T Nation

Preventing Pulled Muscles


I'm looking for suggestions for decreasing the tendancy of pulling my hamstrings..

I am 43,6"1" 225lbs 12%. Working out consistently for 2 yrs. I have increased strenght and a lot and think I'm in great shape. Would like to be in really good shape to enter SR Track meets in a few yrs.

I like to run sprints for a cardio HIIT type workout. I warm up with a slow quarter, 20 minutes of streching,
then slow strides to start work out and increase speed as I progress through the routine.
I usually run 2 220's 12 100's walk 400 cool down. I can be in the 4th or 5th 100 and have a ham start to pull.
Usually run on Wed and Sunday my to off days from weights.

I eat extremely well following precision nutrition. I am going to add streching on weight days. Any suggestions beside not running?


I would suggest a couple of things to look at.

1) Scheduling - are you trying to sprint too close to leg weights sessions? If so, change it up a bit.

2) Try backing off the speed for a few weeks. In other words, try and get through your workout at a speed that doesn't aggravate your hammy. Then build up slowly.

3) Add some stiff-legged deadlifts into your hammy routine. Start light.

4) Get a good deep tissue massage - someone who knows what they are doing will find any scar tissue hanging around and rip into it.


Thanks for the response,

Leg day is Tuesday and it includes stiff leg dead lifts. 5x5 240 to 280 in 10 lb incraments. Went well yesterday very little strain while doing Stiff Leg Dead Lifts.I dropped weight down on lying leg curls felt more pull here than in any other exercise. Today leg feels pretty good.

I will find a person for a deep tissue massage. Hadn't thought about scar tissue. I originally pulled both Hams about 8 yrs ago at a dead sprint. Dropped me like a rock. Took a week just to be able to walk.

Again thanks for the info.


I didn't see any mention of a dynamic warm-up included in your overall warm-up before you being your sprint session. Static Stretching for 20 minutes before you sprint probably isn't necessary; it does have a place in the warm-up but not the #1 priority.. Cooldown is where you want to optimize your range of motion. But anyways.. A 400 jog may not be enough to get you warm before you start.. Jog for ~10 min. to get your core body temp up, then you can move along to light static stretching, your dynamic work, high knees, butt kicks, A's, B's, etc, etc.. Are you including these yet? You must be warm and loose before you begin your sprint work.

Yes, you may have some scar tissue (more than likely) that needs to get worked on quite a bit by a massage therapist or an ART Practioner. I would emphasize hip extension in your hamstring training more than anything, as the hamstrings primary role in sprinting is to extend the hip; secondary is the knee flexor (leg curls).

I am a sprinter myself, and my warm ups usually take around 30-40 minutes (sounds like a lot but it is necessary!).. Also, do you ice after your sessions? I would make that a habit to ice down your legs after, especially your hamstrings. How is your hip flexibility? There are many variablities that come into play when hamstring injuries are at work..

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.. PM me..


In addition to the insights mentioned already, you should note that the hamstrings are especially susceptible to electrolyte imbalance and low salt status. To test your salt levels you can work up a bit of a sweat and then taste some of the sweat from the shoulder. It should have a salty taste, if not you are salt deficient. Do not taste the sweat from the face or neck as that will always be salty even if you are totally depleted. If you are deficient then start using a good sea salt( no the garbage heated white table salt doesn't count) 1/2 tsp daily to 1tsp daily on training days.


In my streching routine I do have Knee raises, Butt kicks, high kicks (used to hurdle) side leg raises. Usually around 20 each per leg/ per type of kick.

I'll add streching after too and ice (burr) even tasting for salt. Shouldn't be hard it was 96 here yesterday and the humidity was high. I broke a sweat from the car to gym.


Glutes, glutes, train your glutes. Do some glute specific work. The pulled muscle is rarely the problem, but is the victim. Co contraction lunges, single limb bridge, Single limb hip extension. Work your way to slide board or double limb hip ext/knee flexion exercises. you probably know a million of them.....