Standing Quad Stretch. Can't quite get my heel to butt.

Raul_SJ

Hall of Fame
#1
Accidentally posted to Tips. Please delete or move to Health/Fitness.



I am able to grab my ankle and I don't feel any pain but can't get my heel to butt. Was told by Doctor that I have tight hamstrings.

Guess tight hamstrings is why I cannot go all the way? Just keep doing this stretch and it will gradually improve?

Also read anterior pelvic tilt and weak abs can cause tight hamstrings?

 
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#2
Accidentally posted to Tips. Please delete or move to Health/Fitness.



I am able to grab my ankle and I don't feel any pain but can't get my heel to butt. Was told by Doctor that I have tight hamstrings.

Guess tight hamstrings is why I cannot go all the way? Just keep doing this stretch and it will gradually improve?

Also read anterior pelvic tilt and weak abs can cause tight hamstrings?

I have tight hamstrings also. But when I do this stretch, I don't feel it in the hamstrings: I feel it in my knee first and the quad second.

A better test for tight hamstrings is sitting with both legs straight in front of you on the ground, heels on the ground, knees not bent, and try to touch your toes. I didn't use to be able to do this but I've been working on my hammies and now I can after some single-leg stretching first.
 
#3
The reduction of range of motion that you describe applies to the rectus femorus and maybe some other muscles. The hamstring shortens when the foot is raised up from behind. Check that the hamstrings are involved. ? Was the Dr an orthopaedic specialist?

The rectus femorus muscle is the only quad muscle that goes across both the hip and knee joints, from origin to insertion. The angles of both joints affect muscle length and range of motion at either joint. Standing causes hip joint extension and lengthening of the rectus femorus Sitting tends to hold it shortened. I played tennis for decades and my rectus femorus had gotten short, tight, caused anterior pelvic tilt and pain and damage under the patella. This is a complicated subject and there have been posts on it.

TJM - Two Joint Muscles -
https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/...the-lower-body-what-they-are-and-how-to-train

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4894017/

Check also that the normal range of motion for flexing the knee while standing allows the foot to touch the butt.

I once took a Yoga class. 23 women students and me. They could all kneel heel to butt with ease for certain Yoga exercises. My butt got within about a foot of my heels. I stood aside for those kneeling exercises.

Later, I stretched the rectus femorus and improved range of motion and reduced anterior pelvis tilt.
 
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Raul_SJ

Hall of Fame
#4
I have tight hamstrings also. But when I do this stretch, I don't feel it in the hamstrings: I feel it in my knee first and the quad second.

A better test for tight hamstrings is sitting with both legs straight in front of you on the ground, heels on the ground, knees not bent, and try to touch your toes. I didn't use to be able to do this but I've been working on my hammies and now I can after some single-leg stretching first.
Yes, the same as you. I feel it in the knee first... Can't touch my toes with sitting test. Only up to ankle....Just curious, what exactly is the tennis benefit of loosening hamstrings? I am currently able to stretch out for wide shots fairly well. Not experiencing any back pain or muscle pulls.


The reduction of range of motion that you describe applies to the rectus femorus and maybe some other muscles. The hamstring shortens when the foot is raised up from behind. Check that the hamstrings are involved. ? Was the Dr an orthopaedic specialist?

The rectus femorus muscle is the only quad muscle that goes across both the hip and knee joints, from origin to insertion. The angles of both joints affect muscle length and range of motion at either joint. Standing causes hip joint extension and lengthening of the rectus femorus Sitting tends to hold it shortened. I played tennis for decades and my rectus femorus had gotten short, tight, caused anterior pelvic tilt and pain and damage under the patella. This is a complicated subject and there have been posts on it.

TJM - Two Joint Muscles -
https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/...the-lower-body-what-they-are-and-how-to-train

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4894017/

Check also that the normal range of motion for flexing the knee while standing allows the foot to touch the butt.

I once took a Yoga class. 23 women students and me. They could all kneel heel to butt with ease for certain Yoga exercises. My butt got within about a foot of my heels. I stood aside for those kneeling exercises.

Later, I stretched the rectus femorus and improved range of motion and reduced anterior pelvis tilt.
I was once able to do the basic heel sit pose when I was younger pretty easily. Even the advanced one with butt on floor. (I have since avoided that due to cartilage loss in the knee. But I can probably still do the basic one). Do people with tight hamstrings generally struggle with the heel sit?

I am not able to stand, flex knee, and get foot to touch the butt. Don't really come close. Have to grab ankle and try to bring heel close to butt.

The Doctor was Orthopedist. Diagnosed with mild to moderate knee OA. Was told to strengthen the quadraceps to reduce knee pain. Recall Doctor also mentioned tight hamstrings but I dont remember whether he said the tight hamstrings relate to knee pain. He said genetics plays a factor in tight hamstrings but it could also be worked on.

 
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#5
I don't believe that tight hamstrings limit bringing the heels to the butt. I believe it is the rectus femorus and maybe other muscles. Look at illustrations of the muscles and knee and hip joints.
 
#7
I've been doing yoga 2-3x per week for many, many years and I still cannot do the pose in RJ's #4. I CAN however bend straight forward and put my palms under my feet while my legs are straight, so my hamstings are plenty flexible. RJ, some people just can't put their heel to their butt; nonetheless, try to increase the ROM for your quads and your hamstrings, and you will likely not cause strains due to imbalance.
 
#8
Yes, the same as you. I feel it in the knee first... Can't touch my toes with sitting test. Only up to ankle....Just curious, what exactly is the tennis benefit of loosening hamstrings? I am currently able to stretch out for wide shots fairly well. Not experiencing any back pain or muscle pulls.
Loose hamstrings act like shock absorbers. Tight hamstrings won't absorb much but instead send the stress straight to your lower back.

A strong core also helps absorb shock.

Try the toe-touching exercise but don't treat it as a one-time event [ie "stretch...stretch...stretch...hah, I touched my toes! Now I'm done!"].

Instead, treat it as a process: stretch gradually and see how far you can get. Relax and return to neutral. Then try again. Rinse and repeat.

People treat reaching their toes as an "all or nothing" proposition and can end up hurting themselves by trying too hard. Go slowly.
 
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