This Article is About
muscle stretching exercises
ballet dancers
ballet barre
hip joints
low back pain
hamstrings
body movements
deep breathing
dance class
couple of minutes
muscles
five minutes
Muscle Stretching Exercises For The Hamstrings Can Relieve Low Back Pain
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How are tight hamstring muscles connected to low back pain? For ballet dancers, ballet stretches help, and for the rest of us, muscle stretching exercises are easier to learn than you might think. The hamstrings are large powerful muscles, and maintaining their tone is important.

How NOT To Stretch Before Dance Class, Working Out, Or Just Walking

Please don't think you have to be able to touch your toes and proceed to lean over and bounce toward the floor. This will more likely add to any strain or sprain you may be feeling in your low back. At worst, this could throw your muscles into a bad spasm.

(Especially if you wake up stiff, walk around for awhile doing your usual things before you try to stretch any part of your back.)

How To Warm Up Before You Start

Taking five minutes to prepare for a class, work out or walk, and doing some easy stretches with deep breathing, is optimum. Stretching upward with the arms, both at once, then one at a time will ease out the tension you have accumulated. Your circulation increases, allowing further stretching and speeding up your cardio vascular activity.

Do some circles with your arms, and a few shoulder rolls. Let your knees relax and follow your upper body movements, bending and straightening. After a couple of minutes, you can do one of the following two ways of gently easing out the tension in your hamstrings.

Placing one leg on the lower ballet barre, or a low chair or stool (or a high curb if you are outside), straighten your knee. Flex the foot. Allow your other knee to relax. Bend just a little at the hip joints, and you will feel the pull down the back of your raised leg. Just hold this position for about ten seconds. And repeat with the other leg.

You could sit down on the floor with both legs in front of you. Bend one, and you are going to stretch the other. Keeping it straight and pressing into the floor, and with the foot flexed, again bend forward, if you can. If you can't, just hold that position.

This is not really a stretch, but it is just "getting out the kinks" from your hamstrings, basically releasing the tension you've collected from sitting, driving, and maybe not moving around much during your previous hours.

After Your Ballet Class Or Work Out

Now that you are warmed up, you can stretch to your capacity. The same stretches as described above can be repeated. Only now you can hold your stretch fifteen to twenty seconds. Don't push into a painful position, just to a tolerable discomfort. Change legs, and do each leg three times.

The reason you relax the leg you are not stretching, is so that the stretch doesn't travel up and tug on your low back muscles.

(If you do leg curls with weights, take a moment to stretch your hamstrings out after the curls. Elongate each leg, just to relieve the tension).

Good Muscle Tone In The Hamstrings Relieves Low Back Tension

Tight hamstrings will inevitably start pulling on the low back muscles. And those low back muscles will start pulling back, in reaction. So you may be feeling pain in the back, but not in the backs of your thighs. If you use heat to comfort muscle aches and pains, be sure to follow up with a cold pack. Heat tends to increase inflammation, whereas icing will decrease it.

If you experience pain that does not relieve with rest and icing, see a chiropractor who will do some therapy on your muscles, and will also review your exercise habits with you.

Keep learning about ballet stretches or general muscle stretching exercises and I think you will be happy with the results.


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