Mythology of Stretching Hamstrings

The hamstrings are a group of muscles located at the back of the thigh that are responsible for flexing the knee and extending the hip. These muscles can become tight for a variety of reasons, including overuse, underuse, and muscle imbalances. Here are some evidence-based explanations for why the hamstrings may get tight:

EBE #1: Overuse

The hamstrings are often used repetitively in activities such as running, cycling, and sports like soccer and basketball. Overusing these muscles can lead to fatigue, inflammation, and muscle tightness. Athletes who engage in activities that involve a lot of running or jumping may be at risk for tight hamstrings due to the strain placed on these muscles. Injuries to the hamstrings, such as strains or tears, can also cause them to become tight as they heal.

EBE #2: Underuse

On the other hand, underusing the hamstrings can also lead to tightness. For example, when we spend long time sitting, the muscles in the back of the legs can become weak, shortened and tight. This is because sitting puts the hip in a flexed position, which can cause the hamstrings to become overworked and tense.

EBE #3: Muscle imbalances

An imbalance in muscle strength can cause tightness in the hamstrings. If the muscles in the front of the legs (quadriceps) are significantly stronger than the hamstrings, this can cause the hamstrings to become tight as they try to compensate for the imbalance. Similarly, if the hamstrings (that are overused) are not stretched regularly, they may become tight and inflexible.

EBE #4: Poor Posture

Poor posture, such as slouching or standing with a forward lean, can also lead to tight hamstrings. This is because poor posture puts increased strain on the muscles in the back of the body, including the hamstrings.

EBE #5: Age

As we age, our muscles naturally become tighter due to a decrease in flexibility. This can be compounded by a lack of regular stretching and physical activity.

Tight hamstrings are often blamed for lower back pain, but this is not always the case. In fact, lower back pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor posture, weak core muscles, and even psychological stress. Stretching the hamstrings can help alleviate muscle tightness, but it is not a one-size-fits-all solution for lower back pain.

In summary, there are several factors that can contribute to tight hamstrings, including overuse, underuse, muscle imbalances, poor posture, and age. To prevent or relieve tightness in the hamstrings, it is important to engage in regular stretching and strength training exercises, maintain good posture, and ensure that muscle use is evenly distributed.

If you are experiencing tight hamstrings and are unable to stretch them effectively, it may be a good idea to see a healthcare professional for further evaluation and treatment. In some cases, tight hamstrings may be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as sciatica or a muscle imbalance, that requires treatment.

Mythology of Stretching Hamstrings

The hamstrings are a group of muscles located at the back of the thigh that are responsible for flexing the knee and extending the hip. Stretching these muscles can help improve flexibility, reduce muscle tightness, and prevent injury. However, there are several myths surrounding the practice of stretching the hamstrings that need to be addressed.

Myth #1: Stretching the hamstrings will prevent muscle tears.

While stretching can help improve the range of motion of your muscles, it is not a guarantee that you will not suffer a muscle tear. In fact, muscle tears can happen when the muscle is subjected to a sudden and unexpected load that it is not prepared for. The best way to prevent muscle tears is to engage in proper warm-up and cool-down routines, as well as gradually increasing the intensity of your workouts.

Myth #2: Stretching the hamstrings will improve performance.

While stretching can help improve flexibility and range of motion, it is not necessarily going to improve your performance in activities that require explosive power or speed. In fact, excessive stretching can actually reduce muscle strength and power. It is important to find a balance between stretching and strengthening the hamstrings to optimize performance.

Myth #3: Stretching the hamstrings will prevent lower back pain.

Tight hamstrings are often blamed for lower back pain, but this is not always the case. In fact, lower back pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor posture, weak core muscles, and even psychological stress. Stretching the hamstrings can help alleviate muscle tightness, but it is not a one-size-fits-all solution for lower back pain.

Myth #4: You should stretch your hamstrings every day.

It is important to include stretching as part of your regular fitness routine, but it is not necessary to stretch your hamstrings every day. In fact, overstretching can lead to muscle imbalances and even injury. It is important to listen to your body and only stretch as far as is comfortable for you.

In conclusion, while stretching the hamstrings can have several benefits, it is important to be aware of the myths surrounding this practice. Stretching should be incorporated into your fitness routine in a balanced and mindful way to help improve flexibility and prevent injury.

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How much flexibility is enough?

I like to start by answering a simple questions and at the end of this post I have a list of 5 questions you can self reflect on. 

Okay, here we go…

Do you want to be Flexible or Functional?

They are not the same.

