Activa Sports Therapy Blog

Don’t get Hamstrung. Prevent Hamstring injuries!

Don’t get Hamstrung. Prevent Hamstring injuries!

The Nordic Hamstring Exercise is a partnered exercise where you load up the hamstrings whilst lengthening them:

Start in a kneeling position with someone holding your feet
Hold body up straight and rigid
Resist a falling forward motion using your hamstrings to control yourself down to the ground keeping your body straight
Use your arms to buffer the fall flat to your chest and push back up to the starting position

All exercises should be done after a proper warm-up.

The Program

It is important to ease in – one weekly session is plenty at first.
Week 1: 1 session; 10 repetitions
Week 2: 2 sessions; 12 repetitions each
Week 3: 3 sessions; 18 to 24 repetitions each
Week 4: 3 sessions; 24 to 30 repetitions each
Weeks 5-10: 3 sessions; 30 repetitions each (divided into 3 sets of 12, then 10, then 8 repetitions)
After 10 weeks, try to perform one weekly maintenance session of 30 repetitions.
Other Exercises and Tips

Always warm up!
Including more game specific drills with higher intensity rather than focusing on aerobic training in pre-season programmes
Include some dynamic stretching whilst fatigued. As most injuries occur at fatigue, training the muscle with controlled exercises whilst fatigued helps simulate this and prevent injury

The extender exercise
The glider exercise
The diver or bird feeder exercise
Including agility exercises in pre-season and return to sport such as:
Sidestepping (fast-paced)
Grapevine exercises
Stepping forward and back over a line whilst moving sideways
Side planking
Push-ups with trunk rotation
Always warm-down and stretch after training or a game!

*Source: American Journal of Sports Medicine 2011 39: 2296 originally published online August 8, 2011. Jesper Petersen, Kristian Thorborg, Michael Bachmann Nielsen, Esben Budtz-Jørgensen and Per Hölmich. Preventive Effect of Eccentric Training on Acute Hamstring Injuries in Men’s Soccer: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial.

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