What a tug-of-war with a dog can teach us

What tug-of-war with a dog teaches us about muscles, stretching, and injuries. Hint: the dog is the “knot” in the equation.

Most people start out with muscles that are flexible and gradually get Denser and tighter as we get older.  it usually starts out as one little pocket of tension. these “knots” often grow larger with time. So if you’re attempting to stretch, the “knot” is the last part to let go much like the dog in the tug-of-war.  If it really doesn’t want to let go you probably won’t be able to make it despite how hard your pull.  What is more likely to happen is that a tear will happen in any place other than what is actually inside the dogs mouth (knot). What I’m trying to say here is that if you are simply bending over to touch your toes trying to stretch your hamstrings the knots in your hamstrings are not going to let go without a hell of a fight and you’re going to probably end up overstretching and or injuring other muscles, tendons, and ligaments. 

In situations like this a combination of tactful stretching and direct pressure release such as sitting on a lacrosse ball softball golf ball what have you can be more fruitful and less harmful.

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Kevin Moran