Flexible can translate to being pliable; or bending without breaking.

Functional however refers to working conditions; being able to move with ease.

A functional body is naturally both flexible and strong.

Let’s take two common scenarios of flexibility to understand this better:

  1. A gymnast 🤸‍♀️ needs the highest amounts of flexibility which comes from joints distraction. Compromising joint integrity by the excessive joint range of motions.
  2. We are naturally born both flexible and functional and mostly stay that way till the age of 6-8 which comes from less resistance in the muscles, which keeps the joint’s range of motion optimal.

And as most of us are born naturally flexible when we involve in various functional activities/sports (except gymnastics and similar activities that promote hyper-flexibility) our body develops accordingly.

If you are involved in tennis from a young age your body will develop one-sidedly.

If you are involved in running or similar sports you will develop certain muscles more than others and so on. You get the idea.

So unless you are competing in Olympics as the best gymnast, aiming for a highly flexible body is not necessary. (And of course, that is your decision to make)

But, in my opinion, the best option is to be both.

Flexible + Strong = Functional

Sound simple?

It’s not that simple; because there is a limitation to measuring the level of flexibility and strength someone needs to go by the day and it differs from person to person.

And if you are stiff like wood then that just shows how much you screwed up your posture over the years.

And randomly stretching a tight muscle is not the right solution, perhaps the worse. Most people don’t know the difference between tight and overworked muscle.

Let’s try to understand this with an example;

It’s most obvious you feel tense and overworked when you have to do the job of 2 people just because your boss hasn’t found a replacement for the employees he fired last month. (Yes you can handle it for a few weeks or months but what happens afterward)

We can also debate on stretching helps relax the overworked muscle. Same as you need to get a massage on a weekend or grab a drink after work or have a smoke during work breaks to relax your mind.

You see all that is just temporary and you need to look for a long term solution; hire the people so you don’t have to do their job and you can be more efficient.

Same as improving your posture by training the right muscles to do their job to maintain a good posture.

That’s going to ultimately reduce the stress and tension and you won’t feel an urge to become flexible.

See the problem with becoming flexible or feeling the need for stretching is an addiction.

And not different than a person lifting weights playing sports running hiking all day, every day. (Perhaps they are only good at doing that!) and

That’s just an addictive behavior that comes from limiting beliefs. Many of our behaviors are shaped by our limiting beliefs.

How many times have you got a suggestion from your friend, girlfriend, wife, or colleague to try yoga?

…You either tried yoga, loved it, and still doing it…

…Or you did once and said it’s not for you…

…Or perhaps you did so much that now you are the yoga teacher yourself…

No matter where you are at now in your yoga journey it’s important to look back and remember the primary reason and reflect on it for a few minutes.

Now self reflect or answer these questions.

  1. What level of flexibility have you achieved?
  2. How long did it take to get there?
  3. What has changed in your body since then that has directly improved your physical ability to do something with ease?
  4. Do you feel functional or just flexible?
  5. Are you satisfied with your current posture?

And if you are looking for accountability send your answers to

The Benefits Of Improving Flexibility


Flexibility relates to the ability of the muscles to allow the joints to move freely.
Flexibility is often used as synonyms to Joint motion. To achieve optimium flexibility required for the functional movement on everyday basis we require to aim the following.

  1. Stretch the tight muscles and/or strengthen the weak muscles
  2. Improve joints mobility to gain normal range of motion at every joint.

Purpose of Improving Flexibility

  1. Improved flexibility may enhance performance in aerobic training and muscular conditioning as well as in sport.
  2. Flexibility training used in yoga postures helps in active relaxation that can improve both mental and physical recovery.
  3. Reduces stress in the exercising muscles and releases tension developed during the workout.
  4. Assists with posture by balancing the tension placed across the joint by the muscles that cross it. Proper posture minimizes stress and maximizes the strength of all joint movements.
  5. Reduces the risk of injury during exercise and daily activities because muscles are more pliable.
  6. Improves performance of everyday activities as well as performance in exercise and sport.

Techniques for Improving Flexibility

Joint mobilisation techniques:
By improving your range of motion, your body requires less energy to make the same movements and you also will have more flexible joints thus lessening the likelihood of injuries sustained during workouts, or any other time.

Stretching techniques:
Recent research has shown that static stretching can reduce muscle soreness after exercise. These slow, gradual movements involve a controlled elongation of the muscle through it’s full range of motion, and is then held for 15-30 seconds in the farthest position that can be held without pain. By stretching in this way, you can improve muscular balance and your resting posture.

