Welcome to the second blog of our Hamstring series, where we look at hamstring muscle strength.
A huge question in sports medicine is what are the causes of hamstring injuries. This has been a topic of interest for decades.
High quality research back in 1997 found that in Australian Rules Footballers, weakness in the hamstrings pre-season both when compared to the quadriceps, and when compared to the opposite leg, was related to hamstring injuries in that season. The same study found that flexibility was not related to injury risk.1 A study in 2015 found that eccentric strength differences between sides (left compared to right) was also a risk factor to injury in Rugby Players. 2 . Both studies found that having had a previous injury within the last 12 months, and increasing age, were also risk factors.
So the question that then is critical for us is, are my hamstrings weak? Am I at risk of hamstring injury when I run and sprint and play sport?
From runners, to footballers, to office workers - no matter who you are or what you do, you can be affected by problems of the hamstrings. So in our new blog series we are going to work through the story of the hamstrings.
What are they and what do they do for us? How do you keep your hamstrings healthy? What can go wrong with your hamstrings? How do you recover from hamstring injury?
You can find out answers to these through our Hamstring Blog series. This blog, the first in the series, takes a look at what the hamstrings are and what are the general principals to stay injury-free.
What are the Hamstrings?
The hamstrings are the group of muscles that make up the bulk at the back of your thigh. The upper hamstring connects via the hamstring tendon onto your sit-bone (ischial tuberosity), and travels down to just below your knee. The hamstring is actually 3 muscles, the Biceps Femoris which travels to the outer side of your knee, and the semimembranosis and semitendi...
What if we told you that you can prevent, or at least minimise, your potential for an knee or ACL injury, would you believe us?
Research says you can reduce your risk of ACL injury
Injuring your knee or ACL can be emotionally and physically traumatic! Research tells us that between 5-70% of ACL injuries can be prevented through prevention programs (1,2,3)
Twice a week
These programs focus on improving strength, flexibility, lower limb control, balance and general co-ordination. A program should be sports specific and carried out 2 x a week in order for an individual to gain the best results.
The great thing about doing preventative exercises it is not only does it reduce the risk of ACL rupture, it has also been shown to improve performance (4).
How the Professionals do it
An example of a good football injury prevention program is this one by FIFA which is full of great sport specific exercises.
How you can do it
If you are not looking to be a football pro, some simpler exercise ideas to he...