Introducing The Concept Of Relative Stiffness
So many of us speak of tight hamstrings after running. The description has become a bit of a throw-away line when talking about one of the common aches and pains we feel from the rigours of our training.
If you feel this too, you should stretch your hamstrings more… Right?
Well, probably not to be honest!
In my experience, so many runners fail to maintain a neutral pelvic position as they move. This is most likely due to a lack of core strength, and hip flexor (often Rec.Fem.) tightness. The pelvis tilting anteriorly increases the distance between hamstring origin and insertion, lengthening the hamstring muscles and increasing tension.
The video above does a brilliant job of explaining the concept of relative stiffness. This describes the interplay between core strength, pelvic control and hamstring tension.
It’s quite possible that your hamstrings aren’t tight because they’re chronically short. As an endurance athlete, you probably haven’t acutely injured your hamstrings by running – this is more frequently a sprint related injury.
It’s far more likely that the feeling of tightness is there because the hamstrings are being held in a lengthened position due to poor pelvic position and core weakness.
Before you spend ages performing static stretches for your Hamstrings. Perhaps instead work on building core strength and achieving and maintaining proper pelvic control as you move!