Fascial release techniques:
Applying compression to the affected site induces a bio-electric and bio-chemical response that changes the connective myo-fascia from a semi-solid state into a more viscous or fluid state, freeing it to glide smoothly against adjoining tissues. Often, once the fascia is released the underlying muscles will relax.

All types of flexibility training will be more effective after a thorough warm-up, when the body temperature is elevated. Choose activities that serve two functions: relaxation and flexibility. This does not mean that the entire time has to be spent stretching.

Methods of Improving Flexibility

Methods of Improving Flexibility

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Tai Chi
  • Hydro-therapy
  • Manipulative Therapy

One of the most notable benefits of theses methods is that it promotes muscular relaxation and because of this, can lessen lower back pain. Since those muscles are commonly contracted throughout the day, whether sitting or doing activities, they can become stressed and cause pain. Becoming more flexible in the hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps and other muscles can help reduce that stress on the lower back and reduce the tightening that causes pain.

Yoga and pilates also increases the blood supply to muscle tissues, and your entire body delivering essential nutrients through your blood stream. It also increases joint synovial fluid, the lubricating fluid that promotes the transportation of nutrients to your joints. This allows for a greater range of motion, less joint pain and a reduced risk of joint degeneration.

Better Overall Health and Vitality can be achieved through above methods. You will notice less pain, improved movement, reduced muscle soreness, and improved physical performance. The feeling of well-being, and vitality you will notice as a result of a regular flexibility routine can provide many important health benefits.

“Stretching is not just a part of a workout, it can be a workout by itself.”


4 Pain Flare Triggers To Avoid In Crohn’s Disease Or Fibromyalgia

Try and avoid some common triggers if you suffer from chronic pains of Arthritis, Crohn’s disease, or Fibromyalgia.

1. Changes in the Weather

The extreme weather change from hot to cold or cold to hot can affect various chronic pain types. This is especially true when your pain is related to your joints and muscles, such as with arthritis or Fibromyalgia. 

Most of my clients suffering from chronic pains keep a pain journal and record everything that occurred on the days when they had a significant flare-up. I suggest you do that too because it helps you record if your neck or knee pains worsen when it rains or gets extremely cold compared to other days. Knowing if the change in weather will increase your pain, helping you prepare for the future.

2. High Levels of Stress

Everyone experiences stress, but some can handle stress better than others. If you have chronic conditions like Crohn’s disease, the stress can impact your pain and cause painful flare-ups. 

People also experience stress due to chronic pain, especially when you have migraines or stomach problems from Crohn’s. Reversely, you notice that work stress or personal issues can aggravate the pain. The good news is when you know the triggers for your pain and stress, you are well prepared to overcome pains with proper stress relief methods that have worked for you.

3. Hormonal Changes in Women

Concerning women, a notable flare trigger for chronic pain can be when you have hormonal changes during different times of life. Pre-menstrual syndrome, where your pain is worse when you are about to start your period, or you might experience more pain as you head toward menopause. This is another good reason to keep a pain journal because it helps you notice these patterns and be more prepared for the potential triggers.

4. Eating Inflammatory Foods

Suppose your pain is related to your digestive systems, such as Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome. In that case, You should be following an anti-inflammatory diet as it helps to reduce this trigger. 

Ensure you AVOID the following inflammatory foods. Your body will thank you.

  1. Butter or eat real butter in less quantity.
  2. Red meat includes steak and hamburgers, processed meats like sausage, bacon, hot dogs.
  3. Fried foods like french fries, potato chips, shortening, and margarine.
  4. Refined carbs like white bread and pasta, white rice, white potatoes, and pastries.
  5.  Alcohol and sweetened soda beverages.

Ensure you CONSUME the following Anti-inflammatory foods.

  1. Fruits: Consume plenty of tomatoes, cherries, oranges, blueberries, and strawberries. Luckily, these are all delicious and easy to add to cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, and eating as a light snack. 
  2. Green leafy vegetables: Regularly consume spinach and kale. 
  3. Nuts & Seeds: Consume a thumb size of walnuts and almonds every day. You can add pumpkin seeds and pine seeds on top of salads or eat a light snack with cheese. Healthy fats like olive oil are delicious to cook with or use for a light dressing.

You can make a smooth transition to help with your chronic pain by making slight adjustments to your current diet, like replacing a steak with chicken for dinner, adding more leafy greens on the side with your preferred  meal, and make a smoothie every morning for breakfast.

