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When your hamstring tightens up, it can really hurt! You can relieve hamstring pain with these easy exercises you can do from home. Your hamstring is one of the muscles in your body that works quietly, helping you get around without much fuss. But when you injure that muscle, it lets you know.

A hamstring is a muscle group in the back of your thigh. It is what allows your knee to bend and flex. The hamstrings also wrap around your hip, which helps you extend your leg when you run or walk. Simple stretches such as the ones we discuss here and at-home remedies will help you keep your hamstrings in optimal health. Here are a few of the reasons healthy hamstrings are so important:

  • Healthy hamstrings help prevent injury.
  • They can help prevent or treat lower back pain.
  • Healthy hamstrings maintain and improve the mobility in your legs, which will help you with everyday athletic activities like training to run a marathon or something simpler like walking up the stairs.

Five Simple Hamstring Stretches

Simple stretches can help keep your hamstrings feeling limber and reduce your risk of injury. If you start to feel pain, stop the stretch immediately and consult a doctor. Here are a few you can try: 

  1. Hamstring StretchesSit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Extend your arms and reach for your toes, bending at the waist but do not lift your knees. Hold this stretch for 15-20 seconds before you relax. Repeat this stretch three times. If you have lower back pain or sciatica, be careful when doing this stretch as it can aggravate lower back problems.
  2. Sit on the floor with one leg straight and the other bent so the sole of your foot rests against your leg. Reach forward toward your toes on the straight leg and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.
  3. While standing, cross your feet and gently lower your arms toward your feet. Keep your knees straight while you hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Switch feet and repeat the stretch on the other side.
  4. Stand with one foot against the wall with your heel on the ground. Put your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Step back while gently pushing forward to the wall but remember to keep your back straight and hold it for up to 30 seconds. This works to help loosen calf muscles as well. Repeat these steps three times on each leg.
  5. Use a foam roller under your thighs and put your hands on the ground behind you so that your weight is supported. Roll back and forth until you find a tight spot. Maintain the pressure for up to 30 seconds.MojiHeat Heated Roller

With a little care, your hamstrings will remain healthy and pain-free, so you can be more active. Caring for your hamstrings is easy, especially with a foam roller. This tool will not only help soothe sore muscles, but it can also help heal them. The MojiHeat Heated Roller combines the benefits of traditional foam rolling with the comfort and relaxation of therapeutic heat. It’s one of the best ways to alleviate pain in your legs.

 

Running is a great and healthy way to get fit and stay fit. However, with the joys and health benefits of running occasionally come the pesky injuries that can easily affect your body while running. One of these pesky injuries is an IT band injury. The IT band, also known as the iliotibial band or ITB, is on the outside of your thigh and runs from the knee to the top of your hip. The IT band injury is common with runners, and it is possible that you are suffering from an IT band injury and don’t even know it.

Here are three ways to treat an IT band injury.

  1. Use A Foam Roller 

Since an IT band injury is common in runners, your IT band might be tight now and may become painful as you run. One of the best ways to work the knots in your IT band is by using a foam massage roller. You want a good IT band foam roller so that you can stretch out the tense area. Fair warning, the first time you use a foam roller to stretch out your IT band it can be pretty painful. However, using one frequently will help reduce your IT band pain in the long run.

Using a foam roller is fairly simple:

  • Lie on your side and prop yourself up with one arm.
  • Place the roller under your hip.
  • Move your body so the roller runs along the outside of your thigh.
  • Stop when you get to your knee and reverse directions.

The MojiHeat Heated Roller combines the benefits of traditional foam rolling with the comfort and relaxation of therapeutic heat. With this added heat benefit, you can better relieve that pain and start recovering.

2. Stretch It 

This is something you have heard over and over again, but it bears repeating: one of the best things you can do for an injury is to stretch. Stretching is a simple, but effective way to help your IT band injury. There are several good IT band stretches that can help relieve tension.

One good IT band stretch is this wall stretch:

  • Stand just slightly more than an arm’s distance from a wall.
  • Place your hand on the wall and lean against it, while placing the other hand on your hip.
  • Move the hip facing the wall toward the wall until you feel it stretch.
  • Squeeze your glutes and tighten your abs.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

3. Strengthen It with Side Leg Lifts 

Using a large rubber exercise band, perform side leg lifts. This will both help stretch the muscle near the IT band and strengthen it. This is a simple but effective stretch that is easy to do:

  • Wrap the exercise band around the calf muscle in a sideways U shape.
  • Stand on the two ends of the exercise band with your other foot.
  • Extend out your leg until you feel a stretch in your thigh and tension from the exercise band.
  • Do a handful of reps and rest.

Make sure you do these exercises to help relieve the tension in your IT band and to strengthen it. However,  do not overdo any of these IT band stretches as it can cause additional injuries. As with all injuries, consult a doctor if you have concerns about your IT band or if you experience IT band pain and tension.

