The roots of hamstring problems

I will attempt a list:

training issues:

  1. imbalance between quads and hams. Can this be tested for in any way?

  2. overtraining. (Muscles aren’t recovered from last workout)

  3. kinetic chain disfunction (weakness somewhere along the chain)

  4. weakness of knee flexion function respective to hip extension function (this I’m not sure about, but I suspect I have this problem)

  5. pushing too hard instead of letting race happen

Muscle issues:
6. Poor flexibility (remedy=stretching)
7. adhesion buildup (remedies=ART, SMFR, What can ART do that SMFR cannot do?)
8. weakness of one hamstring compared to the other (is this at all likely?)

I suspect I have problems 1, 3, 4, 7, and 8. Therefore I must 1. get ART, 2. do unilateral ham curls, 3. strengthen weakened calf muscle (from previous injury) on the problematic side. Is this right?

Feel free to add. I am desperate for help.

Overstriding which is probably caused by a few of the things that you’ve stated above.

*(Foot landing ahead of COM causing breakign putting alot of stress on the ham)

Any scenario that decrease the amount the hamstring muscles can absorb energy will expose it to excessive forces it can’t handle. I like things simple, so I divide the causes as instrinsic reasons (ie. biomechanical/muscular dysfunction, such as hyperpronation, equinus, limb length discrepancy, previous injury causing muscular imbalances) and extrinsic reasons (ie. overstriding, bad training schedule and lack of proper warmup). Of course the extrinsic reasons can be caused by intrinsic, but it helps me to simplify things. I believe coach/athlete dynamic can control and look at the extrinsic reason first, and then work their way to a medical specialist that can find the intrinsic reason.

In Sturt McGills latest book he talks about a theory which he calls “crossed pelvis syndrome” (glutes not firing properly, weak abs) in the book he states that if the glutes arent firing properly the hams and lower back become overloaded because of the extra work that they are doing when compensating for the glutes.

To remedy the problem he puts forward a series of exercises to retrain the glutes such as single leg squats, and bridging exercises whilst really emphasising glute contraction and trying to relax the hams as much as poss.

Good list

Just ranting here, but I never liked the term kinetic chain dysfunction. It dosen’t reallly mean anything. Its the same with rotator cuff syndrome. Its a generic term that dosen’t point to any specific problem.

Whenever I work with someone who was told they have a “kinetic chain dysfunction” I always think, cope out diagnosis…

It literally can mean just about anything, but its a good way for trainers who don’t know what they are doing to sound as if they do.

I’m currently working with some exact exercise variations like that for rehab/realignment to work out some kinks… glute bridges, lunges, HF squats…

Mmm … useful thread. Has anyone gone from chronic hamstring puller to a guy who was close to invulnerable there? If so, how did you do it?

Schnig42, 1-5 all have a bearing on why your hamstring is injured now. They all may have an impact on the future health of your hamsting if they are not addressed.

  1. No great way to tell through testing.
  2. Overtraining? Why do you suspect that?
  3. KCD. Could be. Why do you suspect that?
  4. Traiing for hip ext should be prioritized over knee flexion.
  5. Relax, don’t overstride, wait for it.
  6. What is length of hamstrings, hip ER, quads and hip flexors?
  7. What is SMFR? ART works but is not the only therapy to rely on.
  8. Weakness of one hamstring can definitely occur. So can other imbalances left to right and anterior to posterior.

Why do you suspect you have weak calf on problemic side? Give me more details on the injury, when did it occur, extent of injury, what you are able to do now. Are you in HS or college? Do you have access to ATC or PT.

Perhaps a live chat at some point would be able to address some of these issues in a quicker manner.

Thomas - thanks for the relpy.

  1. I do not suspect overtraining.
  2. I suspect KCD because I have weak plantar flexion in my left ankle compared to my right (left hamstring is giving me problems).
  3. Not sure how to quantify what you are asking for here.
  4. Self-myofascial release (foam rollers, etc).

I suspect I have a weak calf because of the weak plantar flexion mentioned above. This is a result of an ankle injury I sustained last September (sprained + bone chip). Whereas I can raise fully onto the ball of my right foot, I cannot raise fully onto the ball of my left (by plantar flexion). I am in HS.

poor release of tension/timing