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Hamstring Exercises and Health

1. Introduction

2. Hamstring Injury Statistics

3. Causes of Hamstring Injuries

4. Prevention of Hamstring Injuries

5. Treatment of Hamstring Injuries


Hamstring injuries are one of the most common injuries in sport. They can be sustained as a result of direct contact with another player or object, or indirectly through a sudden deceleration or change of direction. Hamstring muscles are attached at the hip, pelvis, and knee. When they’re injured, activities such as running, jumping, and cycling can be painful and difficult. Hamstring injuries can sideline athletes for weeks or even months if not properly treated.

Hamstring Injury Statistics

Hamstring injuries are the most common injury in professional football. In elite-level football, research has shown that the overall hamstring injury rate is 5.8 per 1000 hours of match play. This number is significantly higher than other reported rates for ankle (1.2), calf (1.4), and quadriceps (0.8) injuries. Hamstring injuries can occur when the muscle group is overloaded, as seen in sprinting or kicking, or when it is stretched beyond its normal length, as often occurs.

Hamstring injury rates have been on the rise in American football in recent years. Between the 2011 and 2013 NFL seasons, the number of hamstring injuries increased by 28%. This upward trend is also being seen at the collegiate level; during the 2013-2014 season, hamstring injuries were up 43% from the previous season. Some experts have speculated that this increase is due to athletes’ changing training regimens, which often place a greater emphasis on speed and power development.

Hamstring injuries are the most common type of injury in professional football. The incidence of hamstring injuries increases exponentially with increasing player age. Hamstring injury rates are also higher in athletes who participate in sports that require sprinting and jumping, such as track and field, football, and soccer. A study by Caroline Prince et al. showed that training in horizontal forces and isometric with specific hamstring exercises to reduce injury risk and increase performance.

Causes of Hamstring Injuries

Hamstring injuries are a common occurrence in sports, and can often sideline athletes for an extended period of time. There are many possible causes of hamstring injuries, which can make them difficult to prevent. Some of the most common causes of hamstring injuries include: -

  • Muscle imbalance

  • Poor flexibility

  • Weak hamstrings

  • Poor biomechanics

  • Poor warm-up/cool-down routine

  • Excessive running and overuse

A major reason for injury may be poor biomechanics. Biomechanics is the study of the motion and function of the body’s joints and muscles. When these body parts work together in an efficient way, movement is fluid and graceful. However, when something is off, such as incorrect alignment of the joints, muscles can become overloaded and injured.

Prevention of Hamstring Injuries

Hamstring injury prevention exercises are important to include in your workout routine if you participate in sports or activities that involve sprinting, jumping, or twisting. Hamstring muscles are located at the back of your thigh and help you bend your knee and extend your leg. Injuries to the hamstring muscles can occur when they are stretched too far or overloaded with force. This can happen, for example, when you suddenly change direction while sprinting or jump too high. Hamstring injuries are among the most common sports injuries. There are several exercises you can do to help prevent hamstring injuries. One is to stretch your Groin, yes your Groin.

Exercises for Hamstring Health

The adductors aka the Groin is a major contributor to hamstring injuries. The 90/90 Hip Mob is a great exercise to improve hamstring and hip health.

The next series of exercises will show a isometrics and eccentrics.

These engage the adductors as well as the rectus abdominals

Eccentrics are used to lengthen the muscle under tension providing trained stress to the muscle.

Isometrics are a pinnacle in training and are under utilized in my opinion.

The more competitive youth sports get, the more important it is for young athletes to have access to quality athletic training. Here at our facility, we offer the latest and most effective training methods to help your child reach their full potential.

Also don't forget to check out my latest podcast and guest Physical Therapist Allen Wiess with Preferred Physical Therapy.

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