Efforts to fully and properly recover from a pulled hamstring pays dividends – few things are more frustrating than setting yourself back with a reinjury. Learning how to recover, maintain and prevent a hamstring injury is time well spent.
Some key principles for hamstring strain or pull recovery include:
- If you consider your hamstring pull healed, but find yourself favoring your hamstring, you still have an issue. Trying to take it easy on one muscle group for extended periods of time throws your body off balance and while you may avoid another hamstring pull, you’re setting yourself up to some other muscle strain or pull.
- Make sure you balance your strength and flexibility. Spending a lot of time on hamstring strength, but ignoring flexibility, will create problem. Too much stretching and not enough strength is equally problematic.
- If your sport does not challenge your hamstrings, you’ll need to do something in your strength and flexibility training to build them up. Often a sport will require strength in one part of the body, but not another (or less in another). If you don’t try to develop the whole body together, you are automatically creating a weak link, which opens the door for injury.
- Warm up well. It’s best if you bring your breathing level up first, warming your insides. As your body warms up, challenge it more and more. It should be a natural progression where you ease into your full ability. If you try to run as fast as you can out of the gate, you’ll strain cold, inelastic muscles.
- Find a good coach. Each sport has proper methods, and finding someone who can teach you the right mechanics and movement principles is invaluable. It is rarely a good use of time to try to figure things out on your own.
Check out our general tips on muscle pull prevention for other principles to keep in mind.