Hamstring imblance

I am training a female sprinter. It is too cold to be outside and the indoor track we have access to has extremely tight banked curves due the fact that it is only 150m. We have been inside for about 7 weeks and she has already developed a significant strength imbalance in her hamstrings. Her left hamstring is stronger than her right I believe this is from the overload placed on it during starting and the fact it must produce the bulk of her power while going through the curves. Our lower body weight room lifts consist of two leg lifts only (snatch, power clean, squat, glute ham raises and reverse hypers of course all of lifts are performed in the same workout) aside from warm-up drills like bounding A skips and B skips our lower body ploys are done from two legs as well. Anyone have any ideas of an effective way to correct this problem? I know that Charlie is against single ploys due danger and increase foot contact time. I am thinking of dropping the squat replacing them with weighted step-ups adding in single leg hamstring kick downs. Anyone have a better idea and will this work.

I don’t know if I’d drop squats. I may replace 1 day of squats with lunges (instead of step ups). Start your lunges with your weak leg to determine what weight it can handle then use that weight for your weak & strong leg. Maybe 5x5 lunges each leg if this is still in the GPP period.

You could also consider using ~60m split runs instead of running turns on your tight track.

once again if u know what u r doing ems is great to correct strength imbalances.

What do mean by 60m split?

why lunges over step-ups?

How has this been identified? Thanks!

For example instead of running a 180:
do 3 x run a 60 fast on a straight rest about a minute between each rep

I just like lunges better than step ups. I feel they are safer for one. Plus I think you get a higher quality eccentric component.

When I massage her I feel the differance. When we pnf stretch I feel the differance. And the other day after a workout that was stright line running only she said that she could rellyfeel it.

not sure if u can really tell by the reasons u just listed…

I forgot to say we are now doing an extra set of pnf stretching on the weak hamstring after weight trannig to try and help correct the problem is this wise or is overloading an already weak muscle going to lead to trouble and prolong this problem?

what should I be looking for as proof?

I might look at pelvic alingment, sacral imblance and postural clues first mate and see if there is an alingment issue first so that we’re not confusing strength with something else?

How old is she? … and Trg age too please?

Can’t she be just tight from running tight curves? If she’s tight, she won’t be able to express the same amount of strength -which, however, doesn’t necessarily mean lack of strength as such. If this isn’t the case though, you can go to more specifics, as no23 describes.

She is 23 and had 7 years training before me we have been working together 6 months. However her first 2 years were 400-800 stuff which I know little about as she does not remember very much of what they did and next five she was trained by someone who had some very “special” ideas. Two of his more “interesting” ideas were that she should run with her arms “on pins” meaning she not let her shoulders rotate at all he also believed that in order to get fast block clearance you should use a much shorter than normal arm action. We have spent much of our time correcting her form. We have just started block work and what I found is that she has been basically walking out of the blocks. Her block setting about 7 inches too far back from the line which put into a position that she could not produce any power no matter how hard she tried. Now that we have fixed her block problem she is much faster out the blocks and can maintain her drive phase 35-40m down the track for the first time ever. I believe this is the main cause of the imbalance as we are getting her body to generate more power than it ever has before. It feels (from massage) as if after only two weeks learning to start her body has put more muscle mass on the outside hip and hamstring area of her left leg and none on her right. This may seem abnormal but she is able put on muscle mass very easily and quickly. From pnf stretching, her input, and massage it seems that her left side is indeed stronger than her right. Before we began learning to start (5 and months of training) there would sometimes be some tightness in left hamstring hip area right after a workout (from running the curve I think?) but it was usually gone by half way though the next day. Now that I think about it the last workout that we did starts we stopped because she did two really great starts (in comparison to she used to do) by third I think she was tried cause her first step was fine (right foot) but on the next two steps on her right were off the best I can describe it is it was as if instead of being forced down the track her back half was being forced up I sure that makes little sense and could be anything (maybe a weak erector not allowing her to transfer her power from leg all the up) pelvic alignment and postural clues look alright to me I use the (belt line as reference) but have gone back to school (exercise science) and will hopefully get better at identifying these things. I will have her looked at by someone who is or should be better at finding these things than me.

I told she should see someone and she went to a massage therapist this aftetnoon everything appears o.k. I do not know the therapist she saw so I am going to try and get the guy I know who teaches classes for state cert. in massage to look at her as well and maybe another massage therapist I have used in the past and seems to very good just to sure. It should also be noted that is the same indoor track she has been training on for last 5 years with her other coach and she has not had this problem before but as I have said I do not beleive his work outs were as demanding as what we are doing now as he had her doing very little true speed work.

Not to blame anyone here (far from it), but a transition from one plan to the other is not always an easy thing on the body. If everything holds fine, the second half of the season should be much smoother and rewarding! Good luck!