top of page

It's Not your Hamstrings Series [Part 3]

We are dedicated to reducing injury rates in youth athletes and increasing education in adult fitness by helping you swift through all of the non-sense floating around on the web by trainers, coaches and even some qualified medical professionals.

This series on Hamstrings is to give you an insight to some problematic areas that are typically overlooked in prevention of hamstring injuries. To start, the overlooked or ignored understanding of how the hamstring should be trained for injury prevention, increased ROM and increased performance. Secondly is the roll of the hamstring and how it is used during performance and it's ability to help in agility.

Part Three: Adductor Complex

In the Previous post, we discussed addressing the APT in a specific population ie. athlete, we are identifying the degrees in which the pelvis is tilted forward and the availability of the hamstring length. However there are anterior muscles that contribute to this tilt and they are the Rectus Abdominis, Rectus Femoris and the Hip Flexor.

The muscle we didn't talk about is the Adductor Complex. This muscle we feel has the highest percentage of influence in increasing hamstring injury. The posterior muscle fibers of the Adductor Magnus assist in hip extension and in our opinion the biggest hip stabilizer of the lower limb and limiting factor to hip internal rotation. With limited hip internal rotation the hamstring fibers are unable to lengthen.

[1] A careful analysis of EMG activity and kinematics during gait suggests that, in the transverse plane, the adductors may be eccentrically controlling internal rotation of the femur at the hip during the loading response, rather than the previously reported. [2] During the loading response, the subtalar joint pronates, and the talus adducts. This talar adduction results in the lower leg, and subsequently the femur, internally rotating. During terminal stance and pressing, the opposite occurs; the subtalar joint supinates as the talus abducts in response to forces generated from the lower extremity and in the forefoot.

Hip Flexion - Transverse Plan Gait

Problematic Issue:

We spend most of our time in the Frontal Plane as part of natural evolution and biomechanics. Most runners train in this plane as well leaving them with additional knee and low back pain.

The focus on wanting to become Bigger, Faster, Stronger Now continues to keep youth athletes in a specific continuum allowing for higher injury risk, especially to the hamstring which is comprised of [3] "Beside type 1, 2a and 2x (2b) fibres a relatively high proportion of intermediate type 2c fibres (5.7% +/- 0.7), which co-expressed MyHC-1 and -2a, was found. Therefore, type 2c might represent a potential pool of fibres, capable of transformation either to slow type 1 or to fast type 2a in order to tune the functional response of BF muscle according to the actual functional demands of the organism." What this indicates is depending on the function of the hamstring it will use different muscles fibers and we should be training to assist both fiber types.

[4] "Muscle activity in the COD and countermovement jumps was only distinguished by a higher peak muscle activity for the adductor longus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris in the COD to stabilize the hip and decelerate knee joint movements when turning compared with the jumps, when kicking a ball in soccer for example creates a whirlwind of problems to the Hip Flexors, Groin and Hamstrings. "As shown the Adductor Magnus and the complex muscles surrounding and inserting mid-line of the thigh attaching to the knee and pelvis integrating with the hamstring.

Before getting into any program there should be a series of assessments that allow the trainer to understand the need of the athlete(s) to better choose exercises together to improve the desired performance. Subsequently, when these do not happen injury rates are typically higher with athletes having hamstring and knee injury.

Assessment is not the only factor when working with the youth athlete. Understanding the demand of the sport, athletic maturity vs. biological maturity and the athletes "available" biomechanics.

If you are still needing additional help and would like more information on how we are helping athletes and general fitness enthusiast train better through education and exercise selection Schedule a One Time Consultation where will we share comprehensive information providing you with a detailed report or by Scheduling a Virtual Consultation that includes pre-reviewed movements.

If you're a parent or coach looking to help your athlete reduce injury risk, we released our Sports Prehab Hamstring Program Online. This is a DIY program with the support of our Certified Trainers to help you along the way. Here is a Overview of what's included:

  • Welcome Call with a Certified Trainer to help you review your program.

  • In App Video Messaging to help guide you or review your movements

  • Exercises come with video or picture for demonstrate movement.


[1] Leighton RD. A functional model to describe the action of the adductor muscles at the hip in the transverse plane. Physiother Theory Pract. 2006 Nov;22(5):251-62. doi: 10.1080/09593980600927385. PMID: 17118893.

[2]Leighton RD. A functional model to describe the action of the adductor muscles at the hip in the transverse plane. Physiother Theory Pract. 2006 Nov;22(5):251-62. doi: 10.1080/09593980600927385. PMID: 17118893.

[3]Dahmane R, Djordjevic S, Smerdu V. Adaptive potential of human biceps femoris muscle demonstrated by histochemical, immunohistochemical and mechanomyographical methods. Med Biol Eng Comput. 2006 Nov;44(11):999-1006. doi: 10.1007/s11517-006-0114-5. Epub 2006 Oct 6. Erratum in: Med Biol Eng Comput. 2007 Mar;45(3):323-4. PMID: 17024467.

[4]Nygaard Falch H, Guldteig Rædergård H, Van den Tillaar R. Relationship of Performance Measures and Muscle Activity between a 180° Change of Direction Task and Different Countermovement Jumps. Sports (Basel). 2020 Apr 10;8(4):47. doi: 10.3390/sports8040047. PMID: 32290048; PMCID: PMC7240375.

15 views0 comments


bottom of page