Yesterday Karl (our first intern at Endeavor Fitness) and I went through the Functional Movement Screen together.
I’m proud to say, as the mentor, that I came out victorious with a score of 18 (over his measly 17!).
He “lost” because his hamstring extensibility (or flexibility) was terrible. While most of our athletes have decent hamstring extensibility we do have a few that are pretty locked up.
With Karl, and some of our athletes, I’ll have them do this quick stretching activity to improve hamstring extensibility. When someone is available, we’ll usually do this with a partner, which allows “on the fly” adjustments to leg positioning, but often times I want our athletes to do this at home, using a wall as their partner.
The protocol is:
1) Set up with one leg raised in a “hamstring stretch” position with your knees of both legs fully extended and the toes of both legs pulled toward your shins. In this position, your lower back should be flat (or with a slight curve), and you should feel a good stretch in your hamstrings on the raised leg. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
2) If you feel like you can, shift your body a little closer to the wall to increase the stretch on your hamstrings.
3) Actively raise your heel off the wall and hold for a few seconds. Return to the wall and rest a few seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.
4) If you feel like you can, shift your body a little closer to the wall to increase the stretch on your hamstrings.
5) Actively press your heel into the wall as hard as you can without it lifting your hips or moving your body at all (or breaking your heel through the wall!). Keep pressing for 3-5 seconds, then rest a few seconds and repeat 2-3 times.
6) If you feel like you can, shift your body a little closer to the wall to increase the stretch on your hamstrings and hold this final position for 10 seconds.
Most people notice a substantial improvement in their hamstring extensibility after performing this circuit. If you’re really locked up, try doing this twice a day for a couple weeks and see how much you improve.
Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.