How Yoga and Pilates Help With Chronic Pain


An exercise is generally good for chronic pain. Still, for specific types, specialized yoga practices help decrease certain pain types, like shoulder, back, or neck pain, and the relaxation you get can also teach you to manage stress. Simultaneously Pilates on reformers assist in joints’ movements and increase circulations within the joints, reducing stiffness and pains.

When you want to use yoga for your chronic pain, you should first consider the type of yoga you do. While all yoga forms can be beneficial, certain types are useful for people struggling with physical pain. Check out the recommended Abbysan Yoga classes that help with chronic pains.

Yoga – Restorative, Back Flow, Yoga Core, Back Care.

Pilates – Core Recovery, Shoulder Clinic, Spine Clinic, Hip Clinic, Total Body.

One of the best types of yoga for pain is restorative yoga, which aligns with your physical and mental well-being. The movements are not complicated or overly advanced, so they are suitable even for beginners.

You can try restorative yoga at home with our online video or visit our studio for in-person guidance.

Fibromyalgia Resiliency Program

Companion to healing and improving quality of life.

The Magic Bullet For Boosting Your Metabolism

For Boosting Your Metabolism

I have seen people obsessed with eating a big bowl of salads, skipping meals, drinking ice-cold water, and other iced beverages, and the most detrimental of all, consuming highly processed food and yet expecting to loos weight or boost metabolism.

Do you believe that enchanted pills, green smoothies, and special diets can amp up your metabolism?

If you have not considered exercise for boosting your metabolism, you have missed the Magic Bullet.

Before I tell you the best exercises out there to help boost your metabolism, understand that multiple factors affect the way your metabolism operates, especially age, gender, and hormones.


Our metabolism begins to decline as we age, and we also tend to lose up to five percent of muscle mass and become less mobile. As combined effects, it’s easier for the pounds to accumulate around the waistline. Approximately 30 to 50 percent of calorie burn should be through exercise.


Females have a slower metabolism than men due to various factors, including oestrogen levels and a lower resting metabolic rate, which helps determine our overall total daily energy release and plays a vital role in regulating our energy balance.


A rise in blood cortisol level due to stress or other factors can lead to weight gain, risk of heart disease, and diabetes. A workout before consuming a meal can help to drop those cortisol levels and improve metabolism.

Low testosterone levels can trigger a bit of weight gain and leave us feeling fatigued. Daily workout regimens can help keep healthy and stable testosterone and support a healthy metabolism. 

Estrogen can trigger metabolic malfunction, and the imbalance in this hormone can cause your weight to increase rapidly.

Finally, the thyroid hormone is responsible for the overall effectiveness of your metabolism. It helps control metabolic processes in the body that are necessary for growth, development, and metabolism. 

Hyperthyroidism (thyroid in a hypermetabolic state) can induce metabolism overdrive, leading to weight loss and excessive use of your resting energy. On the other hand, hypometabolism (underperforming thyroid) can reduce resting energy expenditure (metabolism) and gain weight.

Remember this; the metabolism is a powerhouse that converts food into energy and propels it without missing a beat.

If you are overwhelmed in trying to figure out the ways to regain control, continue reading this,

During exercise, our muscles utilise a relatively large amount of energy by burning calories. And the most exciting fact about exercise is that even after the workout is over, your muscles can continue to burn calories stored in your body, keeping the metabolism functioning at optimal levels.

There are three activities, when paired together, can do wonders and help you boost your metabolism.

  1. Lifting Weights to Burn fat; is a practical approach to helping you build not only muscles but also initiate fat metabolism for energy. When you rest, the muscles use more calories compared to fat cells. For best results, do two sets of repetitions (12-15) for just two days a week on the major muscle groups (back, arms and legs).
  2. Aerobic Activity; is a must-have ingredient for boosting your metabolism. Interval training is instrumental in yielding positive results. Swimming, walking, kickboxing, jogging, or even Zumba are excellent options for enhancing your metabolism.
  3. Low Impact Exercises; such as Yoga, Pilates, water aerobics are an excellent choice for people with low exercise intolerance due to underlying health issues such as arthritis, diabetes, heart conditions, or physical limitations such as knee pain, back pain, shoulder pain, or scoliosis.

In short, there might be a few reasons for not being able to control your metabolism, but exercise is your best bet and a magic bullet.

We want to welcome you to become a member of the Abbysan community to view all the great Yoga, Pilates, and low impact cardio videos and nutrition plans! Just CLICK HERE!

