Hamstring Injuries Comprehensive #1 Guide

Hamstring Problems and Injuries Part of being an athlete? Prologue by a Friend of Pinoyathletics

Regarding a coach stating that Injuries are part of being an athlete.

And should training for the athlete to adapt to the load then should be adequately progressed to achieve overload. The objective of the training is to improve the athlete and not to injure the athlete. If the coach thinks that injury is a part of being an athlete, he probably has no clue. Injury happens, but it is not done intentionally, nor is it expected to happen. Therefore, he should do everything in his capacity to avoid injuring the athlete.

Chronic Hamstring Problems in Sprinters: Management and Recovery

By Jason S Davis, BSc. M.Chiro

When discussing hamstring injuries. Attention is often focused on the management and rehabilitation of acute injuries such as grade one biceps femoris tear. However, hamstring soreness and poor sprint performance resulting from hamstring problems can often persist long after an initial acute injury or multiple acute tears. While in some cases, soreness develops even without an initial tear taking place. Most coaches and athletes are aware that the hamstrings are under tremendous force during sprinting.

Most of all, the forces appear highest during the terminal recovery phase of the foot just before ground contact, and also, during the support phase. At the same time, working to create stiffness in conjunction with the quadriceps and gluteal muscles. Also, this occurs in around 0.03 seconds in elite sprinters. Hence meaning the rate of force is tremendous. Most Noteworthy, the literature would suggest that overly ambitious and unmanaged training and competition volumes are the major culprits for the development of hamstring injuries.

Athletes mishandle chronic pain. Often, the wrong things are blamed for the problem, and the wrong recommendations are perpetuated because coaches and athletes think they can fix the problem the same way you manage an acute injury.

Furthermore, we will see this is not the case.

With chronic hamstring soreness.

  1. Athletes complain more of stiffness and soreness that persists long after exercise and is especially prevalent when warming up.
  2. They note that the pain often goes away after warming up and can often compete or train well. But the soreness gets worse in the following few days.
  3. This process continues for a while until it suddenly seems to get worse and more persistent.
  4. This also tends to lead them towards more massage therapy and more stretching.
  5. Unfortunately, if these measures are aimed at the wrong things. Such as attempts to break up scar tissue. Adhesions or trigger points may perpetuate the issue, increasing anxiety, and frustration.


This article will discuss the causes and implications of chronic hamstring soreness and dysfunction and the best management approach.

Read Full Article Here


Hamstring Pull Recovery: The Rehab, Part 1

Hamstring Problems and Injuries
Hamstring Problems

This is part 6 of a multi-part series on hamstring pulls and rehabilitation.

I discussed hamstring pulls in several past articles:

At Speed Endurance. I like to give real-life examples of how people really train and not present vague PowerPoint slides.

Before moving to Europe in 2009, I had a track team with Derek Hansen back in Vancouver. Derek and I put a lot of our conference material at http://www.strengthpowerspeed.com/store/, with more to come.

Our club was fairly successful given the size, our facilities, and inclement weather conditions.  One was a Bobsledder that represented Canada at the 2006 Torino Winter.

Olympics. And one was a sprinter that won a bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games 4x100m relay.

So in this article, or should I say diary, we go back to 2008 when our Bobsledder. Steve Larsen pulled his hamstring.

Hamstring Rehabilitation and Running Mechanics

Written by Derek Hansen

In 2008. I had the opportunity to do some hamstring rehab work on an athlete. I had worked in the past. Most noteworthy was he had been training in another city for the past year.

And had torn his hamstring in a 30-meter sprint test. Four days later. He eventually made it back to my city, and we had to undergo some pretty intensive hamstring rehabilitation. After that, he had four weeks to be ready for his first competition (bobsled).

This would have been more than enough time for us to work with him. While having worked with sprinters and speed athletes for some time. It was pretty familiar territory for me. Yet, I did not doubt that we would successfully rehab him in time for him to compete in top condition. The processing we undertook is no different from the framework I outlined in an article titled Rehab and Dating Success on my site


The first day he was back under my supervision. We started with evaluation and observation.

Simply speaking with the athlete and asking him about the injury and how it feels. For example, standing, walking, sitting, getting out of bed in the morning, etc. It can yield a lot of useful information.

Given that we were five days out from the initial injury. Inflammation was not a significant concern for us. It was more about determining the athlete’s level of mobility and comfort.

[Jimson’s note: If you pull your left hamstring, try getting into the driver’s seat of a low sports car.  If you pull your right hamstring, try getting into the passenger side.  Report your findings to your coach.]

Read the Full Article Here

Build Indestructible Hamstrings

Hamstring Problems and Injuries
A Hamstring Pull waiting to happen

Q: Joe,

I’m a high school and future college football player. Over the past two years, I’ve pulled both of my hamstrings a couple of times. They’re all healed except one of the kinds of lingers.

I’ve done PT and other kinds of stretches and exercises that I have found, but it doesn’t seem to go away for some reason.

