Prevent Your Hamstrings From Going Ham!

Hamstrings are those three muscles in the back of your thighs that allow Socceristas to get into a defensive stance to prevent the opposing team from scoring a goal.

These muscles also work behind the scenes to assist your glutes to propel your body forward as you jump to head a ball or climb the bleachers. The gluteal muscles are key to squatting and changing direction when running. Unfortunately when they’re weak, they can overburden your hamstrings, hamstring injuries are the most common in sports such as soccer where there is a lot of squatting, running , and stop and go activity.

To give your hamstrings an edge and make the most of the girls soccer lifestyle, we suggest the following:

Get the professionals involved:

Even one evaluation session from a physical therapist who can assess joint and muscle health and your body mechanics can be priceless in preventing future injuries, and possibly saving you from a bad season. Physical therapists can point out mistakes in the way you hold your body on the soccer field and teach you ways to change your body mechanics to prevent injury.

Consider a hamstring strengthening program:

Strengthening programs teach repetitive exercises that force you to focus on one muscle group outside of practice. An example of this type of exercise is a simple bridge where you don’t have to get your entire body off the ground like in gymnastics.  Curl into a hamstring strengthening bridge by laying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat. Then lift up your buttocks, hold the position for a few seconds, lower down and repeat several times.

Add a partner:

Do the Nordic flexion exercise with a teammate to maximize your workout. Kneel and have your partner hold your ankles facing your back. Lower your trunk to the ground as slowly as possible. This exercise stretches the hamstrings while in motion and is called eccentric contraction. Eccentric exercises are best for strengthening muscle groups and preventing future injury.


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