Rehab exercises for high hamstring injury is necessary to relieve pain, improve function, and regain performance. High hamstring tendinopathy, strain, or other high hamstring injuries will often improve significantly with a strategic rehab exercise routine.
I covered the first step to rehab these injuries, isometric exercises for high hamstring injuries, in a previous post. If you missed it make sure you check it out and start there (link below.) As you have less pain with the hip flexion motion, the next step is to move on to some more progressive high hamstring rehab exercises, called isotonic exercises.
Isotonic hamstring exercises means your hamstrings are going to shorten against resistance. The easiest example of an isotonic exercise is a hamstring curl.
To review, I generally recommend addressing high hamstring injuries by progressing through a rehab program like this:
- Isometric hamstring loading exercises
- Isotonic hamstring loading exercises with minimal hip flexion (the routine I’m covering today)
- Isotonic hamstring loading exercises with increased hip flexion
- Energy storage and impact loading exercises
I’m going to break these down for you with pictures so you can work on these at home. Remember, if you’re not sure you’re dealing with a high hamstring injury confined to the muscles or tendons, make sure you get evaluated by a healthcare provider, of course, I recommend a chiropractor who’s experienced in treating these. Even if you are sure, I still recommend getting some treatment from a chiropractor experienced in these injuries.
Click here to request an appointment with our Cary Chiropractic Center
At our chiropractic clinic in Cary, NC we provide manual therapy techniques like joint manipulation or mobilization (chiropractic adjustments), dry needling, and Graston Technique IASTM to help speed up the process. These injuries can linger so getting some manual therapy can make a huge difference in speeding up the recovery process.
If you’re not looking for a chiropractor in Cary, NC because you live somewhere else, then you can find near you one on the Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance website.
Single-Leg Hip Bridges
- Lay on your back with your feet flat on the ground and knees bent. Straighten your non-affected leg, point your toes, and keep it in line with the thigh of your other leg.
- Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips off the ground until your knees and shoulders are in a line. Hold for a second at the top and then lower down and repeat on the other side.
Prone Leg Curl with Band
- The position for this is the same as the isometric leg curl. Lay face down with your legs straight.
- Curl your injured leg while keeping the other leg straight, hold as second, and then return to the ground.
- Think about really squeezing your hamstrings. If you need bands, I like these ones: BMP Bands
Straight-Leg Hip Extension
- Lay face down and make sure your legs are straight. Lift your injury leg off the floor while keeping it straight and your toes pointed.
- Go as far as you can while squeezing your glutes and hamstrings, avoid using your back muscles. Hold 1 second and relax.
Supine Leg Curl with Ball
- You need an exercise ball for this one. Lay on your back with your heels on the exercise ball and lift your hips off the ground slightly
- Lift your non-injured leg off the ball and then curl your injured leg so your heel comes to your buttocks.
- Hold 1 second then push the ball out and repeat on the other side. If you don’t have a ball, this stability ball is a good choice.
Nordic Hamstring Curls
- You’re going to need a partner to hold your heels down, or at least something to anchor your heels onto. Tall kneel with your ankles supported or anchored and slowly lower yourself forward.
- Try and focus and using your hamstrings and glutes during this. You’ll get to a point where you can’t resist gravity, when you get there allow yourself to fall forward and catch yourself with your hands.
- Push yourself back up and repeat. This exercise has shown to reduce hamstring injuries in athletes, so it’s a good injury prevention strategy as well. You can read more about the study here.
How to Perform these Exercises for High Hamstring Injury
Exercises for high hamstring injury in this phase are aimed at doing two things:
- Restoring strength to your hamstring muscles
- Restoring hamstring muscle and tendon capacity in functional ranges of movement.
- You can achieve these two goals by doing these exercises until fatigue. I recommend you run through these in a superset of 15 repetitions each. That means do each one for 15 repetitions and then move on to the next until you’re done.
- Also, you should perform these hamstring rehab exercises very slow! Focus on contracting for 3 seconds, and then releasing tension over 3 seconds. Each repetition should take about 6 seconds, and when you’re done you should feel fatigued.
- Perform the hamstring exercises every other day at least, and it wouldn’t hurt to shoot for every day. Consistency is key but also making sure you’re not in significant pain while you perform them is also key.
Finally, I would recommend using this program in conjunction with some manual therapy from a chiropractor. I know I mentioned this earlier, but I can’t stress this enough. Mild injuries may get better by themselves, but getting some care may help prevent your injury from returning.
Our Cary chiropractors focus on treating acute and chronic injuries and getting you back to pre-injury status with no to minimal pain and full function. Just because you see a chiropractor DOES NOT mean have to continue to go forever. Some periodic chiropractic care can be preventative but it’s certainly not necessary and we don’t pressure patients to keep coming.
Now that you know these high hamstring injury rehab exercises, get to work on them and feel free to reach out to us if there’s anything we can do for you.
If you’re interested in whether he or another AccessHealth provider can help you, navigate to our contact page or follow this link to request an appointment.