The hammy that I’m having trouble with was injured about two months ago. And I don’t want to have this going to college… So I was hoping that you might have some additional tips or video recommendations that might help me. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

-Cody McGuffie

A: Cody,

Suppose you want to build indestructible hamstrings. There’s only one thing you gotta do!! Check out the video below, and it will solve all your problems…


Extreme Hamstrings: High-Tension Hamstring Training

By Erick Minor

For www.EliteFTS.com

Hamstring injuries are common among sprinters. One of the biggest challenges that I face as a strength coach is helping an athlete overcome a hamstring injury and, at the same time, improving performance. I train Darvis Patton, 2008 Beijing Olympic 100-meter finalist, and Leonard Scott, 2006 Indoor World Champion 60-meter sprint. Both of these athletes have experienced serious hamstring injuries. The following information will shed some light on my techniques and protocols for building bullet-proof hamstrings.

Anatomy of a hamstring injury

You must first understand the function of the hamstring and where the most stress is placed on the hamstring to correct and prevent injury. The hamstrings are a group of three posterior thigh muscles responsible for knee flexion and hip extension. During high-speed sprints, the hamstrings’ main role is to rein hip flexion and initiate hip extension.

Most hamstring injuries occur during the powerful eccentric contraction of the late swing phase.

This is when the front thigh is almost parallel to the ground during high-speed printing.

There is tremendous stress on the hamstring at this phase between the eccentric and concentric contractions.

So, my philosophy is to increase the strength of a muscle where it is the most vulnerable.

This idea is called accentuation, and I first read about this in Vladimir Zatsiorsky’s book, Science and Practice of Strength Training.

The problem with most hamstring training programs is the emphasis on concentric dominant exercises. As you may know, we are stronger eccentrically than concentrically, so most concentric dominant exercises don’t place enough load on the hamstrings to prevent injury.

The emphasis on concentric training is due to, in my opinion, an overemphasis on rate-of-force development.

The following exercises, which are staples for most sprinters, are what I consider concentric dominant exercises. Those exercises are power cleans, power snatches, and box jumps. Unfortunately, these concentric dominant, explosive exercises prevent hamstring injury due to the lack of eccentric stress.

You may be thinking, what about explosive exercises?

You must train fast to be fast, right? Nope.

In my opinion, sprinting is by far the most effective explosive/plyometric exercise for sprinters. No gym exercise can duplicate the speed of limb movement during a full-out sprint. Therefore, my primary goal for all my sprint athletes is to prevent injury by addressing muscular weakness and imbalances and improving performance by increasing maximal relative strength.

Word of caution

This article is not intended to address biomechanical issues (posture, pelvic tilt, etc.) or acute injuries. Structural issues should be addressed by a qualified professional before implementing a maximal strength program.

The following exercises are not intended for beginners or novice trainees. These exercises place a tremendous amount of stress on the hamstrings in the stretched position.

Operating principles

  1. Rand should perform resistance training after morning sprint sessions. For example, my athletes typically do their track workout at 10:00 am, followed by lunch at noon and then resistance training at 2:00 pm.
  2. And should perform heavy hamstring work before an off day. This is of vital importance as the season gets closer. In addition, Sprinters should always do track speed work on fresh legs.
  3. The hamstrings require intense, high-tension work to make a difference. Light training will do nothing to improve sprint performance.
  4. Listen to your body. Adjust volume as necessary but never decrease intensity below an eight-rep max for most hamstring exercises.
  5. Never sacrifice good form for heavier loading.
  6. Use high intensity, moderate to high volume during the off-season, and high intensity and low volume during competition. Low intensity (eight or more reps) is of minimal value to fast-twitch athletes such as sprinters.

Hamstring Problems and Injuries

The following exercises are advanced movements for pain-free, post-rehabilitation athletes.

Trap bar dead-lift: This exercise is one of my favorite exercises. It is a tremendous posterior chain exercise and is easier to teach than the standard dead-lift.

Keep the arms perpendicular to the ground and the shoulders a few inches in front of your knees.

Drive with the legs. Don’t let the hips rise before the shoulders. Lower the weight to the floor on each repetition. Do not bounce the weight on the floor.

Caption: Figure 1, Leonard Scott

Modified Bulgarian split squat emphasizing the hamstring: This exercise is similar to a basic rear leg elevated split squat. The only difference is the front shin remains almost perpendicular, and the torso comes in contact with the thigh during the eccentric phase of the exercise. This is a very effective single-leg hamstring exercise.

Figure 2, Darvis “Doc” Patton

Modified Romanian deadlift, eccentric enhanced: Perform a standard bent-knee deadlift for the concentric phase. Perform a Romanian deadlift for the eccentric phase. Maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise. Lower the weight to the floor on each repetition.

Typically, most athletes can deadlift more weight than they can Romanian deadlift. However, this allows for a significant overload of the hamstrings. Therefore, we use either the trap bar or a straight barbell for this exercise.

Reverse hip extension, single leg:

This exercise requires an Atlantis or PowerLift reverse hyper machine. Position yourself on the machine as directed. Place the trailing leg on a plyobox or high step. Position the pad so that you can keep the knee slightly bent. Perform partial reps maintaining tension on the hamstring.

