Prevent Hamstring Injuries With 3 Mobility Drills

Take care of your hamstrings with these three simple hamstring mobility drills you can perform before every game and speed workout.

Inch Worm

As an athlete, you are constantly putting stress on your hamstrings. Between all the sprints, jumps and cuts throughout both training and competition, it's no wonder hamstrings are among the most commonly injured areas of the body.

The hamstrings are a group of muscles—the semitendinosus, semimembranosus and biceps femoris—located in the back of the thigh, responsible for flexing the knee and extending the hip. They play a critical role in walking, running and jumping. After constant use, hamstrings have a tendency to develop tightness; and tight hamstrings inhibit speed, mobility and strength—and often lead to injury. Because one hamstring injury often leads to others, avoid your first at all costs.

One of the best methods for improving hamstring flexibility and reducing the risk of injury is to incorporate mobility drills that prepare the hamstrings for the stress of sprinting, jumping and changing direction into your dynamic warm-up. Perform each of these drills for three sets of 10 to 20 yards before speed workouts and games. It's not unusual for elite track and field athletes to perform these drills for 40 to 60 yards, but that's a level you should build up to gradually.

Hand-to-Toe

  • Assume athletic position
  • Step forward with left leg; keep leg straight
  • Reach down with right hand and touch left toe
  • Stand up; perform rep on opposite side
  • Continue in alternating fashion for specified distance

Coaching Points

  • Reach opposite hand to opposite foot to maintain balance
  • Move from your hips and keep legs straight

Marching

  • Assume athletic position
  • Kick left leg up in front as high as possible and touch with right hand; keep leg straight
  • Lower leg; step forward
  • Perform rep on opposite side
  • Continue in alternating fashion for specified distance

Coaching Points

  • Stay tall throughout drill
  • Reach opposite hand to opposite foot to maintain balance
  • Move from your hips and keep legs straight
  • Do not break form to touch hand to foot

Inchworm

  • Assume Push-Up position
  • Take small steps to walk feet towards hands until feet reach hands; do not move hands
  • Walk forward with hands to assume Push-Up position
  • Repeat for specified distance

Coaching Points

  • Keep legs straight
  • Maintain tight core
  • Do not move hands and feet at the same time


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: WARM-UP | HAMSTRING | MOBILITY | DRILL | FASHION | INJURY | JUMPING | STRESS