't had much success in "fixing" it, but through stretching of my hips, lower back, and thoracic spine the amount of stiffness in my back has reduced tremendously.
     
  3. Respeezy

    Respeezy Purple Belt

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    Thanks!,
    This was exactly what i was hoping for , some options to further explore.
    I'll go do my research on Apt some more ( i've already read some about it here and there) and i'll check out the Neanderthal no more on t nation.

    More reply's/ suggestions are still welcome.
     
  4. SteveX

    SteveX Nobody F*cks Wit Da Jesus

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    How are you stretching your hamstrings?

    If you're doing the stretch where you sit with your legs out in front of you and bend forward you need to be careful. People tend to cheat by rounding their low back which could be why you're back pain flares up after stretching. Make sure you're keeping your chest up (you can also use a towel, belt, or band and use it to keep yourself honest
    [​IMG]

    You can also use a towel, belt, or band to do a lying hamstring stretch
    [​IMG]

    Also I agree that hip flexor stretching should be apart of your routine if you have an increased lumbar lordosis due to an anterior pelvic tilt.
     
  5. magick

    magick Green Belt

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    The lying hamstring stretch that SteveX gave pics of is by far the best hamstring stretch I've ever tried. You're doing nothing but stretching your hamstrings, while most other hamstring stretches force you to do things with your back, which could be bad.

    Hurts real fucking bad, unfortunately.
     
  6. Squat More

    Squat More Blue Belt

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    I had APT for a long time, T spine mobility helped, stretching my glutes and psoas / hip flexors also working on my groin helped, but the best thing I did was start stretching my Quads extensively. Many peoples problems with APT are the psoas and glutes and those are what is most commonly recommended to mobilize and stretch out but a lot of people forget the quads. Tight quads along with tight psoas are what you should look at first - thing is most don't consider the quads, and some glute stretching.

    APT causes the hamstrings to be in a state of stretch constantly.


    Just youtube some good videos for stretches, do them for at least 3 minutes a go, preferably after training. Holding stretches for under two minutes I have found is pretty damn useless.
     
  7. yocan

    yocan Orange Belt

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    I"m going through this currently. Whats in this thread is good. I got hurt side affect was lordosis.

    I illegally downloaded supple leopard, terrible book. But like 58 pages in he explains how to stand in nuetral position. Did it, stuck with it for 5 days and clunk lordosis was basically gone. (Feet parallel, clench ass cheeks, pull bottom of sternum down then add in your abs" The neanderthal paper is IMO better than the entire book supple leopard. That said the explanation of how to do that one thing was a godsend.

    I'm doing a crazy routine to open up my hips. You ready? I do a marsoc short card which is basically cardio which stretches you. 1. 30 Push-ups
    2. 30 Air squats
    3. 30 Crunches
    4. 10 Burpees
    5. 10 Windmills
    6. 30 Push-ups
    7. 30 Mountain climbers
    8. 30 Flutter kicks
    9. 10 Burpees
    10. 10 Cherry pickers (4-count)
    11. 30 Push-ups
    12. 30 Star jumpers (or jumping jacks)
    13. 30 Back Extensions ("supermans")
    14. 10 Burpees
    15. 10 Chain breakers
    16. 30 Push-ups
    17. 30 Lunges
    18. 30 Hello dollies
    19. 10 Burpees
    20. 10 Trunk twists
    21. 3 Max sets of dead-hang pull-ups or flexed-arm hangs after each round of burpees I run 1/4 mile just to get my body used to running while processing acid. and it forces a stretch.

    Then I do the p90x yoga video, its dumb, its time consuming its inefficient. But your fucked, I'm fucked, so doing it rights impossible so laborously slow is a pretty good response.

    Other thing I've been doing is a day where I focus on stability and moving. So warm up a bit. Do some crossover running 30 yards each way 4 times
    60 yards of but kickers, then 60 yards of straight leg.
    Then I get warmed up enough and actually run. Yes run for 1/4 mile as in if it was 1/3 of a mile you'd break pace.
    Then I do some stabilizer stuff (I'll spare you the upper body excercises)
    Where I take my right hand touch my left toe with my left leg striaght and right leg in the air, switch legs, two rounds of 8 each leg.
    Push up position right knee to left elbow. switch.
    Tonight i fnished it off with 50 kettle bell swings. Usually a round of 1 leg squats happens too.

