How to prevent pulled hamstrings

prevent-pulled-hamstringsThe Cleveland Indians have a pretty good shot at making some noise this year, but they lost Victor Martinez in the home opener. It looks to be just a pulled hamstring, but there is a pending MRI. Cue ominous music. How did Victor hurt his hamstring? Running to second base. Yes. He was running from one base to another. Nothing heroic nor legendary.

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We spoke about how to treat pulled hamstrings in the past. This time we thought we’d talk through pulled hamstring injury prevention.

What is your hamstring? It’s a group of muscles behind your knee extending up from the top of your calf to the bottom of your thigh. It’s funny when the word hamstring is used it should be hamstrings. If you didn’t have a hamstring you couldn’t bend your knees. You’d be like those funky aliens from the movie The Arrival.

What does it mean when you pull a hamstring? You’ve torn part of that muscle group. In most cases you and your doctor won’t know what specific muscle or tendon has been torn, but it doesn’t really matter. With a pulled hamstring you’re going to feel the pain.

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How can you prevent a pulled hamstring? The golden question. The common thought was stretching before activity helped prevent hamstring pulls, but nowadays the thinking is improving strength. There are specific exercises for improving your hamstring strength, which is the first way to preventing a pull. Stretching has a place, still, but the main emphasis should be on strengthen. One of the components often overlooked it ensuring hydration at optimum levels.

Why did Victor Martinez pull his hamstring? Tough one. He went through spring training without any issues, so the pulled hamstring probably happened due to excessive force. On the play, Victor was attempting to advance to second from first when the pitch ended up in the dirt. This additional force of pushing hard to accelerate is probably what caused the pull.



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