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  • Writer's pictureChristopher nour

How to avoid a Hamstring Strain

A hamstring strain is undoubtedly one of the most frustrating injuries for runners, given its debilitating impact. It can sideline you for weeks, disrupting your daily routine and activities. However, there are measures you can take to minimise your risk.


Warm-Up Thoroughly

Before engaging in any physical activity, it is important to warm up properly. A dynamic warm-up routine increases blood flow to the muscles, improves flexibility, and prepares your body for the demands of exercise. Incorporate movements that target the hamstrings, such as leg swings, high knees, and hip circles, to ensure they are adequately primed for action.

Prioritise Flexibility

Maintaining flexibility in the hamstrings is essential for preventing strains. Incorporate regular stretching exercises into your routine to improve muscle elasticity and reduce the risk of injury. Focus on both static and dynamic stretches, holding each stretch for 15-30 seconds and repeating multiple times. Pay particular attention to stretches that target the hamstrings, such as forward folds, seated hamstring stretches, and standing quadriceps stretches.

Build Strength

A strong and balanced musculature is key to preventing hamstring strains. Incorporate strength training exercises that target the hamstrings, as well as the surrounding muscle groups, such as the glutes and quadriceps. Exercises like deadlifts, lunges, bridges, and hamstring curls can help improve muscle strength and stability, reducing the likelihood of injury.

Progress Gradually

Avoid the temptation to push yourself too hard, too soon. Gradually increase the intensity, duration, and frequency of your workouts to give your muscles time to adapt and strengthen. Sudden spikes in training volume or intensity can overload the muscles and increase the risk of strain. Listen to your body and respect its limits to prevent overuse injuries.

Focus on Technique

Proper technique is crucial for minimising the risk of injury during exercise. Whether you’re lifting weights, running, or performing bodyweight exercises, pay close attention to your form and technique. Engage your core, maintain proper alignment, and avoid any movements that place excessive stress on the hamstrings. If you’re unsure about proper form, seek guidance from a qualified trainer or physiotherapist.

Stay Hydrated and Nourished

Proper hydration and nutrition are essential for muscle health and recovery. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and fuel your body with a balanced diet rich in lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Adequate hydration and nutrition support muscle function, repair, and recovery, helping to prevent injuries like hamstring strains.

Incorporate Recovery Strategies

Incorporate rest days into your training schedule to allow your muscles time to recover and repair. Additionally, consider incorporating recovery strategies such as foam rolling, massage, and stretching to alleviate muscle tension and promote relaxation.

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