Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Are You Sure Your Hamstrings Are Tight?

Can you touch your toes? It should be a simple task, yet so many people fail the ability to simply bend over and touch their toes. First off, let be clear that bending over and touching your toes is not a stretch that I recommend but it SHOULD be something that someone CAN do. I just want to see that someone has the mobility to touch their toes. I would never use a toe touch as a repetitive stretch.

In the book Anatomy Trains, Thomas Myers talks about the different train tracks that cross through the fascial system of our bodies. What is Anatomy Trains?

- Anatomy Trains Myofascial Meridians is a revolutionary idea for understanding whole-body patterning in posture and movement. Anatomy Trains is a new map of the 'anatomy of connection' - precise fascial and myofascial links through the body that lead to new holistic strategies for identifying and resolving complex underlying problems.

This Anatomy Trains website is an on-going inquiry into the significance of form and shape - how we make patterns, and the limits of change and development with new 'in-form-ation'. From the individual cell to the social and cultural context, we are interested in morphogenesis, as well as morphostasis and morphokinesis - how we get stuck, and how we mature and grow out of such restrictions. (This is from the Anatomy Trains website). -

One of these "train tracks" that Myers refers to as the Superficial Back Line (SBL), runs from the bottom of the foot up the back side of the body and attaches to the top of the skull. Don't believe it?? Try this........

Perform a toe touch. Take note as to how far you get. Now roll the bottom of your foot with a tennis ball or lacrosse ball for 1-2 minutes each side.

Now try touching your toes again. What the majority of you just noticed is a significant increase in your range of motion. Pretty cool huh? You didn't even stretch your hamstrings.......... It's like magic!! :-)

Add that to your bag of cool party tricks.