How do you get your outside hamstring to engage
Does the inside-towards-the-back of your knee ever hurt, or get sore, or have sharp pain causing you to limp or feel like you are going to collapse on that side? Read on!
First of all, let’s get to know the anatomy of the area. Watch this quick 1 minute video using what I fondly refer to as “Mr. Muscle Guy” as our illustration.
If you aren’t in the mood to watch the video, this is what I say:
Okay, it’s Laura; let’s look at Mr. Muscle Guy here, and take a look at the anatomy of the inside of the knee really quickly. I am going to blow up Mr. Muscle Guy here, and spin him, and you can see that there are three muscles that dovetail on the inside of the thigh. I am going to touch one of them: there’s the one that crosses the front of the leg. The next one on the inside if you look at that little dovetail there, and touch the inside, it runs straight up on the inside.
The one really is the kicker here is the one that is furthest back in this little trifecta of dovetailness and it’s that guy- oh look! It’s a hamstring! Okay, so that’s the anatomy of the inside of the knee. )
Why is knowing the anatomy important?
Well, all of those muscles dovetail on the inside of the thigh. If all of the muscles are super maxed out, they are likely starting to pull on the places they attach. This is one potential reason why the inside-towards-the-back of the knee is starting to hurt. The knee is just feeling the tension of the maxed out muscles.
Specifically, keep an eye on furthest back third musketeer- the inside hamstring muscle whose official name is semitendinosus. It is that tendon that pops out, making the inside of the knee feel like a guitar string.
Here is a still photo of our friend the hard working inside hamstring :
How do we balance things out and fix the overworked inside hamstring?
First, I would really roll or scrub those quads with your roller or rolling pin since they are the direct antagonist of all of the hamstrings. Notice when you roll your quads, your legs naturally want to roll in, and when you roll towards the outside of the quads (fronts of thighs) you sometimes find a ridiculous amount of tightness.
That outside quad directly interferes with the outside hamstring. Only one can be tight, and if the outside quad is “winning”, then the outside hamstring is quietly waiting his/her turn.
That is ANOTHER reason the inside hamstring is tight– the outside hammy has been knocked out of commission!
You’ve got to get the outside hamstring muscle to kick in. Watch this video of my client Jennifer to see how you can accomplish this easily and without fancy equipment…
Let me know in the comments below when you try this exercise out. Additionally, do you like learning about the anatomy? (I think it is super interesting 🙂
Here’s to balance, strength, and happiness!
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