Your hamstrings are composed of three muscles on the back of your leg that help to lift your lower leg toward your buttocks or extend your leg backward. Tight hamstring muscles can occur due to a number of reasons. Whatever the reason for tight hamstrings, it can cause back pain, discomfort and difficulty lifting your legs. Stretching these muscles regularly can help to alleviate these effects. Always speak to your physician before beginning an exercise program, however, to ensure you do not have any injuries that would keep you from effectively stretching.
Low-Back Pain Relief
Your hamstrings attach to your pelvic bones that can pull on your lower back. If your hamstrings are excessively tight, this can create added stress on your back, contributing to lower back pain and sciatica pain, which is pain that extends from your lower back down your legs. Daily stretching can reduce this pain.
Tight hamstring muscles are associated with increased risk for athletic injury and strain. Hamstring injuries are common in track, soccer, basketball and other sports in which you must sprint. Year-round hamstring stretching programs can prevent muscle tightness. Improving the overall flexibility and strength of your hamstring muscles can help keep you on the field.
Flexibility is often an inherited trait. Even seemingly inflexible people with tight hamstrings can find relief — even if only temporary — through daily stretching. Stretching your hamstring muscles can make them feel looser, which is especially helpful if you are experiencing muscle soreness. By reducing hamstring tension, you may find you feel more relaxed and looser.
While hamstring stretches can prevent injury, they also can contribute to injury if performed incorrectly. Always start your hamstring stretching session with a five- to 10-minute warm-up of walking, jogging or another light activity to warm your muscles and prepare them for stretching. When you stretch the hamstrings, refrain from bouncing, take deep breaths while holding the stretch and hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. Examples of hamstring stretches include lying on your back and pulling your slightly bent leg toward your chest, leaving the other leg on the ground. You also can lie on your back with your buttocks against a wall or doorway and your legs extended against the wall. When you straighten your legs, making a 90-degree angle with your body, you should feel your hamstrings stretch.
Here is a great way to stretch:
- Stand upright with your arms by your sides.
- Bend forward at the waist, lowering your hands toward the floor, or as far down as possible. **keep your legs straight and do not bounce or use quick jerky movements**
Whey Protein Drinks – Super Food of the Week!
According to a recent study, whey protein is the best choice for dieters. Whey protein drinks were compared to soy protein and carbohydrate “heavy” drinks. Those who drank carbohydrate drinks gained weight during the six month study, soy protein drinks maintained their weight and Whey protein daily actually lost a few pounds and slimmed their waistline!
Reason being, Whey protein affects the amount of certain hormones in the body… one hormone in particular makes an individual feel full and another speeds up your metabolism. By the end of the study, those who were using whey protein on a daily basis weren’t taking in as many carbohydrates in their regular diet.
Here are some other great reason why you should include Whey protein into your diet:
1) Build immune system – it’s packed with Antioxidants which are a vital part of maintaining a healthy immune system.
2) Diabetics – Some study’s have connected whey protein to lower blood glucose levels.
3) Nutritious Snack – It’s great for dieters who are trying to have several smaller meals per day.
4) Easy Digestion – Weight lifters head for whey protein because it can be digested quickly. If you want to get a jump start on repairing your muscles, this is your best source.
Enjoying a Healthy Snack : )
As one of DC’s leading fitness companies, Bounce Fitness always stresses the importance of having a healthy diet. The types of foods you eat play a pivotal role in helping each individual stay healthy and reach his or her fitness goals. But eating must sometimes have a more methodical approach, especially when trying to build muscle.
When you eat not only supports mass gains but also plays a pivotal role in controlling body fat levels. If you’re trying to gain only quality mass, increase the size of your meals at breakfast and after training. These are the two times of day when muscles crave more calories and nutrients – at breakfast because you’re nutritionally depleted after a night’s sleep, and post-workout because the stressed muscles are in dire need of replenishment to jump-start the recovery process. Providing the body with what it can put to use during these windows facilitates optimum growth and keeps body fat levels down.
In short, smart growth – muscle sans body fat – is contingent on manipulating calorie intake. Yes, you have to eat more to gain mass, but when you eat more; you can determine whether you’ll gain fat or muscle. If you stick to a large breakfast and a substantial post-training meal and evenly divide your other meals into smaller portions, you can boost your total caloric intake, ensuring that those extra calories go to the muscles when they need them.
In summary folks, please be cognoscente of when, what and how much food you consume at different parts of the day. Check back in next week, as I will detail portion control for those trying to stay lean and tuned up.
At Bounce Fitness, we want you to strive to live the healthiest lifestyle you can live. We always promote consistency and accountability when enduring a long-term exercise program, but too much exercise can have negative effects. Understanding the way your body reacts to exercise, especially weightlifting is crucial when trying to find the right way to enhance muscle growth.
In order to see muscular development, you must train with a high enough intensity to overload the muscles which cause’s tiny tears to occur in the muscle fibers. After training these tears start to repair and then grow back slightly larger than before when your body has fully recovered from training.
Training with an intensity that is too low, for example not completing enough sets, or not using enough weight will not effectively break down the muscle fibers meaning no growth will occur as the fibers will not grow back larger and stronger than before if they have not been effectively overloaded during training… If the muscles can handle the weight that is being moved easily then there is no need for them to grow bigger and stronger.. So they won’t!
On the other hand training with an intensity that is too high will cause the muscle fibers to break down past a point of recovery, meaning the tears in the muscle are more severe and will require days of rest, or even weeks and months of rest and therapy in some more severe cases of over training.
In Summary, you need to find the right balance of rest and intensity when it comes to weight training. Safety should be a top priority and when trying to reach your fitness goals. Good Luck!
In bodybuilding, quitting is the carnal sin. In fact, if you’re looking to build serious muscle, the last rep is just as important as the previous 10 you just did! It is widely known that when you perform high repetitions (15+), it will increase your muscular endurance, and when you perform low repetitions (1-5) it will increase your power and strength. In addition, when you combine moderate repetitions (8-12) with higher training volume (total work done) you will achieve muscular growth. Of course, every individual’s body responds differently. Here are guidelines to follow to receive optimal results in the gym.
Your workout session should be short.
60 minutes maximum. The maximum amount of time a weight training session should last is 60 minutes. After 60 minutes, the levels of muscle building hormones, like testosterone, begin to drop.
The rest between sets should be kept to a minimum.
90 seconds or less. Keeping your rest time in between sets and exercises to a minimum not only allows you to perform a large amount of work within the 60-minute weight training window, but it also helps improve your cardiovascular system and most importantly maximizes the output of growth hormone, a protien based hormone that stimulates growth.
Weight training exercises should not be performed for more than two days in a row.
This is something that is very important for heavy lifters. Most heavy-set individuals can recover from a six-day per week training split, most hard gainers have a difficulty recovering from more than four sessions per week.
Next week, we will have a few more guidelines for you to follow. We look forward to your return. Thanks everyone!
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