A survey of hamstring distensibility was conducted in the general population with an age span of three to sixy-five years, using 569 subjects. The authors found hamstring distensibility to be suboptimal in the population tested after the age of six years. A definite decline in hamstring distensibility appears to occur at the age of six years, indicating a relationship between a reduction in hamstring distensibility and enrollment in elementary school. The authors relate the reduction in hamstring distensibility to a decline in activity level and the chronic sitting position. Conventional exercises to stretch this group appear to be inadequate and potentially injurous to the lumbar spine. The authors suggest an alternative exercise.
Author keywords: hamstring, distensibility, straight leg raising, exercise
Author affiliations: RAM: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
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