Hamstring Active Recovery – Becoming More Flexible
Hamstring Recovery Treatment
During my first Kung Fu year, after around 3-4 months of training, in the middle of winter time, I hurt my hamstring. It bothered me with more or less intensity till the moment I left the school, meaning at least 8 months. Healing my hamstring was one of my goals during the next 5 months of break. These are the treatments that I have attended:
- in India I have received a traditional 5 days Kalarichikilsa treatment,
- in Poland I went two times to an Osteaopath and also I have received a massage from my aunt, who is a naturotherapist,
- besides I tried not to overstress my hamstring during that time.
Becoming More Flexible
In the first year my hamstring was mostly painful, when I was kicking and when I bend forward. I still though could do splits. Well, most of the time. The level of my flexibility wasn’t a constant thing. At some days I could push myself into splits, at other days I was 10 cm away from reaching them and there was no way I would get lower.
But, one thing is sure, Kung Fu training is connected with everyday stretching. We do splits in a warm up before every first class and on Fridays we have a whole class dedicated to flexibility, called Power Stretching. So even if you lose your flexibility (that was my case) because of a constant muscle workout, you recover it at some point. In conclusion, although I was injured, I was able to do splits every now and than. With pain but I pushed it through 🙂
When I come back (after 5 months break) to train 2nd year in Qufu Shaolin Kung Fu school, even though I had all these treatments mentioned above, the moment I started to train and stretch, my hamstring become painful and on top of that I was far away from doing splits. Does it mean that it got worse?
No. After around two weeks of training I recovered my splits. When summer came, meaning after around 1 month, the pain in the hamstring has disappeared. It was almost like it has never been there before. My “injured” leg become even more flexible than my “better” leg. Another surprise, ha!
My conclusion is:
Stretching requires adaptation from each of your tissues. If you have never stretched, you will probably at first feel just your muscles stretching. But, at some point the ligaments and nerves will be affected and they need to adapt. Than you can start to feel an unpleasant pain in your knee or hip while you are stretching. But this is not the end. The joints need to adapt to a new position as well. This is when you hear cracking in your joint, mostly hip.
All this adaptation can bring pain and injury, but when you go through it, you take care of your muscles, ligaments and joints by strenghtening them with different workouts, by giving your body proper nutrition and recovery time, it will heal and it will lead you to the next step in your body flexibility!