T Nation

Hamstring Issues


#1

I'm currently on my 2nd round of DC Training, and I've been strictly lifting for about 1.5 years now without any other activity more or less (the occasional football game). 2 weeks ago we set up a quick pickup game of football, and I first pulled my right hammy, then about 20 mins later after continuing to play, pulled my left (although the left pulled much worse). Since then, whenever I try exploding in any sport (played basketball yesterday, but not a serious game), I keep pulling my hammys. Also, since the first pull 2 weeks ago, I haven't been able to DL properly and couldn't even leg curl 25lbs with my left leg, it just felt like too much weight.

If the issue here is stretching (which I would think is the obvious answer), then how much stretching is really necessary here? I'm very bad with stretching. I don't stretch during, before or after workouts (although I lift very light to begin for 10 reps and make my way up to the heavier weight). Is this the culprit for these overly tight hammys?

How do I get my hammys back to normal? And if its stretching, please recommend some stretches and how long they should be held for.


#2

Um, my $0.02 would be a flat out yes. Tight hammies can cause all kinds of problems. I never thought stretching would help even when I started reading tons of stuff that said "stretch to get bigger" I shrugged it off as bullshit. Stretching doesnt have to be a gay yoga class but Ive added it in for the past 6 months and its made the biggest difference in my training. Taking away tightness improves recovery, ROM and ability (strength, speed, exposivness, power etc).

Stretching the hamms were huge for me because of low back issues. You have to remember that your behind is all one big interlaced piece of meat. So if your calf is tight your neck could hurt. Its weird and wacky and sucks but its true. A simple google search would show you a lot of stretches.
I foam roll that area (calves, hammies, glutes and back)to prevent injury, recover and add strength.
To start out you will probably only be able to hold the stretch for 30sec. THings like sitting on the floor with one leg extended and the other pulled in towards you while you try to tough the toes of the extended leg are popular. Foot up on a chair will and leaning towards the raised foot (you see runners do this a lot) is popular. But its hard to write out stretches. Youtube and google is where you are gonna find pictures and such. Id also recommend getting a foam roller and learning how to use it and then do it 2x a day for 2 weeks and youll have recovered hamms of steel. You can foam roll before and after a session, its like a massage from the devil. Feels great after you do it not during.


#3

Isn't stretching for 30-60 seconds after work sets an essential part of DC?


#4

Thanks hips, I'll be implementing the hamstring stretches and foam rolling into all leg days.

Yes third, you're right. Stretching is an essential element, I neglected to state that I do partake in this stretch after the exercise. To be honest though, I haven't been doing the hamstring stretches consistantly at all (maybe once or twice throughout 7 weeks).

The hammys are all good now, but I'm gonna get stretching and make sure this problem doesn't pop up again.