Quote from: JJP on May 11, 2022, 10:10:07 pmOne thing I have wondered is it is important to try strengthen the hamstring as well as working on stretching? ...and how do you specifically strengthen it? A load of running, or specific weight machines like that one where you lie on your belly and lift the weights by bending your knee (I expect it has a name).
One thing I have wondered is it is important to try strengthen the hamstring as well as working on stretching?
I bet everyone who is particularly good at high feet has strong hip flexors.Everyone loves tests, so try sitting on the floor in a straddle position (straight legs approximately 90 degrees apart), put both palms on the floor in front of you and lift your feet off the ground for 5 seconds. Move both hands forward to increase the difficulty and get a 5 second max. I think hands further forward than your knees is a good score and in line with your feet is equivalent to 1 arming the BM2K middle slot
Ye wasnt really meaning strengthening hamstrings directly for climbing but more to make the muscle more functional/ stretchable/ less injury prone.
My top tip, in two parts:1) Hamstring (and hip) stretches can benefit a lot from longer holds — think at least a minute, maybe 3-5 minutes if you want to go full Yin Yoga style. Find a pose that requires minimal muscle tension to hold (e.g. sitting or lying on the floor), then don’t over-strain, just go to the point where you feel a bit of a stretch happening, then hang out there and breathe and chill for a while. You might find that after a minute or so things “unlock” a bit and you can go deeper into the stretch. Don’t be afraid to fidget about, adjust the pose to see what feels best, go a bit deeper or back off as needed; there is no law that you have to stay perfectly still.2) Sitting or reclining hamstring (and hip) stretches are pretty excellent for watching DVDs/YouTube/iPlayer/whatever. Just stick a pillow or block under your head if you’re lying on your back, so you can see the screen. This makes long holds much, much less boring, and stops you twitching and looking at your watch every 5 seconds, and also increases motivation to do your stretches because then it becomes the time you get to watch that TV programme you meant to get around to.I owe my front splits largely to a box set of The Wire (not a joke).Secondary tip: experiment with having at least a micro-bend in your knees. Even if/when you can touch your toes with your legs locked straight, unlocking them a fraction can help get the stretch happening in the muscle belly rather than straining the hamstring attachment to your sitz bones, which hurts and takes ages to heal (do not recommend).Other secondary tip: improvise a “yoga belt” with a regular belt, a sling, a metre or two of worn-out rope, a resistance band, whatever. When you’re doing reclining stretches, use it to hook your foot and pull it gently towards you. Even if you can reach your foot without it, the belt lets you do so while keeping your back very flat, and without straining or tensing stuff. This again contributes to the ability to chill and breathe, which has a huge effect on allowing you to relax and your nervous system to decide that you’re not about to pull yourself apart and that therefore it doesn’t need to contract your muscles protectively to prevent injury.I believe the science increasingly suggests that a lot of stretching is not about tissue changes but about the nervous system being conditioned to accept that a wider range of motion can be safe and okay. Which is why building strength at the extremes of your current range of motion can also help, because it builds that experience of having stability and control in that end-range (and also is really really handy for anything like climbing where you really need to have strength and control while your joints might be in quite extreme positions) .
so try sitting on the floor
in a straddle position (straight legs approximately 90 degrees apart),
put both palms on the floor in front of you
and lift your feet off the ground for 5 seconds.
Move both hands forward to increase the difficulty and get a 5 second max.
I think hands further forward than your knees is a good score
and in line with your feet is equivalent to 1 arming the BM2K middle slot
(incidentally even looking at pigeon pose made me shudder, that would rip the ligament in two like a bit of tissue paper).
You have an OVEN in your van?!?! Gas powered?
I could go further with someone pushing, but I’m on my own today. Really happy with the progress!
Also not having a militantly strict routine and going with the flow a bit in terms of how much I do and what order i do it in (as long as i'm doing stuff to open the pelvis, do glutes, and a few others, at SOME point) has helped me be more relaxed and positive about stretching sessions.
Slightly off-topic but in case it's useful, I can confirm that being able to touch your toes is absolutely bloody useless for 1. Any form of relevant climbing flexibility (hip-opening, wide bridges, etc), 2. Any form of climbing performance. OTOH it's a fairly pleasant stretch, it is directly measurable, and I agree with the common sense advice above of starting gently, doing it regularly, doing longer holds etc.
I can touch my palms to the floor easily and while it's nice that I'm able to do it, it does nothing for me in terms of climbing performance.
So if something happened that made your hamstrings, glutes and lower back so stiff that you had to sit down to put your shoes on and made involuntarily grunting noises while doing so, do you think you’d be climbing at the same level as before?
https://www.verywellfit.com/seated-groin-and-inner-thigh-stretch-3120294for a start. For opening hips and being able to get in close to and over holds.Or just google "best stretches for climbers"
Apologies for straying off topic, but can you bendy folk recommend some stretches that are relevant for climbers? Upper body, lower body, I ain't fussy - but preferably accessible to someone as stiff as a board.
These are less focused on enhancing specific mobility for climbing, more general maintenance and preventing the climbing from fucking you up too much.
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