How I Recovered from a Hamstring Injury, Quick – Also for Sciatica Pain Relief
First, I started with a little upper body warm up. Some shoulder mobility with a staff. You can use a broom handle or strap too. Remember: Keep your rib anchor. Lift your shoulders up and out from your body, but the back doesn’t sway. If you need to, move your hands out wider.
Keeping your hands anchored down, hold an invisible lemon under your chin and do some neck mobility stretches. Ear to chin; “smell the armpit;” side to side; and rotations.
Hip mobility circles. Keep your knees lifted and straight – but not locked out. You should feel a gripping in the ground from your feet. If you hip hinge forward, keep your back straight.
Lunges. Make sure your hips are facing forward at all times. Lower and lift back leg. Keep your head level the same. Use yoga blocks if you need to. Keep scissoring your legs in toward each other.
Hamstring stretch. I used a PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation – activating muscles before stretching them) technique here where I push my heel into the floor for 3-5 seconds, then I can sink more forward. Repeat 3-5 times. Hold 30 – 60 seconds each side.
Keeping your hips facing forward, take your hands to the side of the straight leg. You’re definitley going to feel this one in your sciatic nerve. I used a yoga block for stability here. Keep your back straight and don’t forget about your hip alignment. And breathe.
Pigeon pose. I used a block under the bent leg hip so I can stay straight. Whether or not you need to depends on your flexibility. Make sure your back leg is right behind you, not going to the side. Use a PNF technique – pull your legs towards each other for 3-5 counts, then sink further out. Hold 30 – 60 seconds each side. Options – stay up or lean forward. That part doesn’t matter; the leg position matters. Front leg is at a 90-degree angle. Back leg is straight back. Make sure it doesn’t start bending in or out.
Spinal twist. Think as if you had a level on each side of your ribs, shoulder, and hips. Don’t start tilting. One hand goes on the opposite knee, the other hand behind you. Don’t forget to breathe and relax as your internal organs get wrung out, lol.
Keep your knee at the same height. Raise and lower your flexed foot and then pointed foot 10x. Hold the last one for 10 breaths. This one alone is GOLD for sciatic pain.
Frogs – I had to use kneepads here. Knees go straight out from your hips, and your upper legs are at 90-degree angle from the bottom of your leg. Slide your knees out if you can. Go onto your hands or elbows; either one is fine. If this hurts your knees, don’t do it. Use a PNF here – squeeze your knees into each other for 3-5 breaths, then exhale and release. 30-60 seconds total.
Lay on your stomach, feet pushing in to each other. Keeping that push, lift your knees up 10x. Hold the last one 10 breaths.
Squat stretch. If you can, put your hands on your ankles, keeping your hips level with your shoulders.
Sit down, legs out. Flex your toes and you see how your heels can pop off the ground? Now keep that heel up and point your toes on one side. On the flexed side, pull your heel in toward your body, then slide it back out. Reverse. 10x. I got some severe hip cramps when I did this one. Time for some trace minerals!
Foam rolling – glutes, IT bands, hamstrings, quads. Just a quick word on foam rolling – stick to one small section at a time. Split your hamstrings up into lower and upper parts. Go slow and if it hurts, use your body to push yourself away from the roller.
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