    I'm basically saying here you need to start moving in manners that encourage and attempt to force you to a fuller range of motion. Just getting to the range of motion with a stretch is kinda worthless. You need to work in that range of motion. and god I hate the p90x dudes voice but it does systematically stretch you out.
     
  8. fbmmofo

    fbmmofo Blue Belt

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    I've had a few lower back strains and I think mine is down to tight hamstrings. I'll third the lying stretch with a band.

    It's something I need to keep on top of. Normally what happens is I stretch and the pain goes so I stop stretching and it comes back.
     
  9. Mike Hagger

    Mike Hagger Purple Belt

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    Might have been mentioned but if not I'll say this: Buy a foam roller.

    Worth the money, start your workouts with rolling your hamstrings, IT band, knees, quads, hips, upper to mid back. I wouldn't go any lower than that.

    When I am training hard I'll roll 2x a day sometimes. I believe it's helped my flexibility and reduced my recovery times.

    The cheap black one is what I first bought, now I've got a few different ones. But that's a good place to start.
     
  10. MMouse

    MMouse Now you enter...the shredder Banned

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    This.

    If you're training often stretching and foam rolling should also become part of your routine.
     
  11. Respeezy

    Respeezy Purple Belt

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    Thanks a lot guys, really appreciate all the reply's.

    I hurt my lower back pretty bad deadlifting with retarded form a day after this topic, so i can't really try the suggestions given yet.

    @ SteveX: I used to stretch my hamstrings very little (frequency wise) but when i did i did it standing. pavel tsatsouline style and or the downward dog yoga style. I always payed carefull attention to my form though, but i will definitely try the laying down stretch with the use of a towel and look more into hip flexor stretching.

    @ Squat more : I have been doing 2 of Joe deFranco's stretching routines daily which adress the quads and the psoas for about a month now so i hope this will bring improvement.

    @Yocan: I'm currently reading Supple Leopard (find Starrett's (writing style) very annoying so i ve been reading and stopping for about 6 months). But working on the neutral stance, already doing that for years and it doesnt seem to stick sadly. But will give it some new extra effort again.

    I feel you on this very much and will try to incorporate it in my training.

    @ soILL618 : I have a foam roller and use it together with my holy lacrosse ball everyday! I do my stretching and foam rolling routine before every weighttraining, sometimes after weight training and on resting days.

    Rolling my hamstrings is a problem though, since i seem to have to stretch my lower back too much to get some pressure on the hamstrings.


    Again thanks guys for the input.
     
  12. ironwolf

    ironwolf Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Another suggestion for foam roller/lacrosse ball. Works wonders, especially the ball.
     
  13. LZD

    LZD Purple Belt

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    I have spent a heck of a lot of time and found the following to work wonders:

    1. Foam roll all the time. Lacrosse ball for glutes and lats.
    2. Stetch hip flexors all the time - back foot elevated. I do them between sets of rows, curls, whatever.
    3. Lots of glute activation. Pair this with hip flexor stretching. Single Leg glute bridge and X band walks (forwards/backwards/side-to-side).
     
  14. Respeezy

    Respeezy Purple Belt

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    I'll try some extra hip flexor stretching, single leg bridges and these x band walks and see what they do for me.
     
  15. Mischievousjoe

    Mischievousjoe White Belt

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    A quick trick I've found helpful to hit my hamstrings with a lacrosse ball, is to clear off some space on my coffee table (or some other slightly elevated flat surface you can sit on) and put the ball about 6 inches in from the edge and just sit your hamstring on it and start working. This makes it way easier to get weight on the ball without having to support 100% of your weight. You can also control the pressure pretty well this way.
     
  16. Synapse

    Synapse Blue Belt

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    A few have touched upon it, but the usual culprit is basically desk jockey syndrome.

