How Baseball Players Can Prevent Hamstring Injuries

April 20, 2013 | Mo Skelton

Must See Baseball Videos

One of the most common injuries in baseball occurs when a player running the bases suddenly pulls up short and starts limping. The cause: a pulled hamstring. It seems like they come out of nowhere, but they are caused by factors hidden beneath the skin. (Learn more about hamstring injuries.)

The hamstrings play a critical role in sprinting, throwing and hitting. They are most frequently injured when athletes decelerate or try to control movement. Pitchers usually injure the hamstring on their plant leg, because it absorbs the explosive force from the throw.

Hamstring injuries are preventable if you take the correct action. You need to train your hamstrings eccentrically (i.e., during the lowering part of a movement), build glute strength and develop a strong core before the season starts.

Try incorporating two or three of the following exercises into your lower-body program. Switch them up each workout to continue challenging your hamstrings so you will be ready for the long baseball season.

Romanian Deadlifts

Go heavy, because this exercise strengthens the low back, glutes and hamstrings eccentrically. You can also perform them on a single leg.

Sets/Reps: 5x5 (3x6-10 for single-leg version)

Watch how to perform the RDL here.

Plyometric Bulgarian Split Squats

Instead of simply lowering up and down, hop into the air with your front leg. This improves explosive power and teaches your hamstrings to absorb and store energy.

Sets/Reps: 3x6 each leg

Watch how to perform the standard Bulgarian here.

Nordic Hamstring

This is an extremely challenging exercise. Lower slowly in control to challenge your eccentric strength, then drive off the ground to propel yourself to the starting position. Do this with your body weight, then add resistance as your strength increases.

Sets/Reps: 3x6 (start with 1x5 and progress to 10 reps)

Watch how to perform it here.

Physioball Russian Twists

A strong core is essential for preventing injury. This exercise will strengthen your abs and obliques, while isometrically working your hamstrings. For an additional challenge, hold a med ball or dumbbells.

Sets/Reps: 2-3x10-12 each direction

Watch how to perform it here.

Zercher Squats

This version of the Squat involves cradling the barbell across your elbows. It will strengthen your lower body, core, hamstrings and even your biceps. Put a pad in the crook of your elbows to prevent injury from heavy weight.

Sets/Reps: 4-5x5

Watch how to perform it here.

Sumo Deadlifts

Pure strength is the key to speed and power. This wide-leg version of the Deadlift strengthens the lateral hips, groin, glutes and hamstrings.

Sets/Reps: 5x3

Learn how to perform it here.

Yoga

For baseball players, mobility is extremely important for relieving stress on the hamstrings. Try the Bridge and Downward Dog poses.

Photo: latimes.com

Mo Skelton
- Mo Skelton is a physical therapist at McCurtain Memorial Hospital (Idabel, Okla.) and is the founder of F.A.S.T. Sports Performance. He also serves as...
Mo Skelton
- Mo Skelton is a physical therapist at McCurtain Memorial Hospital (Idabel, Okla.) and is the founder of F.A.S.T. Sports Performance. He also serves as...
Must See
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,204,080
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 5,941,524
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 20,334,813

Featured Videos

A Day in the Life of NBA D-League Star Seth Curry Views: 68,298
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 6,362
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 127,960
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,654
What Ryan Hall Eats for Breakfast
Views: 795,225
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,612
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 705,718
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,560,472

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

The 8 Most Dangerous Exercises for Your Shoulders

10 Ways to Fix Back Pain

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

How to Prevent Injuries With 3 Yoga Poses

How to Train With Running Blisters

5 Bodyweight Exercises to Prevent Baseball Injuries

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

How to Treat Piriformis Syndrome

Tips for Working Out With a Hand or Arm Injury

Basketball Players: Prevent Ankle Sprains With These 3 Exercises

6 Simple Tips to Prevent Knee Injuries

5 Exercises to Prevent ACL Tears

Outsmart Injury With These 4 Predictive Tests

3 Ways to Prevent the Most Common Hockey Injury

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

7 Ways to Fix Back Pain

Why Strengthening This Muscle May Fix Knee Pain

The Future of Sports Injury Rehabilitation

Megan Rapinoe

Sports Hernias: What You Need to Know

5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Muscle Injuries

Eliminate Elbow Pain with These 3 Methods

Coaches: Prevent Injuries With the Recovery Management Tool

The Secret Weapon Powering Stephen Curry's Resurgence

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Achilles Tendon Ruptures: Prevention and Recovery

Avoid Low-Back Pain With These 7 In-Season Exercises

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

6 Ways to Prevent Common Sports Injuries

3 Steps to Prevent Soccer ACL Injuries

Bulletproof Your Body with 5 Easy Injury Prevention Exercises

8 of the Most Ridiculous Off-Field Athlete Injuries of All Time

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

What You Need to Know About Tiger Woods' Back Injury

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

4 Strategies to Prevent Tommy John Surgery

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

STUDY: Imaginary Exercise Helps You Recover Faster From Injury