How to Prevent Hamstring Pulls
Hamstring pulls are one of the most common lower body injuries we see amongst baseball players. Today, I wanted to show you guys the common causes of hamstring pulls and how you can prevent them from taking place in the future…
Cause #1 Dehydration — Proper hydration is KEY! Playing a game in the scorching hot sun, and not consuming any liquids, is a pulled hammy waiting to happen.
How to Prevent it? As a general guideline take [.66 X your body weight], which will equate to the ounces of water you should be drinking each day. Coconut water is another fantastic option to stay hydrated as well!
Cause #2 Not Properly Warming Up — No brainer here. If you get to the field and start sprinting without doing any sort of movement prep or activation, your putting your body and muscles (including your hamstring) at extreme risk.
How to Prevent it? Perform a proper warmup consisting of: general movement, followed by muscle activation, mobility and CNS(Central Nervous System) activation. You can also add SMR(Foam Rolling/Lax Ball Rolling) before mobility, if time and equipment permits. This warmup should take about 15 to 20 minutes at the absolute most.
Cause #3 Over Striding — When your foot getʼs ahead of your hip it causes a breaking force (extreme stress) on the hamstring. For example: when youʼre at the recovery phase of your sprint, and you go to take the next step where your foot will strike the ground, the hamstring contracts eccentrically FAST. If you canʼt control it and get your foot down fast before it extends out too far, you will over stride. If you posses eccentric hamstring strength youʼll be able to catch it before it extends out too far, and your foot will be right under your center of gravity where you want it to be.
How to Prevent it? Develop eccentric hamstring strength. A couple of my favorite exercises to do this are: Eccentric Rear Foot Elevated Rear-Foot Elevated Bulgarian Split Squats and Slide Board Eccentric Hamstring Curl.