Hamstring injuries – both muscle strains and tendon overload can benefit from load management, strengthening, and movement skill. In this video and post I discuss the benefits and implementation of a strengthening routine.
In high speed sports like squash, soccer, and rugby, hamstring injuries are common place. The high velocity of sprinting, kicking, and lunging puts the hamstring unit under tremendous stress. If an athlete manages stress well the unit can become more resilient but as we know the line between performance gains and pain can be small (see the image below).
Tendon versus muscle:
When creating an injury reduction plan the priority should be on comprehensive capacity of high load areas. This means picking good general exercises like squats, deadlifts, and step ups but also specific exercises that potentially replicate particular movements in a given sport. In squash a greater focus on lunging in sprinting sports nordics. A good program will allow tendons and muscles to adapt.
If an athlete is injured the distinction between the two areas becomes more important. Certain movements may be avoided in tendon injuries and the timelines may differ between the two.
Both injuries will require a graded exposure to load. Sometimes starting with isometrics (holds) and with time building up speed, load, and specificity. This diagram is taken from the work of Jill Cook.
The video routine highlights potential strength and energy storage exercises. They could be used in an injury reduction or a graded rehab program. Each patient’s needs are unique but I hope this offers up a few fun ideas.
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