T Nation

Ruptured Hamstring


I was doing some sprints about an hour ago and on my last one felt and heard a pop. Right now it feels a little worse than a normal strain I can contract it but when I use any force on it it hurts a bit. cant see a visible knot or anything in it but not sure. Any advice on whether I might have fully ruptured it or just strained it would be great. thanks sean


As a sprinter who has had my share of hamstring issues, I say just a strain, IMHO. If yu had a full rupture, you would be in much worse shape.


okay thanks thats reassuring just that pop freaks me out. Im still gonna get it checked out today thanks for the word.


When you're ready to rock and roll with training, try to increase your eccentric hamstring strength. This is the best predictor of future injury (not flexibility). Work on the eccentric phase in leg curls to start with (lying or standing), then as your progress use SL deads and/or good mornings.


okay thanks have you had this injury before? Im really tryin to get back to lifting as quick as possible supposed to go in for pt tommorow


Yes I have, and have worked with numerous athletes who have had this injury. That's why work with leg curls first (machines are your friend in rehab), then slowly progress into conventional RE. Base the timing of exercise introduction on your PT's advice as well. They may encourage exercises like swiss ball leg curls, nothing wrong with that either as a starting point.


okay great in your experience how long till someone with a mild tear gets back to more serious weightlifting?


At least 4-weeks (rule of thumb). There are exceptions either side, but without seeing the injury and you the rule of thumb applies.

There are some who advocate getting straight into sprinting as hamstring rehab ASAP, but I'm not in that camp.


I agree that it can be 4 weeks, more or less, depending on how bad the strain is. That's if you just rest. I have had success in much less time using a variation of an old Bill Starr rehab routine.

Ice/rest for 2-3 days until you have some range of motion, then:

3 sets of 25 leg curls alternate with
3 sets of 25 deep squats

Obviously, you need to start with very light weights, even free squats. Do this every day, and progress the weight, and cut back on anything else. It's OK if the injured ham feels a bit sore, as long as the pain decreases as you work. You need to cut back to ice/rest if the pain is sharp or gets worse as you rep out. The leg should feel somewhat pumped. I also ice afterwards, at least in the beginning.

This should take 7-14 days, depending on the severity. Light stretching after the workout in the second week. You can drop the reps below 25 and go to every other day as you start to approach a more normal squat weight.

Works for me, good luck.


went in for pt today and the therapist said my ROM and strength were pretty good so im supposed to start with some light leg curls and stretching for a week to help reallign the scar tissue then he said I should be able to move into some more compound lifts as long as they weren't to heavy or explosive. Im pretty stoked as I was hearing from the doctor and other people I talked to it would be 6 mos so this is definately good news. But other than strength and flexibility what should I be considering to prevent this in the future?

I felt before that my mobility was alright(I could get my palms on the floor) and my stength was good also(I could do SLDL with 225 for reps and glute ham raises for a few reps). I had smaller pulls fairly frequently before this incident in the same leg so im wondering if it was some sort of muscle imbalance or it was just already strained and this was just too much for it?


I'm glad to hear that your strain/tear isn't too serious and you will be back up to speed shortly. I had a complete mid belly tear of my biceps femoris and I will never be the same again, all from running a 40 yard sprint.


sorry to hear that I do certainely feal fortunate considering all the horror stories ive heard. Are you still having problems with your hamstring?