T Nation

Can Your Hamstrings be Too Flexible?

My flexibility is pretty good, but i’ve noticed that to get any stretch reflex in my hamstrings, I have to keep my hips pretty high on stiff legs and good mornings.

I can keep a neutral spine with locked out legs and touch 135 to the floor, and my good mornings go easily past 90 degrees with straight legs. when I do a sit and reach test I can grab around the sides of the soles of my feet pretty easily.

I this making me weaker? I stretch my legs pretty regularly. I also notice top olympic lifters can do the splits but that doesn’t seem to affect them.

I have stupidly flexible hamstrings (in the stretch test I can grab my heel from over the top of my feet) but can still deadlift 250kgs without feeling any problems. I do feel vulnerable during any major stop-start activity like rugby sometimes, but fuck stop-start. I have to do the splits every night too, or my legs feel heavy all night.

It doesn’t seem to affect my strength, but it’s something that I’ve just always had anyway. Freaks people out seeing a big guy with the flexibility of a ballerina too…

Excess flexibility is only a problem if you do not have the strength to protect/stabilize the joint.

I’ve thought about the same thing and kind of believe I got weaker, lost ‘spring’, when I started stretching seriously and greatly improved my frontbending (hamstrings and lower back). Deadlifting felt more loose, although I also dieted at the same time and lost a lot of weight.

I kind of doubt if many olympic lifters can do the splits. When I hear about how flexible olympic lifters are and especially how they need to be, I get kind of annoyed because I don’t really see what about olympic lifting requires great flexibility, especially hamstring flexibility.

That said, there are more ways than one to do the front splits. People with flexibility defects can still ‘cheat’ out the front splits by awkwardly twisting their hips to one side or another and so go all the way down. The leg position is the same.

Doing the front splits with square hips requires dramatically greater flexibility.