Improving Hamstring Strength

Written by Roger White on . Posted in Blog

Hamstring strength is important for all runners.  Sprinters are the most likely to pull/tear a hamstring during a maximal speed run.  Distance runners rarely run at their absolute maximum, but more likely their maximum for a given distance in some type of speed work.  It is possible to get overuse hamstring strains, but probably more important is the impact hamstring strength plays on your posture.

The hamstring group is a knee flexor (bends the knee back) and a hip extensor (extends the leg backwards).  This muscle group controls pelvic alignment.  Too much pull from the hamstrings can cause a tilt in the pelvis and can alter your posture which may lead to alignment issues and eventually injury.

I have found this to be a challenging exercise that requires only body weight and some space.  Don't be fooled, it is quite challenging!  The focus is the maintain a straight back and fully locked hips (pressed upwards) to maintain a straight line from ankle to neck.  Perform 10 repetitions on each leg and up to 3 sets on each leg.  Stop the set if form breaks and you are no longer able to maintain straight posture.030713164042 030713164107

IT Band Self Massage Solution

Written by Roger White on . Posted in Blog

IT Band Foam RollFor those who log many miles or are just really active, you are bound to have really tight IT Bands.  Eventually, if you let them get tight enough, you may have knee pain, hip flexor issues, and changed movement of the leg during running and other activities.  Tightness may come from the lateral (outside) quadriceps, or from the lateral hamstrings, or both.

I find great success in loosening up IT Bands within one session, and to the client, a new sense of mobility and looseness.  For those who can't get into to see me, using a foam roller or a PVC pipe from the hardware store is a way to provide some relief before and after workouts.

Perform the exercise as shown, rocking back and forth over the tight tissue.  For many, this might be very uncomfortable at first, but when the tissue loosens, you will feel nothing.  I have found it might take 5-10 days of foam rolling to show improvement in IT band tightness.

How to fix IT Band Syndrome

Written by Roger White on . Posted in Blog

IT Band syndrome  is a painful condition many runners may face during their training.  It can be so bad, runners are faced with mandatory complete rest.  Massage has been shown to speed up the recovery process and eliminate the pain altogether.

IT Band pain is common in athletes, often resulting in pain on the outside of the knee.   Often, the pain is so bad runners are forced to take time off and do nothing.  The IT band begins in the hip as the tensor fascia latae muscle (hip flexor)  and connects at three different muscles: the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and vastus lateralis. The muscle becomes a fibrous band of tissue as it progresses down the thigh, then crosses the knee joint, and inserts along the lateral (outside) portion of the patella (knee cap) and into the tibia (shin) bone on a bump known as Gerdy's Tubercle.

If you begin experiencing pain on the outside of the knee, see if the IT Band is tight and could be the reason for the pain.ITB

 

 

Runners Massage Studio - 2013