Hip and hamstring stretches

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We’re all familiar with the necessity of stretching and warming up before working out, but many people tend to think that applies only to the muscles targeted in the workout – those that will be most severely taxed.

Unfortunately, the targeted muscles aren’t necessarily those that take the most beating. In many routines, it’s the hamstrings and hips that suffer the most abuse. They’re built for it, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need a good stretch and warm-up before the punishment starts.

Stretching the hamstrings, groin, deep hip and quads before a workout can prevent the majority of injuries in those areas. The sometimes explosive exertion and constant pounding of cardio and workouts puts a lot of stress on the muscles and bones of the hips and legs, as well as on the tendons and ligaments. Starting those activities cold is just asking for trouble.

And if you’ve ever experienced one of those injuries, you know they’re very painful.

There’s another problem you can encounter, even if you avoid injury. When you’re doing squats or lunges, or working the legs on the weights, you need a good range of movement in the hamstrings, groin, quads, psoas, glutes and IT band. If any one of those is tight, it will limit the movement of all of them. That translates to a poor workout.

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