SPRINTING, THE DOUBLE – EDGED SWORD IN HAMSTRING STRAINS.
I refer to sprinting as the double-edged sword in hamstring strains secondary to the common mechanism of injury being sprinting. At the same time, a key element of rehab and prevention of hamstring strains is sprinting.
Why tolerable (≤ 4/10) sprinting is great during the rehab process:
No other exercise results in the same amount of hamstring activation at the same timing as sprinting. We have to see beyond nordic hamstring curls if we want to load the hamstrings specifically.
Faulty sprint mechanics can predispose someone to hamstring strain injuries. Working on form during the rehab process allows for correction.
Many Athletes seek my consult for preventative measures especially in the realm of chronic hamstring strains. The same athletes are often surprised that a key element of hamstring strain prevention is a healthy dose of sprinting.
How can sprinting be a tool for prevention of hamstring strains?
In the absence of large biomechanical issues many hamstring injuries occur secondary to improper programming, and excessive/rapid increases in training loads. Deliberately programming sprinting can be protective of the hamstring. In this way sprinting becomes the vaccine in hamstring strains. There are studies that show that athletes who sprint at ≥95% of max velocity during sport practice show a decreased rate of soft tissue injuries than those who sprint at lower max velocities. Training harder and smarter is the goal.
A sword can protect you but also can kill you! The same way sprinting can be a tool for rehab/prevention of hamstring injury, but also can cause a hamstring injury. Hamstring injury rehab is far from black and white, a multifaceted approach is ideal when treating or preventing hamstring strains
Are you dealing with persistent hamstring strains? If so drop a comment. I can help you.