There is a hole in scientific research when assessing our knee muscles. While the quadriceps and hamstrings have been studied quite extensively, others, like the IT band, our adductors, and sartorius have an unknown contribution to the gait mechanics.
The flexibility of the hamstring – the back of our thigh – seems to be critical for injury prevention.
The load on the hamstring increases during the swing phase, when the knee extends. The lateral part of the muscle undergoes the most load.
A tight hamstring has a similar negative impact on our gait – shortened stride length, reduced knee flexion at heel strike – as a weak muscle. The average hamstring flexibility during a single leg raise revolves around 70-75 degrees.
A previous injury does not seem to affect our hamstring’s flexibility.
Despite several studies, no conclusion could be made for the quadriceps muscle.
In conclusion, muscle flexibility is not the most important factor to injuries but has its place in the global puzzle.
Next post we will start talking about the hip joint.