    I struggled with this for the longest time; hamstrings that felt so "tight" that I couldn't even come remotely close to touching the ground from standing. I also had constant back pain and APT.

    The real problem was that I was so quad/hip flexor dominant from being in a desk all the time, and from having my squat be above my pull, that my hamstrings were insanely tight because they had to be just to maintain joint integrity.

    Then I got on board with lax ball rolling and aggressively stretching my hip flexors/quads. That offered relief, but it didn't fix the problem.

    The thing is, actual shortened tissue length is rare - that relief you feel from stretching is just neurological inhibition, or dampening of the hypertonic musculature. You're basically telling the muscle to calm the fuck down for a while. That really doesn't fix the problem, which for me was a massive imbalance in hip flexor/extensor strength.

    What fixed it for me was getting my hamstrings, ass, and low back strong. I did this through lots of deadlifts, GHR's, glute work ala Brett Contreras, etc. Usually core needs to be fixed as well but that wasn't true in my case. As an FYI, the NSCA recommends a 2:3 quad:ham strength ratio, and I can tell you that for me and probably for you, it's lopsided in the other direction.

    I know it sounds crazy, but I would suggest that you avoid back squatting until you fix this problem. I did not, and that's what ended up taking me out of the game for a few months.

    Best of luck, I know it's a tough problem to deal with.

    Edit: wanted to mention that there's a ton of good stretches, but this one was an absolute godsend for giving me relief. It was brutally uncomfortable at first but it works.

    [​IMG]

    Except focus on eventually contracting your glutes as hard as you possibly can, pushing your hips forward, and trying to shove the back heel up your ass.
     
  17. had0uken

    had0uken White Belt

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    Wow! What a great thread, and a huge amount of information.

    I haven't really had the time to get on here, and share my 4 day experience working with exercises related to Lordosis/APT. Most of my time gets occupied with rehabing my back, and browsing the internet for new remedies.

    A month, and a half ago I landed on my back pretty hard from a throw. I sprained my lumbar after the accident. It was morning after morning, I woke up with very severe back pain almost everywhere. I couldn't walk for about 2-3 days. The pain actually got worse everytime I smoked pot, I wondered why?(Yeah, im a stoner.)

    Finally I found this not too long ago, and came across the decision that I'll actually give it a shot. 4 Days later, I'm feeling a lot better than before. Standing all day at work, and welding has never been so great.

    Question, does foam rolling the back benefit the discs at all or just re-align your spine ? I heard that you are not suppose to foam roll your lower back.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  18. LZD

    LZD Purple Belt

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    Great post. Guys like Mike Robertson and Eric Cressey have championed this stuff for a while.

    I think they recommend using the Front Squat rather than Back Squat for a period whilst sorting this shit out. I'm not sure why. Any thoughts?

    TS, here is a strength program by Mike Robertson for athletes. It shows a strength routine with a huge PC focus - maybe useful for getting that 2:3 ratio Synapse spoke of.

    http://www.t-nation.com/free_online...training_performance_repair/designer_athletes
     
  19. Synapse

    Synapse Blue Belt

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    It's funny...I'm a huge fan of Cressey and Robertson, but I hadn't read them recommending using the front squat over the back squat when I was dealing with all that shit. I just ended up doing that anyway, because the front squat felt fine and let me keep squatting.

    All I can really say is that at the bottom of a deep back squat, I could seriously feel my hip flexors pulling on my lumbar spine, hard. At the bottom of a deep front squat, it wasn't anywhere near as bad. I'd say that just by the nature of good bar placement in a front squat, the hip flexors have to be less active or you'd dump the bar.
     
  20. Mooney

    Mooney Blue Belt

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    Stretch your quads/hip flexors like in the video below (just found from a google search) so you hit all parts of the muscle group:

    http://vimeo.com/68342718

    Your hamstrings are tight but don't sound like they need lengthening. More likely the muscles at the front are short and the muscles in the back are lengthening as they try to resist - and like an elastic band become more taut as they get longer.
     

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