Exercises for Hamstring Injuries

By Kate Evelyn
A hamstring injury can prevent a complete followthrough.
A hamstring injury can prevent a complete followthrough.

The hamstring is an area on the back of the thigh directly above the back of the knee. A pulled or strained hamstring is a fairly common injury, usually characterized by a sharp pain, and often followed by swelling and bruising. If you experience a hamstring injury while on the golf course, rest the muscle as soon as possible. Elevate the muscle and ice it, as needed, to reduce the swelling. After the pain has subsided, you can begin rehabilitation with hamstring exercises. It is best to consult a doctor first.

Light Hamstring Stretch

Stick to light stretching for the first three or four days after your injury occurs. Stand next to a table that is approximately the same height as your waist. Place your injured leg on top of the table so that it is at a 90 degree angle to the opposite leg. Do not bend your knee. Bend forward from your waist with a straight back, reaching your entire upper body toward your toe. Stop when you feel a stretch in your hamstring. Hold for the count of eight.

Light Resistance

Sit in a chair with your back straight and your knees bent at 90 degrees, feet flat on the floor. Loosely wrap the end of a fitness band around the ankle of your injured leg. Have a partner hold the opposite end of the band at waist height, standing approximately five feet in front of you. Slowly straighten out your injured leg and bend it again slowly, feeling the resistance. Do not use momentum. You can also tie the band to a stationary object.

Light Cardio

Slowly work your way back into cardio activities. Begin with walking and up your tempo as long as you don’t feel any pain during your workout. If walking is too painful, swimming is a good alternative. To avoid injuring your hamstring, do not make any sudden changes of direction when walking, and walk, jog or run on level ground as much as possible. Stretch your muscles, both before and after your workouts using the light hamstring stretch. If you don’t have a table on which to prop your leg, sit against a wall with both legs straight in front of you instead. When stretching after cardio, hold each position for at least 30 seconds. Ask your doctor when you can return to your full activity schedule.

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