Preventing Hamstring Injury


 

Hamstring injuries are a very common injury, especially in runners. The hamstrings are an essential muscle group that are often neglected in training. The hamstrings run from the back of your knee to your buttocks. They work to flex the knee and extend the hip. Hamstring muscles are vulnerable to injury during the opposite motion (hip flexion and knee extension) commonly during the swing face of running. This is when the hamstrings are put on a stretch.

 

Often times, there is a muscle imbalance between the quadriceps (thigh muscles) and the hamstrings which can lead to injury. This means that the quadriceps muscles are stronger than the hamstring muscles. This muscle imbalance is one of the leading causes of hamstring injury and also knee injury. Performing exercises that target the hamstring muscles will help strengthen these important muscles and decrease your risk of injury.

 

A proper warm up will also help decrease the risk of hamstring injuries. Stretching is important but a dynamic warm-up such as light jogging, jumping jacks, butt kicks (etc.) will help get the blood flowing to the muscles so that you don’t pull a muscles at the start of your workout. Stretching after a workout can also help reduce injury. Quadriceps tightness and also hamstring tightness can put you at risk for injury or tear. Performing SMR (foam rolling) will increase blood flow to the muscles and is an excellent way to decrease soreness and tightness. See a previous blog post if you are interested in learning more about foam rolling.

 
 

Cooling down after a workout can also prevent injury. Staying properly hydrated and taking rest days will also allow your hamstring muscles to rest, recover, and will decrease risk of injury.

 

If you are interested in starting a workout program, call Fitness Together at 330-702-1311 to set up a free fitness/nutrition assessment today!

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Posted by on April 12, 2013. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry