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Thread: Extremely tight hamstrings?

  1. #1

    Extremely tight hamstrings?

    I'm a 19 year old with muscular dystrophy (CMT) and am in a chair. I was diagnosed at age 3 then had a bike accident at age 12 (complete femur break) which had me off my feet for about 9 months. Being already susceptible to weakness, that period did me no good strength-wise and I've been in a chair ever since I stopped making progress in therapy.

    My core and upper body strength is great from pushing myself around and from doing general exercises. One issue I'm starting to have is with my hamstrings. They are extremely tight. I can straighten my left leg (with my arms of course--quadriceps weakness) about 110 degrees and my right only about 100 degrees.

    I do stretches on the floor where I put my feet (one leg at a time) in front of me and lean forward, holding for 2-3 minutes at a time. I sometimes also lay on my back, grab my heal and pull toward my head gently. Really don't know what a good safe routine would be. I am at school right now away from my recumbent bike (I have both a stationary and actual ride-able one at home) which usually gives me a nice stretch. Should I keep doing what I'm doing? Do I need to use heat? Ideally I'd like to get both extending as close to 180 degrees as possible for comfort reasons. This has also been a sort of bottleneck for a lot of strengthening exercises, so I'm hoping I can get it sorted out.


  2. #2
    Do you spend any time prone (laying face down on your stomach)? This is an excellent way to combat hip flexion contractures like this. You can even put weights on your buttocks and low back to help with this stretching. A good PT could set you up with a home program if you need help.


  3. #3
    Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear. I'm talking about bending at the knee.

  4. #4
    Prone with weights on your ankles, with your feet hanging off the endge of the mat or bed.


  5. #5
    Get yourself a standing wheelchair. It does wonders for the hamstrings.

    Were do you live?

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