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How to Prevent and Recover from a Hamstring Injury

How to Prevent and Recover from a Hamstring Injury

4 minute read

One of the most common injuries in athletes, whether amateur or professional, is a hamstring injury. The hamstrings are the group of muscles that run along the back of your thigh. When they become strained or pulled due to exercise or activities such as running, jumping, and kicking, a hamstring injury can occur. Fortunately, recovery from a hamstring injury is possible with proper care and rehabilitation. 


Regardless of your athletic level, hamstring injuries can sideline you from your favorite activities. Hamstring injuries occur when the tendons and muscles that run up the back of your thigh and hip become stressed beyond their capability to stretch and absorb force. Thankfully, there are some strategies and exercises that can help prevent hamstring injuries or reduce their severity if they do occur.

A dynamic warm-up:

Before you start any type of exercise, especially one that involves running or jumping, its important to warm up properly. Prior to any physical activity, do a dynamic warm-up of approximately 10-15 minutes in duration. This should include brisk walk with calf raises followed by side shuffles and high knees. This type of warm-up is designed to increase blood flow to the muscles and joints, as well as enhance muscle flexibility and coordination before more intense exercise.

Foam Rolling:

Foam rolling is an effective way to increase muscle pliability in the muscle groups that are used for activities such as running. While it does not replace stretching, it can be done before stretching for optimal results. Generally speaking, foam rolling can be done prior to exercise as well as after exercises as part of an active recovery routine. It has been shown to reduce areas of myofascial tightness while increasing range of motion in multiple movements patterns.

Strength Training:

Incorporating strength training into your fitness routine is essential for preventing hamstring injuries. Properly formulated exercises should target three primary focus areas: leg stability (powering the glutes), single leg balance (increasing proprioception), and hip mobility (increasing range of motion during activity).

Stretching/Cool Down:

Always remember to stretch after exercising in order to help promote muscle recovery and prevent injury related soreness down the road! After your activity session, perform dynamic stretching such as arm circles, walking lunges and reverse lunges followed by static stretching - holding a stretch at least 90 seconds per leg per exercise (more if possible). Be sure not to overlook pre-game/competition stretching routines either! Even if you warmed up properly prior to play time using your dynamic routines, it definitely doesnt hurt when performing static stretches specific or particular sport related movements either! By implementing these strategies into your training program you should be able to greatly reduce your risk of injury due faster recovery times while also quieting pain while training/running and


The first step in recovery from a hamstring injury is to give your body time to rest by taking some time off from activities such as running and hard training. This will allow your body to heal and rebuild muscle tissue properly. During rest periods of up to four weeks, focus on low-impact exercises such as walking or swimming that have less potential for strain on your hamstrings. You may also want to consider using ice packs or an anti-inflammatory medication in order to reduce swelling and inflammation. Once you feel ready to start using your hamstrings again, rehabilitation should be done gradually and carefully in order to fully recover without causing re-injury. For best results start with gentle stretching exercises for the thighs and hamstrings such as knee extensions and straight leg raises. As the muscles become stronger during the healing process, increase the level of intensity of these exercises while being careful not to cause more than mild discomfort when stretching or exercising.


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Happy Healing!

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