Category Archives for "hamstring stretches"

Hamstring Strain Injuries – Big Ball Roll Outs

Kneeling down with a big exercise ball in front. Have either a partner hold down your legs just above your ankles or secure them by hooking them under a bar.

Keeping your back straight and your inner core muscles engaged and slowly roll down your forearms on the pinky finger sides, straightening out your elbows and moving slight past them on the ball. Come back up with control to the start position. Repeat this for 10 repetitions, doing 3 sets per day.

This is another great alternative exercise to further strengthen your hamstring muscles after an injury and retrain your core stability muscles to help them work better together again.

If you’re unsure about the exercise or have uncertainty about where you’re at with your recovery book an appointment and have one of our Physiotherapists at either our North Burnaby or Vancouver locations to check things out. 

Hamstring Strain Injuries – Superman Deadlifts

Begin by bending the knees a little. Keeping your spine in neutral and your inner core engaged, reach both arms forward and extend the left leg back leading with your heel.

Kick your left heel back and keep that pelvis level with the other side and straighten out the right knee with the corresponding foot on the ground. Then return to the start position.

Repeat this for 10 repetitions, doing 3 sets on both sides. This is a closed chain eccentric strengthening exercise for the right hamstring muscle.

If you’re unsure about the exercise or have uncertainty about where you’re at with your recovery book an appointment and have one of our Physiotherapists at either our North Burnaby or Vancouver locations to check things out.

Hamstring Strain Injuries – Heel Sliders

Use a slider or wear a sock so your right heel will slide more easily for this exercise.

Begin by making sure that you’re supported, so you can hold onto the wall or a railing to ensure that you maintain your balance initially.

With your weight on both legs bend both knees into the squat position. As you get close to a 45 degree bend keep the left foot planted on the ground while you push through with force into the right heel to straighten out the right knee, while you move towards a 90 degree bend with the left knee.

Return back up to the start and repeat this for 15 repetitions for 3 sets on each side.

This is a closed chain eccentric strengthening exercise for the right hamstring muscle. It’s important to also do the other side to keep it balanced.​

If you’re unsure about the exercise or have uncertainty about where you’re at with your recovery book an appointment and have one of our Physiotherapists at either our North Burnaby or Vancouver locations to check things out.

Hamstring Strain Injuries – Knee Extenders

This is a good exercise for the initial stages of rehab for your strained or torn hamstring muscle.

Start by lying down on your back on the ground with the knees bent. To keep the spine in neutral, pull the inner core muscles below your belly button in towards your spine and straighten the left knee out on the ground.

Bring the right knee (with the affected hamstring) towards your chest and hold it securely with both hands behind the thigh. Slowly extend the knee to the end of range comfortably and return it back to the bent position. Do this for 15 repetitions 3 sets 2 to 3 times per day.

If you’re unsure about the exercise or have uncertainty about where you are at with your injury book an appointment and have one of our Physiotherapists at either our North Burnaby or Vancouver locations to check things out.

Hamstring Strains – Progressive Strengthening Nordic Hamstring Curl

You can perform this exercise with your ankles secured under a bar, on a squat rack or wall bar or have a partner hold your feet and ankles down. Use a yoga mat to make it more comfortable for your knees.

Start by pulling in your inner core and keep it engaged the entire time. With your hands out in front of you, then slowly lower yourself down to the ground in a controlled manner into a push up position. Once you make contact with the ground, then push yourself back up.

Repeat this for 10 repetitions, doing 3 sets daily. This is an advanced level strengthening exercise for your hamstrings in conjunction with your core stability muscles.

If you have any pain or dysfunction while doing this exercises come into one of our clinics at either the Vancouver or North Burnaby locations to have one of our Physiotherapists check you out.

Hurling – Injury Prevention and Strengthening the Hamstrings

Hi folks, my name is Simon Kelly. I am an Irish physiotherapist practicing out of the Cambie Village Insync Physiotherapy clinic located on Cambie and King Edward.

Today is just a short blog on injury prevention and strengthening of the hamstring in Gaelic games.

The hamstring is by far the most injured area of the lower limb in Gaelic sports. The hamstring and quadriceps are an antagonistic muscle pair, meaning they work together in harmony to perform controlled smooth movement for locomotion. 

The reason the hamstring is injured so frequently is because these muscles: 

1.  Cross both the hip and knee joints (biarticular joint). They extend the hip and bend the knee. They are made up of three muscles----semitendinosus, semimembranosus and biceps femoris.

