Friday, April 4, 2008


Here is a great post on Hamstring pulls written by Vern Gambetta. Here is a link to his blog.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Hamstring Pulling Season
We have just started hamstring pulling season (AKA Major League Baseball Season) So far in first two days of the season there have bee two hamstring pulls. Do you ever wonder why? Is it the cold weather? No I don’t think so although can be a factor at times. Are they out of shape? I hope not they have spent six weeks in spring training getting game fit. Based on my observations over the years here is my take on the hamstring pull situation in baseball and for that matter other sports. Too much emphasis on static stretching in warm-up.
Warm-up to stretch, do not stretch to warm-up. Flexibility of the hamstring is basically a non factor in hamstring pulls, it is dynamic hip flexibility that is important. You don't get that wallowing around on the ground in pregame stretch. Lack of sufficient warm-up. The current rage in warm-up does not involve enough movement, way too much at walking tempo, you need to build the warm-up in a crescendo to top speed sprints. Another reason is too much emphasis on linear running mechanics, very little on turns. The hamstring is a transverse plane muscle that is stressed when running a curve and on deceleration. There is too much strengthening using non functional exercises in prone and supine positions. The solutions are simple, but require understanding muscle function and compliance to a program. More lunges in all planes, step-ups both low and high, more emphasis on running turns and at least two days a week of all out sprinting outside the game. It takes time and preparation with attention to detail.

Our interpretation for distance runners. Stop doing static stretching as a warm-up! Stop doing hamstring curls for strengthening! As Vern says, we must keep our functional mobility (ability to squat, lunge and step up/down). Check out the archives on our blog for exercises to address functional mobility/strength.

No comments: