T Nation

Chronic Hamstring Pulls/Frustrated!

I’m officially frustrated. For the last two years whenever I try to play soccer, softball, or run interval sprints, I pull my hamstrings. I’ve been in the lifting game for about 10 years now, I used to play sports, and even used to run 5k races without injury, but the last two years have been rough. I know how to warm-up and stretch before and after exercise, my hamstrings are stronger than my quads, and I can do any kind of GPP resistance walking without injury.

I pulled my hamstring again yesterday running from home plate to first base in a softball game and now must begin the rehab process yet again. I’m going to use RICE and see an ART/Graston practitioner. I’m going to start vigorous stretching again in about 1-2 weeks. I’m going to phase leg curl type exercises back into my program and begin to utilize uni-lateral hip flexion and hip extension training.

I am going to start walking/jogging/interval sprinting again in about 2-4 weeks for a minimum of 20 minutes twice a week. I would like to find a way to run stairs. Also, I think maybe my glutes are weaker than they should be.

I am 27 yrs old, weigh 203 lbs, between 12-15% bodyfat, deadlifts are 15% stronger than squats, stiff legs are about 10% less than squats. I am not currently on any supplements except ZMA, glucosamine/chondroitin, and a multi. Oh yeah, and I have to take 7.5 mg e/d of Warfarin/Coumadin for the rest of my life.

Questions, comments, and suggestions are appreciated…

You’re right in saying your glutes are prob weak. Im sure your pelvis is prob ant. tilted and that your quads and hip flexors are tight (this will inhibit the glutes). Start stretching those muscles and begin some of the glute activation/strengthening movements in MR’s and EC’s get your butt in gear articles. Also switch your stiff leg deadlifts to Romanian Deadlifts, you must have that slight bend in the knee to get the glutes active.

Use to have similar problems then started doing exercises from Mike rRobertsons single leg supplements article here on T-Nation. I am now suffering less from hamstring pulls, particularly found one leg good mornings, one leg squats and reverse lunges to be effective.

My buddy had the exact same problem… The remedy? Train quads/hams on same day flip flopping movements like when your supersetting but with a rest period (or train fast if you like to train fast),but give hams priority as the first movement. I personally find regular leg curls only good for a warm up for my knees & prefer to use a dumbbell held between my feet while layingface down on an incline sit up bench instead. Use Romanian or stiff leg deads (or a variation of them)as your MAIN ham movement. When doing stiff leg deads pull the weight from the floor while you stand on the floor, don’t use a platform to get a fuller stretch/range of motion. ALSO, when you squatting make sure you go BELOW parallel. (Stay away from the leg press & leg extensions!)Going below parallel will activate your glutes & the top of your hams where they tie in. Also, the fuller range will make you use less weight & avoid making your imbalace weaker. Be patient, balancing muscle groups can take time. It took my buddy about 6 months to correct his imbalance that up until that point had plagued him his whole life.