The last 4 days, I’ve been writing about the worst ways to boost sports performance. This is because I frequently see my practice members and friends making the same mistakes over and over again.
Sports is a great way to get fit and get healthy. And we all know that no matter what exercise or sport we do, we should all do a warm up. Though there’s much debate about whether stretching enhances performance or not, one thing is for sure: bad stretching techniques is NOT good for performance. The fifth and final worst way to boost sports performance is this particular back stretch.
Since this is the last of 5 worst ways to boost sports performance, you may missed the first four. The first worst way is here. # 2 is here. Here’s #3. And #4 can be read here.
5. Back stretch
So what was that stretch I was talking about?
One of the worst stretches for a person with back pain is bending over to touch your toes while keeping your legs straight. Even worse is bouncing while trying to touch your toes. Worse again is doing that and twisting at the same time!
This back stretch is actually very beneficial if done correctly. Unfortunately most people do it incorrectly, therefore placing it in the top 5 worst ways to improve sports performance.
This forward bending stretch exaggerates the hunching and rounded posture that we get when we sit all day, adding more pressure on our spine and discs. People with stiff backs usually enjoy this stretch, though they don’t realise that the spine and discs are not moving freely. They lock up and actually compress the spinal joints, disc and nerves. This will cause more stress, compression and injury.
Another reason why…
Hanging forward also give you a great hamstring stretch. However, this stretch creates the greatest pull on the start of the hamstrings – at the pelvic bone. This excessive strain on that crucial part of the hamstring is dangerous. Bouncing increases the chances of the muscle tearing.
There are many other ways to stretch your back and hamstrings that don’t injure you. If you want to know how, you can read it in my upcoming book. You can also look out for my best and worst back exercises article coming soon.
Ps… Arching backwards (see the photo below) is not a back stretch! it’s a back compression – and compression is not good. That’s why I didn’t mention it in this post as part of the worst back stretches. Do it correctly and get the benefit. Do it poorly and suffer the consequences (back pain, slipped disc).