There are a number of things you can do to keep your hamstring muscles and tendons strong and healthy to reduce the risk of a hamstring injury.
Avoid Doing too Much too Soon
Give your body an opportunity to build up its endurance. This is especially important when participating in a new activity. Gradually increase your participation to prevent overstraining your muscles.
Maintain a strong and proper posture, and wear proper footwear and gear for your activity. This will ensure your body is properly aligned, and will prevent against slouching or bad form which will make you more prone to injury.
Always learn the proper form and techniquesfor your activity to help prevent injuries.
Your equipment should be comfortable and provide enough padding (knee or thigh pads), and your shoes should provide sufficient sole stiffness and arch support.
Proper food and fluid intake prior to and/or during activities will ensure you have enough energy and will help to prevent against fatigue. Ensure you avoid dehydration which can lead to muscle cramping. Weight loss and/or weight maintenance involves eating a balanced diet full of protein, complex carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants which will help support a healthy system. If you gain just 10 pounds, your joints must bear from 25 up to 100 pounds extra, which can add unnecessary stress to your body. Limiting your caffeine, alcohol and nicotine consumption will also improve your health.
Warm up Your Muscles
Before beginning activity or exercise warm up your leg muscles with a gentle jog or BFST® treatment for 10-15. Recovery from your activity can be enhanced by doing a cool down to lower your body temperature and relax your muscles.
Do Appropriate Exercises and Activities
If you are suffering from hamstring pain, listen to your body anddecrease, modify and/or avoid any activities or motions that cause pain and irritation (quick stopping/starting, turning, running or jumping, as well as participating on uneven terrain). If you are required to perform these motions at work or play and cannot avoid them, make sure you take frequent breaks and rest to prevent fatigue and pain.
Before beginning exercise or training, ask your doctor or physical therapist for a list of appropriate exercises that will not cause further harm to your weak hamstrings while you work to strengthen them.
To stabilize your hamstring and leg area, and increase your range of motion,maintain and build your strength, stability and flexibility of your hamstring, leg, gluteal, pelvis, low back and core body muscles. Light weights, exercise bands and balls are very beneficial for strengthening your lower body. Procioceptive training (core balance training) and plyometrics (exercises to develop strength, speed and agility, such as jumping or bounding movements) are also an excellent addition to your exercise routine. Yoga, tai chi, or a daily stretching routine will help to keep your muscles and joints supple (avoid sudden twisting and turning motions).
A regular exercise program that focuses on total body fitness and includes low-impact aerobic activity at least 3 days per week, such as walking, swimming or biking will help to keep you healthy overall and will strengthen your body to prevent against further hamstring injuries.
Stretch Your Hip Flexors
Hamsting injuries are not always a result of tight hamstring muscles. Often, it is a tight hip flexor or weak gluteal muscles (muscles in the butt) that are the cause as both put greater strain on the hamstring muscles during running and other activities. By strengthening your glutes and stretching your hip flexors before exercising you can reduce the chance of suffering a hamstring injury.