Stretching my midsection

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 18, 2009 4:20 AM GMT
    I'd like some advice on stretching my midsection. My lower back, my hips, and my hamstrings.

    I have always had a problem stretching my hamstrings very far, having always needed to keep my knees bent in order to stretch my leg.

    My lower back and my hips are also pretty inflexible, and I am sure that is related to my hamstring issues. Or vice versa

    Aside from those problem areas, I am actually very flexible.

    I injured/herniated discs in my lower back in my early teens, and not sure how much that affects my current problem.

    Can anyone recommend a routine I can try to attempt to gain more flexibility with these muscle groups/areas? I will need something I can do alone, at home, or at the gym. I have a mat at home.

    Thanks
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    May 18, 2009 4:30 AM GMT
    Using an ab wheel is good for stretching and strengthening the core...

    I posted twice to this thread about using the ab wheel at...

    Apr 16, 2009 1:52 PM
    Apr 18, 2009 6:44 PM

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/494054/

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    May 18, 2009 4:55 AM GMT
    Try a beginner yoga or use a video, also a yin yoga which focuses on relaxation and lengthening the muscles through longer holds. The reason why I suggest these is because you'll go through a variety of poses, and you'll find some good poses and stretches which will hit your trouble spots.

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    May 19, 2009 12:19 AM GMT
    this is good and generally safe for lower back and glutes

    http://www.yogacards.com/yoga/beginners-yoga/beginners-yoga-child-pose.html

    For hammies, feet shoulder width apart and hang foward grasping your elbows with the opposite arms hand.

    Also, legs wider like this (don´t even try to get head to the floor.. worry about the lower body)

    http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/693

    also

    http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/2497

    Always move slowly and respect where your body is IN THE MOMENT of practice. Coax, do not try to force.
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    May 20, 2009 6:20 AM GMT
    Caslon:
    Ab wheels are really really bad for people with lower back problems. I tried those before, and wont be doing so again until I strengthen my midsection a lot farther beyond what it is now, but thanks for the advice.

    Lostboy:
    thanks for the Yoga links. I will check them out and see what they can offer me.

    Does anyone have any advice on hanging left lifts? I just recently bought a chin up bar and it has the straps to hang from for an ab workout, and it seems to be pretty comfortable for me.
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    May 20, 2009 1:03 PM GMT
    slimsummers saidCaslon:
    Ab wheels are really really bad for people with lower back problems. I tried those before, and wont be doing so again until I strengthen my midsection a lot farther beyond what it is now, but thanks for the advice.

    Lostboy:
    thanks for the Yoga links. I will check them out and see what they can offer me.

    Does anyone have any advice on hanging left lifts? I just recently bought a chin up bar and it has the straps to hang from for an ab workout, and it seems to be pretty comfortable for me.


    Ideally you want a few sessions with a physio who is used to working with athletes or a personal trainer/iyengar yoga teacher etc who is very clued up on back issues. Short of that, then start with the easy stuff... They are deceptively simple and work very deeply. Another that I find helps is to squat down as low as you can with your feet parallel (width doesn´t matter) and hold onto a door frame or some other low stable object. Gives the whole of the back and glutes a great stretch. Learning how to do a proper downward dog is also good as that strengthens the back and stretches at the same time, but you need to do it right.
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    May 20, 2009 1:09 PM GMT
    Hanging from a bar is therapeutic for the back. The straps will take the strain off the shoulders while in the hanging position. When your in a hanging position, your body weight pulls the vertebrae further apart. This takes pressure off the disk between the vertebrae. There will be less nerve impingement and pain. There is a device for back therapy called inversion boots. You would hang upside down being held by special boots. I have a friend that does this when his back acts up. I never had the nerve to try iticon_lol.gif Leg lifts are to work the lower abs.

    !BJEF8lQ!mk~$(KGrHgoOKjsEjlLmUU31BJQ1Q,9
  • shirty

    Posts: 290

    Jul 27, 2009 8:09 PM GMT
    Hey there,

    I'm a yoga teacher, so I thought I might be able to give you some advice about improving your flexibility. I'm confident that with dedication and hard work you can overcome any of the limitations you're dealing with.

    You mentioned that you have herniated discs since your teens. My advice is to be really careful with any movements where you are leaning far back, or bending forward without proper support (such as bent knees). Also, some twisting can be dangerous if it's not done with extreme care.

    It sounds to be like the tight hamstrings and hips are a direct correlation from your injured discs. With lower back pain, the legs can't length as much and the hips take a beating trying to support you.

    I would suggest trying some stretches where you are lying on your back. This will help support your back and avoid any misalignment there.

    For hips:

    Happy baby pose - releases the lower back and stretches the hips
    http://yoga.about.com/od/yogaposes/a/happybaby.htm

    For hamstrings:

    Reclined big toe pose - stretches hamstrings and calves
    http://yoga.about.com/od/yogaposes/a/suptapadangust.htm

    You might want to invest in a yoga strap or a latex stretching band.

    You'll notice that both these poses are good for your back as well, so I hope this helps.

    Let me know if you need any more clarification or help!

    cheers.