So you’ve injured your hamstring… where to now?
Generally if you do your rehab well and consistently you can be back on the field in 4-8 weeks depending on how bad the initial injury was. All good hamstring rehab will include progressive strengthening exercises so have a look below at some beginner-level exercises that can be started early on in your rehab. Typically these exercises would be part of your first 1-2 weeks of rehab.
What we do and why we do it
The exercises in the initial stages are to help maintain movement through the joints and muscles around the area and start getting a little bit of range and strength back into the hamstring.
Two of my favourites are a banded leg curl and a double legged glute bridge. Have a look below at the set-ups for these and see how they feel for you!
Banded Leg Curls
- Lay on your stomach with one end of a band fixed, and the other around your ankle.
- Keep the other foot on the mat as you bend your knee against the band.
- Look out for your hip hitching up off of the floor also
- Hold and slowly return.
- Start on your back with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees bent.
- Bridge up with your hips extending upwards as high as you can, contracting the buttocks at the top.
- Hold position for 1-3 seconds, lower your body back down to the starting position and repeat.
- Bonus: If you’re up for it, try controlling your hips whilst straightening one leg at a time
What to remember
- If you have a sore or niggly hamstring that isn’t getting any better, seek some guidance from your physiotherapist or other movement focused, allied health professional!
- Physiotherapy outcomes are about what you do! You could have the best program in the world written for you but if the work doesn’t get done, you don’t get better.
- Take deloading seriously. Physios generally don’t enjoy telling someone they can’t play sport or participate in whatever thing it is that gives them joy! We are making this recommendation so you can get back to playing and feeling 100% as soon as possible. If you jump back in too quickly, the more likely the issue isn’t going to be resolved properly and its just going to raise its head again (keeping you out even longer)!
- If prescribed rehab and are receiving ongoing monitoring from a physiotherapist, see it through! When prescribed anti-biotics, you finish the whole course even if your symptoms have subsided. Physical therapy is much the same, just because your pain is gone – doesn’t mean the issue is resolved and won’t come back!