Long and Strong
Recent evidence suggests that to prevent hamstring strains you need to be both long and strong in your hamstrings. This means all those of you who can touch your toes from yoga need to do strength work. For those of you who can deadlift 100+ KG, well, you should probably do some yoga.
Quadrant of Doom
Researches found a quadrant of doom when looking at people who sustained a hamstring tear during a soccer season. This revealed people who were short in their hamstring and weak were massively susceptible to a hamstring injury. Conversely, those with long and strong hamstrings almost never hurt their hamstrings.
3. Anti-Inflamms and Rest?
No, no, no. Anti-Inflams have the ability to reduce swelling, get you back quicker however some studies have shown that they can reduce the integrity of the ligament at around 4-6 weeks. Right when you’re returning to sport. So they might make you feel better, quicker however going back to soon with poor ligament integrity and no strength training is a recipe for disaster.
What should I do?
We might not all have time for 3 gym sessions and 3 yoga sessions a week. However if you are susceptible to a hamstring issue then we would recommend a slow eccentric deadlift as featured in the video below. Eccentric training as the benefit of not only lengthening but it also strengthens at the same time. It’s a double whammy, 2 birds with one stone type of deal where you can get long and strong with one exercise.
All you need is a kettle bell and good techniques. 3 seconds on the way up and 3-6 seconds on the way down. Make sure you see a physio or a personal trainer as doing the deadlift wrong can cause troubles. Done right it can be the best weapon in your arsenal to strengthen everything from you calves, to your butt to your upper back.