Unfortunately, hamstring strains are both common and painful. They strike athletes of all sorts including runners, skaters, and football, soccer, and basketball players. But what is a hamstring? It isn’t actually a single ”string.” It’s a group of four muscles that run along the back of your thigh. They allow you to bend your leg at the knee.

exercises-to-reduce-hamstrings-injury

During a hamstring strain, one or more of these muscles gets overloaded. The muscles might even start to tear. You’re likely to get a hamstring strain during activities that involve a lot of running and jumping or sudden stopping and starting.

1. Standing Hamstring Stretch:

standing-hamstring-stretch1

How to Do:

  • Put the heel of the leg on your injured side on a stool about 15 inches high.
  • Keep your leg straight. Lean forward, bending at the hips, until you feel a mild stretch in the back of your thigh.
  • Make sure you don’t roll your shoulders or bend at the waist when doing this or you will stretch your lower back instead of your leg.
  • Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

2. Lunges with Weights:

lunges-with-weights2

Lunges are great for building strength in your quads, glutes and core. They are also great for your posture. Keep your back straight. Start off with a low weight and progress as you get stronger.

How to Do:

  • Stand with your torso upright, shoulders down and back. Hold two dumbbells on each side of your body.
  • Step forward with your right leg, about two-feet away from your left leg which remains stationary.
  • Lower your upper body your front knee should go beyond your toes and your back leg should be bent with you shin perpendicular to the floor.
  • Keep the torso upright at all times.
  • Remove your right foot to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Keep alternating sides for the allocated number of reps.
  • Perfect your lunge technique with no weights to begin with, then build your way up from very light weights to heavier ones as you get stronger.
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