Distance Running and The Olympics

Distance Running and The Olympics

Running traced back to the old days, in fact as humans, we run in most of our everyday life whether for a long distance or a short one. However, in the world of sports, the long-distance race is part of the oldest track event Included in the Ancient Olympics. Any running game where the runner covers at least two kilometers is tagged as distance running. Endurance, stamina, and strength are of essential value in this competition. During the race, competitors must maintain their energies to run effortlessly towards the end of a long race.

Only males were allowed in the 19th century to compete in long-distance running in the Olympics game, until 1928 when a woman was allowed to compete in the Summer Olympics. However, women were only allowed to participate in the 800-meters distance race.

 1500, 3000, and 10000-meter event were instituted in 1972, 1984, and 1988 respectively, although, the 5000-meter race replaced the 3000-meter run in 1996.

All Olympic race rules and regulations (both it’s drafting and amendment) are made by The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Such standards include

  • Olympic distance runners are to maintain their lane from start to finish.
  • In longer distance races (1500 meters and above), runners are divided into two batches.
  • The first batch stays across the inner half of the track and goes first, while the second batch remains on the outer track until the first batch finishes the first turn.

For a country to compete in Olympic distance running events, the runner can complete the race within the Olympic qualifying time. Only three representatives from a country may compete for every race. Olympic distance events have1 to 2 rounds of preliminary runs, in the finals, a total of 8 runners take part in the 800-meter run, 12 in 1500meter, 15 in the 5000meter, and the numbers of finalists for 10000 meters vary about the number of entrants. The race comes to an end when an athlete’s torso touches the finish line.

One of the persons who shook the Olympic marathon world and became the most popular in the marathon world is Deena Kastor, an American and a distance events champion. She holds both national and world records in numerous marathon (including the half-marathon events), and a bronze medal in the women’s division of distance running Olympics in 2004. In 2006, she went further to set a new American marathon record of 2:19:36, which has been the highest noted since the inclusion in the Olympic track, in 1984. Currently, she and Dathan Ritzenhe in (her fellow American) are among the 2008World’sTop Olympic Contenders.

Distance running requires the right combination of talent, track and field skills, ability, speed, strength, flexibility, and stamina. Countries that bring their best running athletes to participant tend to have a better shot not just at winning, but also at setting a record.

In Olympic, distance running tends to dominate the scene. Therefore, the Pressure on runners and marathoners is super intense.

Distance Running and The Marathon

Distance Runner

Marathon is a name gotten from a place in Greece where it is first practiced. Because of its popularity, it stood out amongst other distance races and was once the centerpiece in Olympic but has now replaced with other various field races and fast track that looks more interesting on television.

Marathon training is a bit different from a standard 5, 10 or 12 km race. While preparing for the race, the runner must have to get used to running at a marathon pace for an extended period.

Long Run

Marathon’s preparation most crucial workout is ‘The Long Run.’ The Long Run is developed by increasing the mileage of the runner once a week until the athlete can run for 2-3 hours generally. Although this increase is to be done gradually and gently, the weekly mileage increase should be about 10 to 20% of your goal mileage and is majorly dependent on the runner’s baseline.

Plans on the weekly distance to be covered must first be made, to help plan the increase accordingly. After this, the runner can begin to include speed workouts.

Marathon pace running

In this type of training, the runner runs at the projected marathon pace. These are tough runs that can go on for about 2 hours mimicking the primary marathon race.

Getting a running partner that runs at the same speed as you, keeps you going and helps to pace your rate during workouts. Joining a half-marathon is also a good idea, but you must ensure you run at your own marathon pace, as it is an effective way of preparing for the main marathon.

Food, fluids, and paraphernalia

During preparation for the real marathon, knowing the kind of food and drinks you are conditioning your body to is essential as it determines how slow or fast your pace during the race will be. Experts have advised you to stay hydrated by drinking fluids every 10 to 15 minutes during the run, whether you are thirsty or not.

Check your body reaction to the type of fluid that served at the race by using it during practice. Sports drinks give a better boost than plain water.

Avoid food that contains fiber; eat more of food rich in carbohydrates.

Choose the gears, i.e., shoes, running clothes, socks, shorts, you are comfortable with, and practice it until it becomes part of you, the aim is for you to be extra comfortable during the marathon race.

Other pre-race preparations

The final long run is to be done two weeks before the primary marathon race and should be about 20 miles (32.19 km) or at least3 hours run. Finally, before you enter the marathon, ensure you take much rest to heal from injuries obtained during pre-race preparation.

Following the routine of the previous runner who broke a record also helps your running ability and keeps you motivated and pushes you to achieve results you would be proud of. Training on Distance running should be done gradually and with no harshness at all.