Risk of hamstring injury and hamstring injury prevention
A blog for the weekend warriors, sportspeople, boot camp battlers and anyone that’s experienced a hamstring setback at any stage.
Hamstring injuries are the most common reason sportspeople miss time training or playing – in elite soccer, they account for a whopping 37% of all muscle strain injuries.
There are a number of risk factors for hamstring injuries. Unfortunately for any master’s athletes out there, increased age is associated with a greater risk. If you’ve had a hamstring or calf injury before, or injured your ACL, then you are also at a greater risk of hamstring injury. Finally, reduced hamstring strength and length also increases your risk.
It’s not all doom and gloom; certain exercises have been shown to be particularly effective at increasing hamstring strength and length, and consequently decrease hamstring injury risk.
Exercise options that are effective include:
1) The Nordic hamstring curl. This hamstring exercise has been shown to be effective for increasing hamstring length and strength. Ideally, this would be repeated twice a week. As an added bonus, it was also shown to increase sprint times so not only is it useful for reducing injury risk, it can also be performance enhancing!
2) Sprinting. This has also been shown to improve hamstring length, and improve sprint performance.
Ideally, these exercises would be applied in a graded and progressive manner – if you have witnessed a full Nordic hamstring curl before you can appreciate this has to be built up to! There are plenty of easier options to start with. Have a chat to the friendly team at Physio and Fitness Clinic and we can design a plan that’s specific to your needs and current ability.