T Nation

Strengthen the Hamstrings

Hi All

I have a quick question. I have been playing sport for the last 15 years and in the last 5 or 6 i am constantly having Hamstring trouble. I am in great shape and then all of a sudden i twinge the hammer. Generally a week or 2 before a game. Last night I did the same. Has anyone got any advice on how to strengthen them up? I am a fairly strong person and fast but not nuch good if the hammer keeps acting up.

Thanks in advance

How often do you stretch?

I never had a pulled hamstring until last sunday and coincidentally the last month I have been skipping my stretch after each workout.

Are your glutes working properly?

PM on the way.

Just posted today:

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/preventing_hamstring_injuries.htm

GHR!!! Along with figuring out what activation issues you may/may not have.

[quote]AlexM wrote:
GHR!!! Along with figuring out what activation issues you may/may not have. [/quote]

Lol there’s loooooads of good GHR’s in Ireland :stuck_out_tongue:

Strengthening your hamstring further will probably only exacerbate the problem. As mentioned above, you should probably focus on strengthening your glutes.

Let me guess, you have been doing lots of hamstring strengthening recently? I never had a hamstring strain in my life ( age 14-18 ) untill I started doing leg curls and glute ham raises about a year ago.

I went from being a good sprinter to quitting track right now due ( age 19) to approx 10 ham strains. If I were you I would avoid all knee flexion exercises at all costs! and strengthen your hamstrings WHEN THEY ARE FULLY HEALED with hip extension exercises.

Sumo Romanian Deadlifts, 5x5 style.

I’ve had success with RDL, heavy deadlift floor pulls to past knees, back extensions, GHR, and 1-leg good morning

[quote]2274 wrote:
Sumo Romanian Deadlifts, 5x5 style.[/quote]

can you please explain what these are and how they are performed?

[quote]actionjeff wrote:
… and 1-leg good morning

2274 wrote:
Sumo Romanian Deadlifts, 5x5 style.

can you please explain what these are and how they are performed?[/quote]

1-leg Goodmorning?? Don’t you mean 1-leg romanian deadlift?

And sumo RDLs i would imagine are just RDL’s with a super wide stance.

2274, Do you stand on platforms to reach the necessary ROM or is the ROM ample in your experience? Also, do you recommend these because they involve the glutes and adductors perhaps more than the regular RDL? Cheers for any help

1-leg good morning was something a PL friend showed me when I told him my hamstrings were weak, I guess it is about the same as 1-leg RDL

you just put shin on a bench, the other foot on the ground, keep that foots knee straight or very slightly bent, and bend forward till there is a good stretch in your hamstring, then explode upwards. Then switch legs after a set. You can do it holding a dumbbell or plate as well. I thought it was a stupid looking exercise but I tried it and it did a great job crushing my hammies

I’m interested in the sumo RDL too, that sounds like an AWESOME exercise

I’m pretty sure strengthening Hammies won’t cause problems alone, as I understand it the risk of pulling a Hammie is increased by having an imbalance in the muscles that keep your pelvis in alignment (quads+spinal erectors vs hamstrings+abdominals)

i.e if your quads are relatively strong, the hamstrings will be stretched and vice versa - so strong quads increases risk of pulling hamstring. Strengthening hamstrings and abdominals while stretching quads and spinal erectors will mitigate this risk (more or less, it’s a bit more complicated than that).

Search “Anterior Pelvic Tilt” on this site for some great info.

[quote]rudilerm wrote:
actionjeff wrote:
… and 1-leg good morning

2274 wrote:
Sumo Romanian Deadlifts, 5x5 style.

can you please explain what these are and how they are performed?

1-leg Goodmorning?? Don’t you mean 1-leg romanian deadlift?

And sumo RDLs i would imagine are just RDL’s with a super wide stance.

2274, Do you stand on platforms to reach the necessary ROM or is the ROM ample in your experience? Also, do you recommend these because they involve the glutes and adductors perhaps more than the regular RDL? Cheers for any help
[/quote]

Yup, just very wide RDLs.

I don’t need to stand on platforms. Then again, I have short arms and a bit inflexible. And yeah, the lower back tension from regular RDLs go to the hips once I do Sumo RDLs. It’s an incredible posterior chain exercise.

As a side note, I also do snatch-grip sumo RDLs from a rack from time to time. It massacres my grip, traps and hamstrings.