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Thread: Keep Tweaking Hammys

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  1. #1
    Senior Member n4rd0's Avatar
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    Keep Tweaking Hammys

    Everytime I attempt to do sprints I end up tweaking a hammy. I do extensive static and dynamic stretching before hand and I am in very good shape. I'm only 20 years old and I played running back in high school so sprinting should not be a problem for me. Over the past couple of months everytime I do sprints it seems that I will tweak or pull my left or right hamstring when I am in full stride on my third or fourth sprint. Sometimes I pull them worse then other times but usually I can still jog or run lightly after. It is only when I am in full stride they tend to get messed up. It's starting to really frustrate me. Does anybody have any ideas why this may be happening? I never had this problem before in highschool.
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  2. #2
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    It may be that you're getting too aggressive with your stretching, which can often lead to injuries.

    A better approach would be to take some light laps to warm the muscle up, then a couple light sprints before you go full throttle.


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  3. #3
    Senior Member Ruff Riff's Avatar
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    Travis is right,

    I had some hammie problems in college and my problem was that my hams were VERY week in comparison to my quads? I would also consider getting stronger hams, certainly won't hurt! Good luck man, I had chronic problems with them until I simply got them stronger then all my problems went away?

  4. #4
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruff Riff View Post
    Travis is right,

    I had some hammie problems in college and my problem was that my hams were VERY week in comparison to my quads? I would also consider getting stronger hams, certainly won't hurt! Good luck man, I had chronic problems with them until I simply got them stronger then all my problems went away?
    Excellent point.

    There was a phase in strength and conditioning where coaches thought if they focused solely on quad strength and just stretched out the hamstrings, athletes would get faster. At the time they thought that when running the quads distributed the power and the hamstrings just relaxed. Obviously they were wrong, but some remnants of that practice exists today.

    Sprinters need super powered hammies


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  5. #5
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    Sprinters need super powered hammies
    ...and glutes. If your hip flexors are tight, and your glutes aren't firing, your hammies are doing more than their fair share, and even if you heal up and strengthen them, chances are pretty good you'll have the same thing happen again and again.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
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  6. #6
    Small guy depotman's Avatar
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    IMO here is an excellent article on creating indestructable hammies.

    http://www.defrancostraining.com/ask-joe.html?start=8

  7. #7
    GFH Lones Green's Avatar
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    My immediate thought to looking at this thread title was "Do more glute/ham raises"
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  8. #8
    Senior Member n4rd0's Avatar
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    My deadlift and squat are pretty even but as for assistance exercise rdl's are really the only thing i do for my hammies. Doesn't the glute ham raise require a piece of equipment which locks your feet in place so your somewhat suspended in the air with your torso free to bend up and down? Is there a way to perform this exercise without this piece of equipment? I ask this becase i typically lift in my basement which is limited to a power rack and a few other things. Thanks for the input so far gus i really apreciate it. BTW my hammy is sore as hell today should i skip my deadlifts tomorrow ?
    5'7
    180

    bench - 245 x 2
    squat - 315 x 5
    dl- 355 x 1
    goal - Bigger Faster Stronger

  9. #9
    GFH Lones Green's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n4rd0 View Post
    My deadlift and squat are pretty even but as for assistance exercise rdl's are really the only thing i do for my hammies. Doesn't the glute ham raise require a piece of equipment which locks your feet in place so your somewhat suspended in the air with your torso free to bend up and down? Is there a way to perform this exercise without this piece of equipment? I ask this becase i typically lift in my basement which is limited to a power rack and a few other things. Thanks for the input so far gus i really apreciate it. BTW my hammy is sore as hell today should i skip my deadlifts tomorrow ?
    Yeah, don't think I would pull if my hamstring was tweaked. You're asking for a tear.

    Yes you need a GHR machine to do them. There are a few ways to do them without one, but none too effective.

    I'd add more exercises in like goodmornings sitting way back and not going crazy with the weight, band leg curls with like a purple for 100 reps or so, etc. Hamstrings are VERY important
    23 years old
    6'3, 308 lbs

    825 Squat
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    645 Deadlift
    1905 total
    www.atlargenutrition.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member bojackson's Avatar
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    what wasnt said in defrancos video (and as a coach i absolutely believe in his trainingmethods), is rest. it sounds as if you may be stressing it too soon without sufficient rest. you can also do active recovery exercises, but with chronic hammies, you ABSOLUTELY have to allow them to rest. good luck
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  11. #11
    Wannabebig New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by n4rd0 View Post
    ......... I do extensive static and dynamic stretching before hand and I am in very good shape......... Does anybody have any ideas why this may be happening? I never had this problem before in highschool.
    Doing a few stretches just prior to heavy exertion won't do the trick. As we get older and spend more time sitting at work our hammies naturally tend to shorten. I had a similar problem until I learned from the Pittsburgh Pirates' trainer that these muscles need to be stretched every day, not just prior to a run. I followed his advice and it made all the difference in the world.

    My regimen consists of each night spending about 30 minutes stretching while watching the tube. Hams are first. Spread your legs about half again as wide as your shoulders. Fold your arms and bend over with your legs nearly straight and let your folded arms pull you downward. Don't bounce, but remain in the bent over position for about 40 seconds, continuously trying to touch the floor with your elbows. Next, with your legs still spread, reach both hands and attempt to grasp your right ankle, still keeping your legs nearly straight. Again, 40 seconds. Switch it up and do the left side for 40 seconds. Then reach forward and grab both of your ankles, legs still spread and nearly straight, and pull straight down. This last one will really give you a good stretch, as you should already be loose from the previous exercises.

    Next, stand erect and reach behind you, bending your right leg and grabbing your foot with your right hand, stretching your right quad. While doing this stretch, attempt to bend over and touch the ground with your other hand. 40 seconds. Repeat on left side.

    Next do some calf stretches and then move to a sitting position on the floor with your legs out in front of you, nearly straight. Attempt to grab your ankles and bend your head towards your knees. 40 seconds.

    Do these every day for at least a week, preferably two, before you attempt to sprint again. Then begin your running with some easy jogging to work some warmth into the muscle, gradually building up to a sprint. You will be pleased with the results.

  12. #12
    Senior Member BoAnderson71's Avatar
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    strengthening them as many people have mentioned but try RICE. Rest Ice compress elevate. the problem with hamstrings is many people come back too soon when it comes to hamstrings you have got to be patient and let them heal.
    Last edited by BoAnderson71; 06-10-2010 at 03:56 PM.
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  13. #13
    Small guy depotman's Avatar
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    If you do not have a GHR machine you can do GHR's on a Lat pull down machine, it actually works fairly well.

    Here is an example (look at the 2nd vid) - http://www.verticaljumping.com/glute_ham_raise.html

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