When things feel ‘tight’, we instinctively want to stretch them. The problem is that muscles work like rubber bands. When a rubber band is shortened, it may be tangled and dysfunctional but it doesn’t necessarily have any tension.
Only when a rubber band is pulled long does it have any tension. This tension is to stop it ripping in half. This tension also allows it to store energy.
If a muscle is over stretched because of poor posture, it will feel constantly tight. It will also lose it’s elastic ability over time. It is no different to leaving a rubber band stretched around an object. Over time it will lose its elastic properties.
Stretching feels good in the short term because you get some extra blood flow.
If you are uncomfortable, almost all movement is good movement. But if you doing static stretches – think stretching your hamstring wiht your
Posture and Tension
Let’s consider poor neck and shoulder posture; where the head and shoulders slump forward.
Now consider the muscles that typically feel ‘tight’. We will often feel tight in the muscles towards the back of our neck and shoulders. The reality is that these muscles are overstretched in this position. It is the muscles at the front of the neck and shoulders pulling you forward.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt (APT)
The same is true for the lower body. When we see the pelvis tilt anteriorly, the muscles at the back of the leg (the hamstrings, calves and glutes) are overstretched.
If we keep trying to stretch our hamstring, the risk is that it will eventually tear. Though it may sound counterintuitive, the ‘shorter’ your hamstrings are in a resting posture, the more they will be able to lengthen when you need them. If they are constantly lengthened, they become fatigued and dysfunctional.