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Hamstring Exercises For Efficient Less Injury Long Distance Running

Joggers and runners often experience severe painful cramps in their hamstring muscles, and some even unfortunately tear their hamstrings during running.

These injuries and tears usually tends to happen only when the hamstring muscle is either:

  • tight/shortened
  • weak

Runners and joggers may have been exercising and doing hamstring curls in the gym or in their workouts, but it's more than just hamstring curls.

Common hamstring injury locations

Most of the time, for runners, hamstring injuries very rarely happens at/in the muscle belly itself - more often than not, in order of frequency, hamstring injuries happen at the

  1. tendon origin (at the ischial tuberosity)
  2. tendon insertion (at tibial plateau)
  3. lastly, the muscle belly

As runners and joggers keep running, it means that the hamstring is repeatedly stressed, and because of the tendon-bone-junction at the origin or the insertion point is where the most intensive stress occurs, and that's why they're the most common hamstring injury locations. To be able to tear the hamstring at the muscle belly only happens where there is a strong explosive power, such as sprints, jumps etc.

In long distance running on the other hand, there is little-to-no explosive running and that's why those hamstring curls is not particularly effective for long distance running. Hamstring curls in prone or standing would only strengthen the muscle belly of the hamstrings, and that will tax the tendons of the hamstrings more.

how to prevent hamstring injuries

So when you stretch your hamstring, you need to stretch from the origin of the hamstring muscle

  1. To perform the specific hamstring stretch, you need to “stick” your bum out to get a stretch in the hamstring at the origin.
  2. Maintain your back and neck in a neutral position and lean forward from your hip to stretch your hamstring.

Besides this static hamstring stretch, there are also dynamic hamstring stretches that are helpful in ensuring flexibility of your hamstrings.

Hamstring strengthening should be done through its entire muscle length:

  1. Place an ankle weight of about 3-5 kg around your ankle while you lie face down.
  2. Curl your hamstring up and then proceed with lifting your hip upwards.

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