Anatomy Tuesday… The Hamstrings!

hamstrings

hamstrings

DO you have issues straightening your legs all the way and getting the bend out of your knee, this is your hamstrings talking to you. The Hamstrings consist of three muscles the Biceps Femoris, Semitendinosus and Semimembranosus, they attach to the ischial tuberosity and insert either on the Femur, Tibia or Fibula. The Hamstrings actions is a knee flexion and hip extension however they also assist posterior tilting the pelvis.  Sitting posture is a big culprit to short /tight hamstrings, we often slouch when we sit which causes a posterior tilt to the pelvis in turn contracting the Hamstrings, in addition often we sometimes sit with our feet under our chair with our hamstrings in flexion. Maintaining good sitting posture will help elevate hamstring issues. Tight hamstrings not only cause hamstring stiffness and weakness, but they also can cause low back pain and  when the hamstrings are tight you can easily injure them playing sports or even with a daily task such as bending over,  most commonly injured is the Biceps Femoris  followed by semitendinosus. Semimembranosus injury is rare, injury is commonly a strain or in worse cases a tear. To avoid injuries it is important to strengthen and Stretch these muscles and Pilates offers some great moves to keep them in check!

Some Pilates exercises for strengthens the Hamstrings: Bridging, Skater, Scooter and on the mat Roll Up and for Stretching extension work is needed- Lunges, Elephant on the mat Spine stretch forward

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