Check out Moji for more information about taking care of your body and how to treat injuries.

 

We’ve all experienced calf tightness. It happens from time to time after running, working out at the gym, or going on a hike or walk. You don’t have to be an athlete to experience it. When that achy tightness sets in, you want a solution that is easy and helps you feel better.

This inexpensive tool is portable and works on all parts of your body. For sore calf muscles, the roller can massage the muscles and help you feel some relief. Depending on how you adjust the position of your leg, it can work the inner or outer muscles. It might not always provide instant relief every time you use it, but the more you use it, the better your calves will feel.

The muscles located in the calf are complex, much more so than most people think. In fact, three muscles make up the calf group: the Achilles tendon, the soleus, and the gastrocnemius. Foam rollers can help reduce muscle soreness and promote strength and mobility.

Here are some exercises you can do with the foam roller to keep your calves feeling good:

Achilles heel release

Put your heel on the roller and gently apply pressure. Point your toes back and forth to help loosen up the Achilles tendon that runs up the calf.

Achilles lateral

Start in the same beginning position as the first exercise and move the foot from side to side. Be sure to keep control of your heel so it doesn’t slip off the roller. To do this cup the roller with your hand.

Calf massage Massage Roller on Calf Muscles

The gastrocnemius is the largest of the calf muscles. While seated with your legs extended on the roller and toes pointed at the ceiling roller, roll the calf over the roller using medium pressure. Do this for 30 seconds on each side.

Short calf release

Start in the same position as the previous exercise and rotate the leg toward the other leg. You’ll only move the roller about three inches over the thickest part of the calf.

Shin roll

Get on your hands and knees and bring one knee toward your chest. Place the roller under the shin and, using light pressure, roll the muscle next to your shin bone over the roller, flexing the toes. Do this on each side about 20 times.

As with any kind of movement or stretching, if you start feeling any discomfort, stop immediately. Finding the right type of roller might take some work. If the roller is too soft, you won’t get the healing benefits of the massage. If it’s too firm, it might hurt too much to get the massage you need to feel relief. For the perfect roller, try the MojiHeat Foam Roller. This foam muscle roller combines the benefits of traditional foam rolling with the comfort and relaxation of therapeutic heat.

Just remember, foam rolling is an outstanding tool that many athletes use to keep their muscles limber and stretched. It can take time to get the desired results though, so be patient. The tighter the muscle, the more work it’s going to take to loosen up.

 

Running and participating in sports are great ways to stay fit and be active. However, sports can put a strain on your lower back. Running can be hard on your lower back, especially if you have a pre-existing lower back injury. As your spine compresses and expands, your lower back feels the impact as your feet hit the ground with each step. Below are three lower back injury exercises, tips, and stretches that you can do at home to help treat your lower back injury.

1. Get in a Proper Warm-Up

Too often, a lower back injury occurs because you haven’t had a complete warm-up before going on a run. A proper warm-up includes these three things:

  • Get the blood circulating by doing a light jog.
  • Stretch. Make sure you are stretching out your legs and your back before going for a run
  • No rigorous movements at the start. Jog before you sprint.

These tips might seem silly, but they will make sure your body is ready to start working hard and will help prevent not only a lower back injury but other common runner injuries as well.

2. Applying Heat and Stretch

Gentle stretching and applying heat are recommended for a lower back injury. This makes the MojiHeat Lower Back Wrap ideal for treating lower back pain. The Moji back wrap uses moist heat, which penetrates deeply into the muscle for targeted relief. Another product to consider is the MojiHeat Heated Roller. It’s also a great lower back injury treatment tool. Foam rollers are an outstanding way to gently stretch and massage a lower back injury. Simply place the roller under your lower back and gently roll back and forth to stretch your lower back. The pressure provides a deep massage to really work the muscles in the lower back, with the added advantage of heat from the MojiHeat roller.

3. Strengthen Your Core

A lot of lower back pain might stem from a lack of hip mobility as you run. The lack of hip mobility is often a symptom of a weak core and the lack of flexibility in that area. Focusing on your core and doing more core exercises can help to improve your form and flexibility when running and lead to less strain on your lower back. Here’s a great core exercise you can do at home with the foam roller.

  • Lie down with foam roller at your mid back
  • Place your hands behind your back for support
  • Don’t arch your back engage your abs
  • Using your feet (while your abs are still engaged) move your body up and down on the roller
  • Don’t go past the base of your neck or the bottom of your rib cage as you roll
  • Roll for one to three minutes

This is a great core workout that you can do at home that will start to help your lower back injury.

As with all injuries, don’t hesitate to see a doctor after an injury. A doctor will give you even more ways to help treat a lower back injury and help you find ways to prevent further pain. For more information about common running and sports injuries and ways to treat them, check out more from Moji and see our other blog posts.

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