Muscle Injuries

Best Hamstring Exercises | Hamstring Injury Rehab | Physiotherapy

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Best hamstring exercises

Best Hamstring Exercises | Hamstring Injury Rehab | Physiotherapy

In elite sports, lots of research is done on hamstring injury prevention and rehab. It appears as if the Nordic hamstring curl is the holy grail of hamstring exercises but we wondered if there is more to regional muscle use during hamstring strengthening, especially considering that there are four muscle bellies: The semimembranosus and semitendinosus as well as a long and a short head of the biceps femoris. Research by Mendez-Villanueva et al. (2016) examined which hamstring exercises result in the best site-specific muscle use. 

What they found is that the flywheel curl and to a lesser extent the Nordic hamstring curl target the short head of the biceps femoris, Whereas the hip-extension conic pulley promoted the selective use of proximal regions of the long head of the biceps femoris, while minimizing activity in the other muscles. 

So for general hamstring strengthening or focus on biceps femoris short head and semitendinosus and membranosus, the flywheel leg curl and Nordic hamstring curl are excellent exercises, with the Russian belt exercise as an addon. For more specific targeting of the proximal biceps femoris long head, you may want to opt for the hip extension conic pulley. 

So let’s look at the four exercises:

While the Nordic Hamstring Curl is a great exercise, it can be hard to perform this exercise on your own. If you are curious about variations of this exercise, check them out here.

Furthermore, all of these exercises are great at a later stage of rehab or for hamstring injury prevention. If you have just suffered a hamstring injury, we recommend applying the Askling protocol.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR TO PREVENT HAMSTRING, CALF & QUADRICEPS INJURIES

Hamstring injury prevention

References

Mendez-Villanueva A, Suarez-Arrones L, Rodas G, Fernandez-Gonzalo R, Tesch P, Linnehan R, Kreider R, Di Salvo V. MRI-based regional muscle use during hamstring strengthening exercises in elite soccer players. PLoS One. 2016 Sep 1;11(9):e0161356.

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  • Lynn Avatar
    Lynn
    26/12/21

    The Big 3 - Advanced Rehabilitation of Hamstring, Quadriceps, and Calf Muscle- and Tendon Injuries Really good course. Much better understanding in Pathomechanics, risk factors and management of rehabilitation.

    Conall Avatar
    Conall
    27/10/21

    The Big 3 - Advanced Rehabilitation of Hamstring, Quadriceps, and Calf Muscle- and Tendon Injuries EXCELLENT, PRACTICAL AND BACKED WITH INNOVATIVE METHODS FOR INJURY PREVENTION AND REHABILITATION
    This course was excellent at breaking down the rehabilitation process of the big 3 (Quadriceps, Hamstrings and lower leg injuries). The content is very practical and applicable to advance your methods of rehabilitation and also to to develop robust methods for injury prevention and building resilience with your athletes. I particularly liked the progression of rehab shown from the acute stage right through to the return to training and performance phase. The exercises and rehab techniques highlight the importance of building structural strength and their progression and integration into more dynamic exercises as they relate to the phases of gait, running cycle and specific movement patterns in multiple planes . All material is supported with evidence based research, a list of further references and practical video demonstrations for you to practice.

    Paul Scurfield Avatar
    Paul Scurfield
    27/08/21

    The Big 3 - Advanced Rehabilitation of Hamstring, Quadriceps, and Calf Muscle- and Tendon Injuries BRILLIANT COURSE
    This course was one of the best professional development courses I have ever been involved in.
    The content is clear, applicable and intuitive.
    The level of detail in this course is amazing.
    I would recommend this course to anyone who works in rehabilitation.

  • Simone Ondoso Avatar
    Simone Ondoso
    21/06/21

    The Big 3 - Advanced Rehabilitation of Hamstring, Quadriceps, and Calf Muscle- and Tendon Injuries very nice course!