Caption: Figure 4, Leonard Scott

The following leg routines were designed for the 2008 Beijing Olympics 100-meter finalist

Darvis “Doc” Patton. Routinely used during the 2008 off-season.

Legs #1, Tuesday
Order Exercise Sets Reps Tempo Rest
A Trap bar weight sequence: 315, 335, 355–375 4 3 31 X 1 3 minutes
B Modified Bulgarian split squat with dumbbellsWeight sequence: 65, 70, 75–80 3–4 4–6 per leg 30 X 1 90 seconds per leg
C1 Hip flexion, cable weight sequence: 70, 80–90 3 8–10   90 seconds
C2 Reverse hip extension, one leg alternating weight sequence: 90, 100–125 3 6–8 per leg   2 minutes
Legs #2, Friday
Order Exercise Sets Reps Tempo Rest Int.
A Modified Romanian deadlift 3–4 3 31 X 1 3 minutes
B Split squat, barbell 2–3 4–6 per leg 20 X 1 3 minutes
C1 Glute hamstring raise, advanced 3–4 4–6 30 X 1 2 minutes
C2 Hanging leg raise 3–4 8–10   2 minutes

Repeat each routine 4–6 times before changing exercises and protocols. The duration of the routines depends on progress. If you are still increasing the load after four weeks, continue the routine for another two weeks.

Darvis “Doc” Patton improved his 100-meter sprint time from 10.11 seconds in 2007 to 9.89 seconds in 2008.

Erick Minor has been a full-time strength coach and personal trainer since 1997 and a certified sports massage therapist since 1996. He has worked as a strength coach and sports massage therapist in clinical (chiropractic) and commercial settings. He is currently the owner of Dynamic Barbell Club (www.dynamicbarbell.com), a private sports performance and personal training gym located in Fort Worth, Texas. Erick has personally trained hundreds of individuals seeking improved sports performance or aesthetic enhancement. Also, he currently trains professional athletes from the MLB and track and field. As an athlete, Erick has competed since 1992 in powerlifting and bodybuilding. Recently (2007), he competed in Strongman.

Elite Fitness Systems strives to be a recognized leader in the strength training industry by providing the highest quality strength training products and services while providing the highest level of customer service in the industry. For the best training equipment, information, and accessories, visit us at www.EliteFTS.com.


Hamstring Injuries

Article from ironstrong.org forums

Here is the tried-and-true injury rehab method for muscle-belly injuries we got from Starr, and that has worked for years better than any other method I’ve ever used. It also works well on orthopedic injuries in general and should be tried before anything more elaborate is used. But, first, wait 3-4 days until the pain starts to “blur,” which indicates that the immediate healing process has stopped the bleeding and has started to repair the tissue.
Then use an exercise that directly works the injury, i.e., that makes it hurt, in this case, the squat. Use the empty bar and do 3 sets of 25 with perfect form, allowing yourself NO favoring the injured side. If it’s ready to rehab, you will know by the pain: if the pain increases during the set, it’s not ready; if it stays the same or feels a little better toward the end of the set, it is ready to work.


Does it again and add a small amount of weight, like 45 x 25 x 2, 55 x 25. Next day, 45 x 25, 55 x 25, 65 x 25. Continue adding weight every day, increasing as much as you can tolerate each workout. It will hurt, and it’s supposed to hurt, but you should be able to tell the difference between rehab pain and re-injury. If you can’t, you will figure it out soon enough. This method works by flushing blood through the injury while forcing the tissue to reorganize in its normal pattern of contractile architecture.
After 10 days of 25s, go up in weight and down in reps to 15s, then to 10s, and finally to fives. During this time, do NO OTHER HEAVY WORK so that your resources can focus on the injury. You should be fixed in about 2 weeks, squatting more than you hurt yourself with.
This method has the advantage of preventing scar formation in the muscle belly since the muscle is forced to heal in the context of work and normal contraction, using the movement pattern it normally uses. The important points are
  1. perfect form with
  2. lightweights that can be handled for high reps.
  3. every day for two weeks
  4. no other heavy work will interfere with the system-wide processes of healing the tear.

It is also essential through the whole process of healing the injury that ice be used.

During the initial phase after the injury and after the workouts. Use it 20 on/20 off, many times a day at first and then tapering off to morning, after the workout, and before bed. Ice is your best friend in a muscle belly injury, holding down inflammation and fluid accumulation (“swelling”) while at the same time increasing beneficial blood flow through the injury.
But DO NOT USE ICE MORE THAN 20 MINUTES AT A TIME. More than that can cause more damage than it repairs.
This may actually be the most useful post on this entire little forum of mine, and if you use this method exactly, you can save yourself many weeks of lost training and long-term problems with muscle-belly scarring. Try it and see.

By doing this method, you rebuild the muscle in an architectural sense allowing it to heal through contracting and relaxing. Do not get eager on this rehab protocol. Follow it to a T; once you are done, begin to put weight on the bar again.





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