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.
Training should be done 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, then he probably has no clue. Injury happens but it is not done intentionally nor is it expected to happen. He should do everything in his capacity to avoid injuring the athlete
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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, many times hamstring soreness and poor sprint performance resulting from hamstring problems can 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 forces during sprinting.
Most of all the forces appear highest during the terminal recovery phase of the foot just before ground contact. Also during the support phase. While 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 forces 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.
Chronic pain is handled extremely badly by athletes. Often because 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.
Athletes tend to complain more of stiffness and soreness that persists long after exercise and is especially prevalent when warming up.
They note that the pain often goes away after warming up and can often compete or train well. But the soreness gets worse the following few days.
This process continues for a while until it suddenly seems to get worse and more persistent.
This also tends to lead them towards more massage therapy and more stretching.
Unfortunately, if these measures are aimed at the wrong things. Such as attempts to break up scar tissue. Adhesions, or trigger points they may perpetuate the issue, increasing anxiety, and frustration.
This article will discuss the causes and implications of chronic hamstring soreness and dysfunction and what the best management approach would be.
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 within the past. Most noteworthy was he had been training 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. 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 a pretty familiar territory for me. Yet I had no doubt that we would successfully rehab him in time for him to compete in top condition. It is important to note that the process 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. 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.]
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 kind 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… I was hoping that you might have some additional tips or video recommendations that might help me. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
If you want to build indestructible hamstrings. There’s only one thing you gotta do!! Check out the video below and all your problems will be solved…
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 currently 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 in order 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.
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. These concentric dominant, explosive exercises are ineffective at preventing 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. There is no gym exercise that can duplicate the speed of limb movement during a full out sprint. 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 prior to 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.
Resistance training should be performed after morning sprint sessions. My athletes typically do their track workout at 10:00 am followed by lunch at noon and then resistance training at 2:00 pm.
Heavy hamstring work should be performed before an off day. This is of vital importance as the season gets closer. Sprinters should always do track speed work on fresh legs.
The hamstrings require intense, high tension work to make a difference. Light training will do nothing for improving sprint performance.
Listen to your body. Adjust volume as necessary but never decrease intensity below an eight-rep max for most hamstring exercises.
Never sacrifice good form for heavier loading.
Use high intensity, moderate to high volume during the off-season and high intensity, low volume during competition periods. Low intensity (eight or more reps) is of minimal value to fast-twitch athletes such as sprinters.
The following exercises are advanced movements for pain-free, post-rehabilitation athletes.
Trap bardead-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 with emphasis on 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. This allows for a significant overload of the hamstrings. We use either the trap bar or a straight barbell for this exercise.
Reverse hip extension, single leg: This exercise requires the use of 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 2008 Beijing Olympics 100-meter finalist
Darvis “Doc” Patton. These routines were used during the 2008 off-season.
Legs #1, Tuesday
Trap bar weight sequence: 315, 335, 355–375
31 X 1
Modified Bulgarian split squat with dumbbellsWeight sequence: 65, 70, 75–80
4–6 per leg
30 X 1
90 seconds per leg
Hip flexion, cable weight sequence: 70, 80–90
Reverse hip extension, one leg alternating weight sequence: 90, 100–125
6–8 per leg
Legs #2, Friday
Modified Romanian deadlift
31 X 1
Split squat, barbell
4–6 per leg
20 X 1
Glute hamstring raise, advanced
30 X 1
Hanging leg raise
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.
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 orthopaedic injuries in general, and should be tried before anything more elaborate is used. Wait 3-4 days until the pain starts to “blur”, which indicates that the immediate process of healing 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.
. The NEXT DAY do 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
perfect form with
lightweights that can be handled for high reps.
every day for two weeks
no other heavy work that will interfere with the system-wide processes of healing the tear.
It is also very important 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.