Hamstring strains and stretching

There is a theory among the southern California master sprinters that stretching the hamstrings especially before a race will lead to an increase in hamstring strains. I have even heard it espoused by some very successful local HS coaches. Many of my masters buddies do no stretching before races. They just do active exercises for warm ups. A Univ of San Diego sports physiologist concurs with this as well.

I personally have had hamstring problems in the past. Last year I stopped stretching before meets and had virtually no problems. Even after going through 3 days of 4 races at nationals my hams felt fine.

Today I went out on the track and in warmup starts for a 100 race I tweaked a hammie. I had not done any stretching today but yesterday had done a full set of stretches. I have not been ovetraining.

I am thinking that the stretching from yesterday may be the cause of my injury. My thinking is that I will now not do stretching the day before a meet either. Usually I take that day off anyhow. All of the info on micro stretching kind of leans this way recommending mild stretches.

I would like to hear your opinions on this issue while I ice my ham.:help:

You are probably stretching with too much intensity. The area where you previously injured your hamstring probably has scar tissue, and you are creating microtears around it by stretching too intensly.

i agree with dcw…
also i belive stretching is something individuals do because over the years there body has adapted to it… for example since i was a little kid i was brought up on streching before activity over the years before every practice, workout, meet i have done this… since my body is used to this stimulus if i did not stretch before a practice or meet i feel i may risk injury…


You have a point.

What amazes me though is that you see athletes do 800m jog woarm up, 20-30 minutes of static stretching 2 or 3 drills, 4 runthroughs.

Thats it, then they compete. Many consider a warm down as taking of spikes. Throwers are worst.

Nice to see you’re back Dcw23:clap: