T Nation

Repetitive Hamstring Strains

Hello all…I need some advice here. My training has been severely limited over the last 4 weeks or so due to a repeated hamstring (biceps femoris) strain. I can do slow to 75% speed running without problems, but above that, especially when accelerating and cutting (simultaneously), I have injured the muscle. My rehab has consisted of stationary cycling, elliptical work, slower speed running, and multijoint leg exercises (front squats, swiss ball hamstring curls, 1-leg squats, et cetera). Another interesting thing is that it tends to get injured about 30 to 45 minutes into activity, so an adequate warm-up is not the issue. my hamstring flexibility is okay statically, and quite good dynamically, as is the case with my quads/flexors. Any advice would be appreciated. [p]
Cam Birtwell [p]
PS. I just realized that it seems to happen in the days following a leg workout, when there is still some residual soreness (I include light hang snatches and hang cleans in my workout).

Cam - drop me an email when you get the chance please so we can discuss. In faith, Coach Davies

Glute-Ham Raises

I have the exact same problem. I pull my hamstring after 30 min. to an hour after starting activity. I think in my case it is a direct link to dehydration, but I am curouis to know if anything would help make me less prone to Hamstring strains when sprinting??

Cam, over the last six years I have popped my
semitendinosus around five times - two, major.
At first, I thought it was my groin, due to how
the pain was radiating, until finally pinpointing the

Anyway, after consulting my training log, I came up
with one common thread that may have tied
these injuries together. Each time I popped my
semitendinosus/inner-hamstring, I was taking
creatine. Are you using creatine? (Just a thought.)

P.S. Don’t know why I even take that shit, being
that I’m a “non-responder!” Guess “cuz” it’s dirt-
cheap, and it seems to work for everyone else???
Me stupid!

Thanks for the responses (Coach, I’ve emailed you some specifics)

Joey Z...Sounds like we're in similar positions - very frustrating to say the least. As for creatine, I'm not taking it, but the hydration thing sounds interesting (although I do make a point to drink a large amount of water on a daily basis). I'm hoping that Coach Davies (or others) can shed a bit more light on this. Good luck, bro.

burndaddy: I'll pass on any info that I get...Tmen need to succeed!

bump it up!!!

Can you share coaches advice? thanks Rugby Renegade Ed

as Jay noted I am a big advocate of using the Glute Ham Raise in standard training and find a tremendously lower rate of ham pulls than with other forms of Hamstring work. - Cam, I will try to take some shots of rehab movements and send them to you. In faith, Coach Davies

Get with an ART person, you may have a pinched nerve in the hip/glute area (it is what I had when I had similar problems). Another thing to consider is seeing someone who can check your mechanics when you run. Isaac Bruce had repeated hammy injuries until he got fitted with a special insert for his heel.

Cam, have the hip flexor length reassesed.
The problem is like the old car that you take to church on Sunday and runs great. But take it out on the highway and it shakes, rattles and overheats. Your problem is present at standing, walking and slow running. Just like the old car has all those problems, it isn’t evident until you run fast. Usually with any injury of the overuse/chronic variety it is more than one issue. I suspect the glute on that side is not firing properly and the hamstring is doing all of the hip extension. DON’T DO THE GLUTE/HAM RAISES! You’ll re-enforce the poor movement pattern you have. If the glute is inhibited by the hip flexors or just isn’t firing properly, you’ll need remedial work first. The glute/ham exercise is terrific when everything is firing on all cylinders. In conjunction with that there may be adhesions in the problamatic area and/or adhesions at the hip or knee which is inhibiting the movement around the hip and knee. ART will fix that. Have you had injuries to the hip, knee or ankle? Do you have a low back injury? This is a starting point not the end.

What physical sensation did you feel when you ‘popped my semitendinosus’ to confuse it with a groin injury? I’m very interested because I’ve been having some groin issues lately.


Sewerhooker - With me the semimembranosus may also be
involved. The semimembranosus is a smaller muscle just inside the

What confused me at first was that the pain and spasm started
in the inner thigh region, making me think the problem was connected
to the my adductors/groin. If however, it were a groin injury, the pain
should have radiated up the front of my leg into the pelvis. Instead the
pain shot down and under the leg.

To describe the sensation: It was an intense muscle twitch, followed by an audible pop, weakness in the leg, and much pain. Very creepy sound!

Funny thing, the worst of my injuries only took 4 weeks to heal.
(The area has good blood supply!) Sewerhooker, these injuries are
usually preceded by a warning sign - e.g., a cramping in
the inner thigh that shoots down the leg. Instead of heeding the warning,
I sometimes try to squat, skate, or sprint through it. This is when
disaster strikes!!!

Coach…thank you for the advice - only pursue this further if you have available time (as I know you are very busy)

Scott...sounds like good advice as well - how do I find an ART Practitioner in my area (Vancouver, BC)? Is there an association website that I can visit?

Stronski - thank you as well. I have a small degree of scoliosis, but it hasn't seemed to bother me that much. However, people always ask me if I'm limping...when I'm not injured, so there must be something going on with my lower back/hips. The interesting thing is that through Feb to October of this year, I was playing all sorts of sports (tennis, indoor soccer, ultimate, some rugby) with no trouble at all. I appreciate any further insight you may have.

www.activerelease.com There is a section where you can enter your ZIP to find the closest practitioner.

Cam - you are actually in luck since you live in Vancouver. Check out performancehealth.ca to get the info for the Performance Health clinic. These guys are very good. They have an ART facility downtown. I have used them myself as well as had about a dozen of my clients go there as well - and I would say with about a 90% success rate at that. Tell them Cord sent you. Good luck.

Thanks again to everyone who responded…It’s good to have lots of options and to hear other’s opinions.

Cord, I plan on making an appointment in the new year (will be away until first week of Jan.). I appreciate the info (and dropping your name!).