5 ways to bulletproof the hamstrings

Thigh 1

Timothy Rowland

Physiotherapist + S&C Coach. Sydney, Australia.

Hamstring strains are one of the most common injuries in sport. Previous hamstring strain is a risk factor for future hamstring injury, so prevention is always better than cure!

A comprehensive, multi-faceted approach is optimal for hamstring injury prevention, including:

  1. Regular and graded exposure to high speed running (aim to hit max velocity 2 x a week; sprints over 30-50m to ensure max velocity is reached; and total sprint distance per session around 100-300m depending on your current tolerance to sprinting) 🏃‍♂️
  2. Proper running mechanics – don’t overstride which puts excess stress on the hamstring, and avoid excessive pelvic motion during running as dropping into anterior pelvic tilt also puts extra stress on the hamstrings (this is why a lumbopelvic stability program can work well) 🏃‍♀️


  3. Strengthen the hammies in a variety of ways:
    • eccentrically e.g. Nordics
    • isometrically e.g. long lever hamstring bridge holds
    • at low velocity e.g. Nordics, Romanian deadlifts
    • at high velocity e.g. Romanian deadlift drop and catches, glute ham drop and catch, long lever hamstring switches
    • in hip dominant movements e.g. Romanian deadlifts
    • in knee dominant movements e.g. Nordics, leg curls


  4. Ensure training is planned well – e.g. try to avoid high speed running exposure on the same day after gym. Try get sprinting done before gym or put it on the next day. This is because sprinting after lower body gym work can increase the risk of hamstring strains as the lower limb muscles are fatigued 🗓
  5. Don’t ignore warning signs of extra tightness in the hammies than normal, especially if this tightness is on one side only 🙅‍♂️

Notice how this post didn’t say “just do Nordics” 😂


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About the Author


Timothy Rowland

Physiotherapist + S&C Coach. Sydney, Australia.

Tim Rowland is a physiotherapist and strength and conditioning coach from Sydney, Australia. He has completed a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (First Class Honours) and a Master of High Performance Sport. Tim currently works as a physiotherapist in a high performance gym called Athletes Authority, and as a strength and conditioning coach for semi-professional rugby teams. Tim is very passionate about bridging the gap between rehab and performance, and specialises in late stage rehabilitation and return to play testing.

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Comments (1)

If you have a question, suggestion or a link to some related research, share below!

  • Emily Sudder

    Hi! Great article. What is the long lever hamstring switch? Like from an isometric shoulder bridge and changing the legs?

    Emily Sudder | 02 May 2020 |