How to prevent hamstring injuries

Why are there so many hamstring injuries in baseball?

Aside from shoulder and elbow injuries, one of the most common injuries in baseball are hamstring pulls and tears. I attribute hamstring injuries in baseball to three main factors.

  • Incomplete  warm up
  • Weak posterior chain
  • Poor mobility of the hips and other surrounding muscles.

How to prevent hamstring injuries.

  • Perform a complete warm up. I have written about how to warm up for baseball numerous times and I encourage you to check that out.

  • Train the posterior chain. Almost all high school and college athletes I have trained and coached have a weak posterior chain, more specifically weak hamstrings. A great indicator for weak hamstrings is the glut ham raise. If an athlete cannot perform glut ham raises for multiple reps without assistance, chances are they have WEAK hamstrings.
  • Perform soft tissue work and stretch surrounding muscles. Soft tissue work will help improve tissue quality by breaking up scar tissue and muscle adhesions, while also improving mobility. Static stretching of the hips, glutes and hamstrings will also help to prevent hamstring injuries.

What exercises to choose and how to incorporate them.

The best exercises to increase hamstring strength include: glut ham raises, RDL’s, conventional deadlifts, trap bar deadlifts, kettlebell swings, good mornings, reverse hyperextensions, back extension and sled dragging to name just a few.

Each lower body workout should include one of these exercises to help improve hamstring strength. We end almost every workout with forward/backward sled dragging. Not only does it help fix weak links but it also increases work capacity.

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