Conceptual Framework for Strengthening Exercises to Prevent Hamstring Strains.
Hamstring injuries are very common in athletes. They often occur during the terminal swing of the running cycle. This article describes a framework for strengthening exercises to prevent hamstrings strains which will be summarized below.
- Contraction type: eccentric exercises seem to be suitable because it results in an increase of eccentric strength and a shift of the optimal length in the direction of longer muscle length.
- Load: Strength increases when using heavy weights. Novice individuals should train with loads of 60-70% of 1RM while advanced individuals should use weights corresponding 80-100% of 1RM.
- Range of motion: Training should take place with both hip flexion and knee extension so that a substantial elongation stress is placed on the hamstrings.
- Angular velocity: Eccentric exercises at slow or moderate angular velocity may protect the hamstrings from the fast elongation during the swing phase.
- Uni-/ bilateral exercises: Unilateral exercises ensure pelvis oscillation and are therefore more specific to the terminal phase of running. > From: Guex et al., Sports Med (2013) (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Springer International Publishing.
The Pubmed summary of the article can be found here.
See the YouTube clips below about excentric hamstring exercises.