Hamstring strains/tears are a common injury that occurs in sprinters and is therefore seen a lot in football.
What exactly are Hamstrings?
The hamstrings are a group of 3 muscles that sit on the back of your thigh and cross your hip and knee joints. They include the biceps femoris, semitendinosis, and semimembranosus. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
There are 3 grades of hamstring tears: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
•Grade 1 – strain/mild pull
•Grade 2 – partial tear
•Grade 3 – complete tear
Hamstrings are responsible for…
•creating more forward momentum by extending the hip and flexing the knee during the push-off phase
•absorbing force when you plant your leg
•slowing down your leg during the swing phase of running and working against your hip flexors and quads
Hamstring injuries typically occur during absorbing force and the slow down phase listed above due to lack of strength, specifically eccentric strength. Eccentric strength is defined as the muscle’s ability to create force while being lengthened which therefore creates much more tension placed on the muscle fibers making it more prone to injury. To try and strengthen your hamstring muscle in this way you can try performing the Nordic Hamstring Curl.
Nordic Hamstring Curl⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
- Start in a tall kneeling position with your ankles held in place by a partner or loaded immovable object
- Keeping your core engaged and body straight, slowly lower yourself down to the floor⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The better you get at this and the stronger your hamstring becomes you should be able to get closer to the ground.⠀⠀