Stop a Torn Hamstring

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I’ve discovered therapeutic on my yoga mat in some ways: the reversal of crucial beliefs in my head, breaks in my coronary heart, and aches in my physique, together with restoration from a torn hamstring. Though I’m a giant believer in utilizing my yoga apply as medication at any time when attainable, as with every medication, if we’re not cautious, we are able to truly overdo it and trigger extra harm than good.

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That is very true in terms of stretching the hamstrings. Many individuals apply yoga to extend their flexibility, particularly this muscle group, but they simply overdo issues, even in widespread yoga poses. This will finally result in not solely soreness however a torn hamstring.

The anatomy of the hamstrings

(Photograph: (Photograph: shutterstock.com/Hank Grebe))

The hamstrings include three distinct muscle mass—the biceps femoris longus, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus—situated on the again aspect of your thigh. These muscle mass share a standard attachment at your ischial tuberosity (sit bone) after which cross your knee on both aspect and insert in your decrease leg.

The first operate of hamstring contraction, or shortening of the muscle, is to flex (bend) the knee, as in Utkatasana (Chair Pose), and to increase the hip on the pelvis, as while you lengthen your leg straight behind you in Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior 3 Pose). Anjanayasana (Low Lunge) truly takes the entrance leg hamstrings into flexion whereas the again leg hamstrings are in extension.

Conversely, to stretch the hamstrings, you have to lengthen the muscle mass. This occurs in postures the place one or each legs are straight. Yoga lessons have a tendency to incorporate an abundance of those. In vinyasa lessons, we spend a whole lot of time in Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Going through Canine). Within the Ashtanga methodology, your entire first sequence, also referred to as main sequence, is dedicated to lengthening the hamstrings, with numerous seated straight-legged poses practiced one after the opposite.

How not to stretch your hamstrings

Individuals sometimes blame their hamstrings for the tightness they really feel whereas sitting or attempting to bend ahead. However restriction when bending ahead may be attributable to quite a few components, together with muscle and bone size and even gluteus maximus tightness. Relying solely on hamstring-lengthening approaches to asana might probably be dangerous for some tighter our bodies. We might be attempting to pressure the hamstrings past their limits, which can lead to overstretching and, finally, might even result in a torn hamstring.

College students with lax or hypermobile ligaments can also be prone to a torn hamstring. They have an inclination to maneuver past their muscle mass’ “regular vary,” which may result in an overstretching and tears, often on the place the place the muscle attaches to the bone.

Shifting away from a spot of eager to “go deeper” and towards a spot of making steadiness between stretching and strengthening can reduce the potential of a hamstring tear.

stop a torn hamstring

One easy method to stop a torn hamstring is to not overstretch it. One other often-overlooked approach is to concentrate on balancing the stretching with strengthening of the hamstring muscle mass. You are able to do this in poses that historically lengthen the hamstring by participating your muscle mass in ways in which may be unfamiliar to you.

Downward-Facing Dog Pose
(Photograph: Andrew Clark)

In straight-leg poses

Motion: Maintain your knee barely bent and picture that you just’re attempting to press your calf muscle ahead into your shin bone, whilst you press your thigh bone again into the hamstring group.

Poses you may apply this in:
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Going through Canine Pose)
Uttanasana (Standing Ahead Bend)
Ardha Uttanasana (Half Standing Ahead Bend)
Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) *each legs
Parsvottanasana (Pyramid Pose) *each legs,
Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2 Pose) *again leg
Parsvakonasana (Facet Angle Pose) *again leg
Dandasana (Employees Pose)
Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose) *straight leg

Woman demonstrates Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend
(Photograph: Andrew Clark; Clothes: Calia)

In ahead bends (higher leg)

Motion: The tendinous space round your sit bones wants safety in symmetrical ahead bends. You need to draw your sit bones beneath you, as if pulling your bum towards your knees,.  That is known as a posterior tilt.

Poses you may apply this in:
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Going through Canine Pose)
Uttanasana (Standing Ahead Bend)
Ardha Uttanasana (Half Standing Ahead Bend)
Prasarita Padottanasana (Extensive-Legged Standing Ahead Bend)
Dandasana (Employees Pose)

Woman in Staff Pose
(Photograph: Andrew Clark; Clothes: Calia)

In ahead bends (decrease leg)

Motion: The tendon attachments behind the knee are prone to overstretching, as nicely.  To guard them, you may discover ways to have interaction the calf muscle mass and the decrease a part of the hamstring muscle mass by press the highest of your calf muscle towards your shin bone and your femur bone again towards your hamstrings on the identical time.

Poses you may apply this in:
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Going through Canine Pose)
Uttanasana (Standing Ahead Bend)
Ardha Uttanasana (Half Standing Ahead Bend)
Dandasana (Employees Pose)
Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose) *straight leg

Warrior 3 Pose
(Photograph: Andrew Clark)

When one or each legs is in extension behind you

Motion: As you press your femur towards your hamstrings, think about your calf transferring in the other way, towards your shin bone.

Poses you may apply this in:
Virabhadrasana III (Warrior 3 Pose) *again leg
Anjanayasana (Crescent Lunge) *again leg
Salabhasana (Locust Pose)

About our contributor

Sarah Ezrin is an writer, world-renowned yoga educator, in style Instagram influencer, and mama based mostly within the San Francisco Bay Space. Her willingness to be unabashedly sincere and susceptible alongside along with her innate knowledge make her writing, yoga lessons, and social media nice sources of therapeutic and interior peace for many individuals. Sarah is altering the world, educating self-love one particular person at a time. She can also be the writer of The Yoga of Parenting. You may comply with her on Instagram at @sarahezrinyoga and TikTok at @sarahezrin.



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