Lets talk Hamstrings!
At Longevity in Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick we often have clients coming to us with ACL tears, Hamstring tendinopathy, chronic low back pain and chronic hip pain. These issues can originate due to a deficit in Hamstring control, strength or mobility.
The “hamstrings” refers to a group of 3 muscles on the back of your thighs, the Biceps Femoris, Semitendinosus and Semimembranosus. These muscles have a unique role, since they all cross both the hip joint and the knee joint. This means they complement your Glutes (along with several other muscles) to bring your hips forward and they are also the primary muscle group used to flex your knee.
What does this mean?
The hamstrings play a vital role in low back, hip and knee function and health. They can be working too hard to compensate for weak Gluteal muscles leading to low back pain, they are one of several muscles used to stabilise the hip complex and they aid in deceleration activities to reduce the load placed on the ACL.
In practice, this means that your hamstrings must:
- Have enough control/strength throughout a full range of motion, ensuring your low back is not disproportionately loaded when picking up objects off the floor.
- Have symmetrical strength and range of motion to avoid uneven forces places on your hips.
- Have the strength and control so you can decelerate appropriately during athletic events such as landing, turning and stopping suddenly.
What is the result of Hamstrings functioning improperly?
In short, any muscle functioning improperly will leave you at an increased risk of injury. With the Hamstrings playing such a vital role in the movements mentioned above, tight/weak hamstrings leave you at an increased risk of:
- Hamstring Tendinopathy (often a pain felt just below your buttock or behind the knee)
- ACL tear/rupture
- Herniated discs
- Chronic low back pain
- Hamstring tears
- SIJ instability and pain
- Many other lower limb conditions
Below is a video of a Nordic hamstring curl, a great way to increase eccentric hamstring strength to protect your ACL during deceleration.
If you feel like your hamstrings might be tight, you lack control when decelerating, you have lower back pain that won’t go away or you feel a pain in your hips, you should consult an Exercise Physiologist for an assessment and a program to set you up for success, relieve your pain and get you fitter and stronger in the process. Longevity has 4 convenient locations for you to access an Exercise Physiologist for all you clinical and training needs in Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick
Contact Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology to get started — 1300 964 002