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.


At 4/2/08, 11:33 AM, Blogger jo~squared said...

Vern, you once had an interesting article hip mobility and hamstring tightness posted on your website resources link. The article was a big help. But every so often I see an athlete with a tight hamstring away from the muscle belly lower towards the insertion. Any recommendations.

jojo mat, atc, lat

At 4/2/08, 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vern I love when you talk about hamstring problems!! I see so many people doing prone and supine hamstring exercises and if they would think functionally they would see that strengthening the hamstring and making it short and tight is causing more problems. I have geared much of my work to eccentric hamstring training and really working on low abdominal strength and I have seen a decrease in initial injuries and re-injury. I think there is also a misconception between static flexibility and functional functional flexibility. I really comes down to education, working functionally and evidence based medicine. RG, ATC

At 4/2/08, 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you be willing to provide a sample baseball warm-up?

At 4/2/08, 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buy his DVD

Mark Day

At 4/3/08, 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As of April 1st...opening day.

Mets - two hamstrings a pitcher and catcher

Indians - one ham bone - a catcher

Nationals - one ham bone - a centerfielder.

It is still less hamstring injuries than the Yankees at this time last year.



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