T Nation

Hamstring Despair

Through years of rehabbing only to re-injure a gnarly hamstring strain I sustained freshmen year of college (am now a senior who has strained hamstring maybe 5-6 times) I have basically accepted that I will never lift legs again. I will at least not lift legs to the point of truly pushing myself or going to failure, adding weight to the bar, as this always leads to further hamstring troubles. Looking for anyone who has had a similar problem, in what ways can I maintain leg strength/size. I have gone nearly 6 months in the past of careful rehab and patience with the hamstring, and as soon as I start any heavy legs other than front squats, it is a matter of time until hamstring is injured.

How and when are the injuries occurring?

In one of Louie’s interviews, he said that hamstring injuries are directly related to weak lower backs. This was when he was talking to a strength coach who had atheltes that repeatedly injured their hamstrings. He believes it was because they didn’t do enough lower back work. ie, when the lower back is weak and/or tight, the hamstrings are stretched out and stressed, making them more prone to injury.
I couldn’t find the Youtube video.

Core strengthening +++

Often hamstrings are recruited to compensate for a week core. Do they become tight and restrictive? What is your lower back like? How do your glutes feel?

It is definitely not an issue of core or lower back strength, I have been an athlete all my life and have quite good core/lower back strength (regularly do weighted leg lifts, weighted plank) and did dead lifts of different varieties, good-mornings, etc before injury occured. The reason for the initial tear I think can be partly blamed to weak glutes, as I had tight quads and hip flexors, but I have worked extensively on this, to the point where I have had physical therapists say “glutes are very built up on this side” while working on injured hamstring. At this point the problem I have been told is just that my hamstring is largely scar tissue and lacks flexibility. Maybe one day I will return to some form of lifting, but for next year or so really just going to let it heal. Just looking for suggestions on ways to maintain leg mass. I have heard cycling and using the ERG machine can help retain muscle?

Would be helpful for you to answer some of these:

Location: where on your hamstring do you typically get the injury, high/low?

What: causes the injury typically?

Training: Do you train hip extension? Hinging? Knee flexion? If not then you should train all three.

Rehab: What does your rehab look like? Do you then integrate it into your strength work? Have you been returning to play too soon? Have you had a coach or rehab specialist through this process?