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Old 02-15-2008, 05:32 PM   #1
Ben Kimmerle
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Ab strength and tight hamstrings leading to back pain?

My back has recently been hurting me during runs/rows, and today I went to a sports medicine doctor at our college health center to have it looked at.

After looking at my back, and having me bend and arch and everything, she commented that my hamstrings were tight and that stretching them would help me. Does this make sense that stretching my hamstrings would help my running and rowing? Maybe by not pulling my hips forward?

She commented that I had a lot of back muscle, which makes sense because I have been squatting and deadlifting on SS. However, I never do "abs" (situps, L-pullups, knees-to-elbows etc.) besides a few reps in warmups, and was wondering whether weak abs could also have something to do with it. She thought it might, and suggested adding knees to elbows and/or situps to my routine. Make sense?
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:08 PM   #2
Andrew H. Meador
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Re: Ab strength and tight hamstrings leading to back pain?

In my experience, you need to be doing the full ROM olympic lifts, and the power versions. Do them for one rep maxes, and do them in metcon workouts. These are the best exercises for the hamstrings, and anybody who tells you that static stretching will help you is wrong. When done properly, static stretching strengthens the muscles at the end of their range of motion. But it's a pathetic substitute for really stressing the body with intense exercise.
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Old 02-15-2008, 07:36 PM   #3
Steven Low
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Re: Ab strength and tight hamstrings leading to back pain?

Can we get some pics?

Generally, tight hamstrings don't necessarily lead to back pain but they can. Usually it's tight hip flexors and a weak lower back (with strong abs) that gives an anterior pelvic tilt which puts strain on the back usually leading towards some form of lordosis. I guess weak abs and tight hamstrings can do it as well, but that's a little odd.
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:38 PM   #4
Ben Kimmerle
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Re: Ab strength and tight hamstrings leading to back pain?

Andrew: I don't have the Olympic lifts down yet, and I wouldn't want to do 1RM without getting some coaching first, which I don't have time or money for right now.

Steven: What would you want pictures of?

Additional info that may/may not help: I have been trying out the POSE method, but have only been able to "learn" it through videos/articles. Could I be messing up POSE and hurting my back? This doesn't make sense to me because it's forefoot strike, not heel strike, which I would think would take stress/impact off of the back, but crazier things have happened...
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Old 02-16-2008, 05:53 AM   #5
Patrick Neill
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Re: Ab strength and tight hamstrings leading to back pain?

Hey Ben

I work in the Corporate Fitness industry and I see this everyday.

Developing core (ab) strength and hamstring flexibility will absolutely help with reducing low back pain... but you must be sure to strengthen that area as well.

Check out www.flexiblestrength.org
There is some decent flexibility information there.
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