 2. There is a work rate ratio of 3:2---the former being the quadriceps and the latter being the hamstring.

3. The hamstrings fire at the start of swing phase to bend the knee and they fire again at the end of swing phase to control the leg as it moves into knee straightening --- this controls the leg before heel strike. The later being the most reported hamstring injury phase during sprinting and directional changes.

Risk factors --Muscle tightness, muscle imbalances, poor conditioning, muscle fatigue:

Some injury prevention tips for the hamstring muscles:

  1. Muscle tightness:---Dynamic stretching ---far more important than static stretching. Drills must always be dynamic pre game.---the more you simulate play the better
  1. Muscle imbalances: Hamstring strengthening should be a major part of every Gaelic teams strength and conditioning program with particular emphasis on the eccentric phase of training  (lengthening of a muscle under tension)

Nordic hamstring curls---slow on the way down (eccentric) and quick on the way up (concentric contraction)

Nordic hamstring curls with a ballistic/ more dynamic type alteration --fall forward let you hands touch the floor and push up  

  1. Poor conditioning. If your muscles are weak (core/lumbar/hamstrings), they are less able to cope with the stress of exercise and they are much more prone to be injured.

Lumbar/core & pelvis stability are high on my list of gym exercise programs for GAA players: A stable base allows the extremities to work much more efficiently without compensatory patterns occurring. Think of a sailing ship mast or a tree trunk, everything stems from the strong core or middle section-simple.

  1. Muscle fatigue. Fatigue reduces the energy-absorbing capabilities of muscle, making them more susceptible to injury.
  2. Nutrition and hydration 

Tune in soon for wrist strengthening and torso rotation strengthening exercises which are all vital components in the hurling grip and swing.


Hamstring Strains and Tendinopathies: Straight Leg Isometric Bridges

As you move past the initial stages of an acute hamstring muscle strain or acute flare up of your tendinopathy you want to start progressively loading it to rehab it properly.

Start by lying down on the ground with your heels placed on a raised step about half a foot high or so to start. With your core muscles engaged and both knees straight, press your heels onto the step lifting your buttocks off the floor.

Avoid bringing your butt too high up so you can isolate primarily into the hamstrings while also activating your core and gluteus muscles at the same time. Hold this isometric contraction for 45 seconds and repeat 5 reps for one to two times per day.

If you experience any pain or have any problems doing this exercise then consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing. 

Stretching: How to Stretch the Hamstrings

To start your Hamstring Stretching do a few jumping jacks or running in place to warm up your muscles.

For your first Hamstring Stretching exercise stand on one leg with your knee slightly bent, your other leg out in front by about one foot, knee held firmly in place, bring the toes up towards your shin (dorsiflexion).

Then place one hand on each of your thighs, elbows bent, with your back arched forward, slowly continue to bend your upper body (torso) forward, focus on the feeling in your hamstring. Do not bounce, but continue to tilt your upper body forward slowly until you are not able to bend it any further, hold for a count of 10 to 20, return to starting position.

Repeat with the other leg.

How to Stretch the Hamstrings using a bench or a bar

Here we advance to a little more stretching of the Hamstrings by placing one leg on a bench or a bar.

Stand in a similar position as above, placing the heel of the foot of the leg to be stretched on a bench or bar. In the beginning relax the foot and the shin muscles, knee straight (but not locked). Tilt forward at the pelvis feeling the stretch in the hamstring, hold for a count of 10 to 20, then return to your upright position.

As you advance in this Hamstring Stretching exercise, you will pull your toes up closer to your shin (dorsiflexion), this will add additional stretching to your hamstring, as well as the calf muscles.

Full Extension Hamstring Stretching

As you continue to advance you will move on to the touching of the toes. Starting from standing erect, slowly bend your torso forward until you fingertips are touching the floor. Think about relaxing your entire body as you do this Hamstring Stretching exercise. Once you have achieved the furthest of your reach towards your toes, with each hand grasp the back side of your leg and gently pull your torso closer to your legs, hold for a count of 10, repeat 3 to 5 times.

With continued practice you will eventually be able to grasp the back of your ankles, bringing your nose to your knees. Do not push this, it takes time and practice, but this is your goal.

As with all stretching exercises you should be able to feel equal tension (ie. each hamstring muscle), this is a goal to have equality in your muscle flexibility.

Remember to always do these stretching exercises gently and slowly, this will accomplish our goal of building stronger and more flexible muscles, and assist us in preventing injury as we take up exercises and sports.

Benefits of Hamstring Stretching:

  1. Adds balance and flexibility to the leg muscles
  2. Increases strength to the hamstring muscles
  3. Increases circulation to the legs and leg muscles
  4. Warms up and loosens the hamstring muscles prior to exercise
  5. Stretching after exercises helps in preventing injury and residual soreness
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