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How To Fix A Hamstring Strain

Updated: Jun 29, 2021

This blog covers six very useful exercises and some key do's and don'ts that we find useful for healing painful hamstring injuries. As there is no one size fits all recovery plan for any injury, the exercises below will need to be adapted to your specific situation.

Please note that this is not an in depth blog about hamstring injuries. Your TLC osteopath will also have other education, specific lifestyle and exercise advice to offer in addition to skilled hands on care. You can book in here Do's and Don'ts of Hamstring Injuries

During the initial phases of recovering from a hamstring injury, you should tactfully limit prolonged sitting, squats, lunges, and dead lift type exercises as these are likely to aggravate the tendon. In terms of cardio, uphill running, sprints, rowing, cycling stair and hill work need to be avoided. As the tendon heals we work with you to carefully increase your exposure to these exercises.

Flat terrain runs at moderate effort should be ok. Walking on flats are almost always ok, as is swimming and skipping. In addition, there is a bunch of other exercises you can be focusing on. These include, but are not limited to calf, core, glute shoulder and back exercises.

Rehab Exercises For Hamstring Injuries

These exercises should be progressed from "holds" or "planks" through to "slow movements". As an example, the swiss ball roll out "plank" position would look something like the image on the right. The "plank "position would be based on where you find a balance of the muscle working hard and been able to be held for a long time. These should be held for 1 minute 3 times.

It will be necessary to adjust your position to an easier "plank" between sets to help you reach he 1 minute hold time. Slowly moving the muscle would be the next step.

However, and depending on your injury, we may discuss that you can start with slow movements or use a mix of holds and slow


When we move slow we look to emphasize the eccentric phase of the exercise. So with the image above that would be slowly

shifting from the bottom figure to the top figure. There is no set time, but 8 seconds is a good place to start. Because the movement is slow we only need to do 4 reps per set for 3 sets. If you feel able to you can add 4 more reps per set at a comfortable pace to really work the muscle!

The exercises

1. Overhead marching

This is balance-based and works every muscle in your body. As an added bonus include slow shoulder pressing movements. This can also be done with a barbell. The video below gives a rough indication.

2. Assisted Nordics - Generally requires some creativity to set up and a very sturdy band!. But this is a good example. We can discuss more practical options for you.

3. Hamstring roll out on swiss ball

Depending on where you are at, you may want to focus on just keeping your legs nearly straight, slightly bent, or having only one leg on the ball, or alternating the legs. She moves far too fast. I'd prefer 1/2 that speed.

video with more detailed commentary.

4. Hamstring roll out no-ball (for those times when you do not have a ball)

Socks on vinyl work too!

5. The prone hamstring gym machine. If you have access to a gym then this is a fantastic way to isolate the hamstring muscle.

6) This is my personal favorite hamstring exercise fort he early phases of recovery. It allows you to really stress the hamstring muscle in a controlled setting. It looks ALOT like what we expect of the hamstring in running and its very modifiable to your level of pain or dysfunction.

As a final note, a strained hamstring is a strained hamstring. You are not injured, only your hamstring temporarily is. We are here to help, so if you are not sure please ask! Book now

Written by Darryl Jenkins

TLC Osteopaths, Hamilton Nz


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