Bulletproofing Coaches - Hamstrings

June 25, 2019

A common misconception is that coaches and personal trainers live their lives without any musculoskeletal issues. Free from niggles or injuries and blissful in their pain-free existence! Watching a coach demonstrate a deep squat or a perfectly executed scapula push up gives the impression that they move so well that injuries must be uncommon for them. This, however, is not the case and coaches, given the nature of their active work, can present with frequent issues that require attention.


From working closely alongside the coaches at FFS, it has given me plenty of exposure to such issues. The second coach I would like to discuss in a series of monthly blogs post will be Jamie.



Assessing Jamie's Hamstring Issue


Jamie is a Personal Trainer, King of the Lunchtime Metcon class in FFS, and one of his major passions is training track – specifically the 100m and 200m. With the need to develop explosive power and harness the benefits of fast twitch muscle fibrse for sprinting, lower limb injuries can be commonplace for track athletes. 


He presented to me with:


  • Pain along the back of the hamstring

  • Pain in radiating to posterior knee

  • Running pain when nearing full sprint



Assessing Hamstring Flexibility with a Straight Leg Raise




Palpating the Hamstring Muscle (Semitendinosus)



Testing Hamstring Strength & Pain Provocation




Testing Single Leg Hamstring Strength & Pain Provocation 



Assessing Prone Hip Mobility 




Main Findings


The main findings were the following:


  • Tenderness palpating the Semitendinosus muscle (the area Jamie felt was causing her the most pain).

  • Mild pain reported with Resisted Knee Flexion.

  • Weakness reported testing Single Leg Hamstring Strength.

  • No difference in Hamstring Flexibility.



Exercise Programme






1. Elevated Hamstring Strengthening


We are looking to build outer range hamstring strength here. Progression on this would be working single leg bridging.

3 sets x 12 repetitions.







2. Nordic Curls


Another exercise prescribed to deal with the strength deficit in the hamstring area.

2 sets x 8 repetitions, lowering down for no less than 10 seconds.









3. Step Up with Hip Control


Slow controlled step ups initiated by a bracing of the core and a neutral setting of the pelvis.

3 sets x 8 repetitions






4. Tempo Single Leg RDL


An exercise with multiple benefits for Jamie including eccentrically loading the hamstring muscle, hip control and balance.

3 sets x 8 repetitions





Jamie's Rehab Plan


It was important to discuss that top end sprinting seemed to be a primary aggravating factor for Jamie. As a result, I asked him to avoid it for at least two weeks – and then grade it back into his programme depending on overall symptoms. I assured him the pain on the insertion of the Semitendinosus muscle to the posterior knee would dissipate with compliance to his rehabilitation programme, avoidance of all known aggravating factors, and icing.


Please note:

The above exercises were prescribed following a detailed assessment of Jamie’s hamstring issue but can provide benefits to those as part of an active warm-up or training session. However, they are not the solution to all problems. If you think you have a problem with your hamstring, we advise you to see a Chartered Physiotherapist to get it checked out and given a tailored rehab programme for your specific issue.


Find Out More:


If you need advice, a physiotherapy assessment or feel your team/business could learn more about workplace ergonomics, contact Eric  at physio@ffs.ie or visit www.ffs.ie/physiotherapy.



About the Author:




Eric Cullinane is a Chartered Physiotherapist working with FFS Physiotherapy, a practice based on Leeson St Lower.


Chartered Physiotherapists have specialist knowledge in the field of work related injury management.


If you need advice, a physiotherapy assessment or feel your team/business could learn more about workplace ergonomics, contact Eric @ physio@ffs.ie or visit www.ffs.ie/physiotherapy.

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