Hamstring tears don’t always mean you have tight inflexible hamstrings. In fact, this injury is commonly seen in pro bodybuilders and track sprinters who have asymmetrically strong quadricep and tighter weaker hamstring muscles. this is a set up for disaster. In many cases, the direct cause is tight hip flexors leading to a pelvic tilt, and or weak gluteal muscles. If your active in sports or other strenuous activities then it is important to prime the hamstrings prior to your activity. Here are the two best exercise/primers to prepare you for your sport.
Primer number One: Lunging. (See the enclosed image.) Simply take a long step forward with one leg and alternately drop the rear knee downward within a few inches of the floor. Continue to walk and alternate leg positions. This exercise can be done in place or walking a given distance. A neural spine, or good posture is important when performing a lunge.
Primer number two: Bridging (See the enclosed image) Simply lying flat on your back, bend your knees back towards your buttocks to a 90 degree angle Then raise your torso off the floor approx. 8″-12″until your body forms a straight line from torso to thighs. Hold this position for 30 seconds then repeat the exercise 4 times.
If you are diligent with incorporating these two simple exercise into your weekly routine, they will help prevent hamstring tearing. If not, then plan on taking a long hiatus from all leg related activity, including running. The choice is yours! Yes there are other things you can do to prevent hamstring rupture from a physical therapy point of view, but keeping it simple and consistent is the theme of this post. And PLEASE, if you have any comments about hamstring tears please comment below. I would love to hear from you!