If you have ever tweaked your hamstring, you know how frustrating and nagging it can be. Follow this routine 3x per week for 3 weeks to knock out that nagging issue.
Understanding A Hamstring Strain:
A hamstring strain usually occurs because the forces acting to lengthen or stretch the hamstring were too strong for your muscles ability to keep tension. Typically this happens when an athlete is:
1. Over Striding: When reaching out in front to cover more ground during a sprint, the hamstring is at its longest point when it makes contact with the ground. When the foot hits the ground, the forces from the landing pull the hamstring muscle too far past its functional mobility and somethings got to give...
2. Rapid Deceleration: Slamming on the breaks on a sprint or change of direction movement can also cause a strain. Again, the force applied through the leg is too great for your hamstring to handle and so it gives. When decelerating, the hamstring contracts eccentrically which means it is lengthening (think about a rubber band stretching). When you go to push off, the hamstring is stretched too far and does not have enough strength to pull itself back (concentrically) which is when you feel a POP!
3. Over Stretching: Although uncommon, I have heard and seen cases where people stretch too far past their functional mobility and the hamstring will pull. This is why I always say, "Stretch to the pain, not through the pain" - taken from my good friend Jay Simon. If you feel like your hamstrings are always TIGHT and you can never seem to get them loose enough despite constantly stretching them, I would suggest that perhaps you are stretching the wrong muscle and there is a different issue that is causing that "tight" feeling... Check out this article for more on this topic
Details Of The Program:
Step 1: RICE - Rest, Ice, Elevate, Compression - for immediate injuries, take care of your body and follow the RICE rule. If the hamstring shows no improvement in 3 days, make an appointment with a Physical Therapist
Step 2: Warm Up - Walking on a slight incline uphill on a treadmill for 10 minutes is a great way to warm up the hamstring. You are actually slowly stretching the hamstring back out with each step and strengthening the concentric muscle contraction with each step (typically why you pulled it in the first place because this wasn't strong enough)
Walk backwards to activate and shorten the hamstrings and glutes a little bit before you start to strength train.
Step 3: Strengthen - The two exercises listed both accomplish the same goal, take the hamstring to its lengthened position where the injury occurred and then contract the hamstring to strengthen the injured area. These exercises should be first done UNLOADED with BODYWEIGHT, but as you progress and feel stronger, feel free to gradually add load.
Step 4: SMR & AIS - Self massage will help relax the area you just strengthened and the pressure will encourage fresh blood flow to the area speeding up your recovery. Then stretch the hamstring VERY SLOWLY and CAREFULLY using the ASLR exercise. Again, don't take the stretch too far, just until you start to feel it.
Step 5: Cool Down - Walk again to cool down.
What Can I Do To Make Sure It Doesn't Reoccur?
Thats the trick isn't it? And that is why you need to seriously consider a Peerless Athletics Training Program. A professionally designed program from Peerless that is individualized to your injury history will take you back to 100% and beyond. Sign up here.