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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 05-26-2011, 10:44 AM   #1
Nathan Kulas
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Sprints

I had the unfortunate opportunity to tear my hamstring yesterday doing sprints. I'm hoping to improve my understanding of how these tears occur, so I can prevent this type of injury in the future, and help prevent others from having the same injury.

Firstly, I'm going to point out that I squat about the same as I DeadLift, which is not right. A common cause of Hamstring injury is having a strength imbalance between quads and hamstrings; essentially that your quads are strong enough that in certain activities they are able to demand more power from the hammies than they can give.

There is some emphasis on the hamstring during the squat, and I think really this injury is helping me to realize what. After the injury, I was able to do a near ATG squat, assuming I kept my center of balance forward. However, trying to "bend and pick something up", more deadlift style, was excruciating; and activities like trying to sit back on the john are also extremely uncomfortable. This tells me that in order to activate the hamstrings during the squat position, you need to sit back, as opposed to bending at the knees, which seems more quad-centric.

It is impossible for me right now to bend and touch anything beyond my knee, which tells me stiff-legged deadlifts are very hamstring dependent.

Here is what I have come up with as methods of preventing future hamstring injuries:
1) Ensure that the hamstrings are strengthened with DeadLifts and sitting back into the squat position. This can be done by initiating the movement through moving the hips back, rather than bending at the knees. I think a good ratio would be that you can deadlift 110-120% of your squat.

2) Warm up - Definitely warm-up before explosive activity like sprints. I did, but apparently not good enough. I also stretched, which is something CF has conditioned me not to do, but I think for sprinting, stretching is necessary. I suggest starting with 400-800m of light jogging with increasing intensity, finishing much faster than you start, in addition to the CrossFit warm-up. Some additional squats with emphasis on sitting back is probably a good idea.

3) Treat 10x100m as a 1-1-1-1-1 Oly/Power lift routine. What I mean by this is ramp up. My biggest mistake was going all out on rep 1. When doing a 1-1-1-1-1, the goal is to hit a PR by the 2nd or 3rd from last rep, and the same should be true for sprinting. My suggestion:
Rep 1 - Start out slow. Work your way up to about 75% of max speed by around the 60m line; then start slowing down slowly.
Rep 2 - Start out faster, 80% by the 50m line
Rep 3 - start out faster, 90% by the 50m line
Rep 4 - start out faster, 90% by the 40m line
Rep 5 - 95% by the 40 m line
The rest can probably be all out efforts. Basically the goal here is an exercise specific warm-up (as part of your workout) that your general warm-up might have missed.

4) Sprint more! I haven't sprinted in a while.. probably not at all this winter. They really don't come up that often here, and I think that was part of my problem - my muscles were trying to do something they haven't been conditioned for.

5) Other sprints. Going back to step 3, use a similar strategy at intervals of 400m, 300m and 200m BEFORE moving to the 100m. This will condition your body to sprinting, but at slower speeds where risk of injury is decreased.

Part of the rehabilitation process is leg curls. I'd like to do something other than this due to my crossfit mindset. So one of my questions to the crowd (and I'll talk to the head trainer at my CrossFit box too) is what other exercises can I do, that are complex movements that will help with hamstring rehabilitation? I'd come up with (obviously) deadlift and straight-leg deadlift. What else?

Comments, suggestions are
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:58 AM   #2
Beau Bryant
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Re: Sprints

Read and follow.

Hopefully the link works. It is W/F/S
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:16 PM   #3
Nathan Kulas
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Re: Sprints

haha Ripp can answer all I guess.

Thanks for the link, thats good info - however, I'm not entirely sure the squat will be the best rehabilitative exercise for this injury. Perhaps deadlift? Or a Combo of the two
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Old 05-27-2011, 04:38 AM   #4
Tamara Cohen
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Re: Sprints

There is a lot of info out there on rehabbing hamstring tears with squats and deadlifts. What Beau linked is great, and you can search for what Bill Starr has written also.

I rehabbed a hamstring tear mainly with deadlifts and manual therapy, although I didn't know enough at the time to consider other options. I also didn't realize how bad my injury was until a few weeks after it happened. You can read my log starting on this page to see exactly what I was doing:
http://board.crossfit.com/showthread...=48188&page=16 (WFS)
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:55 PM   #5
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Sprints

Great read. I remember Rip detailing on a video. And ironically, I got a light pull hill sprinting the other day (after not doing intensive sprints all winter long--duh.) So, I've used a similar method using band leg curls daily and some hip extensions for high reps. It's still a little stiff but much improved.
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:32 PM   #6
Aaron Gainer
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Re: Sprints

Work on sprint drills daily(power skip, butt kicks, karokes, high knees, leg swings inside/outside and front/back). Technique work is everything, and just like joint mobility training, this can help cut down on injury and fatigue.

Secondly, don't go balls out sprinting on your first attempt. Gradually increase the speed after each attempt little by little.

Last by not least, make sure your foam rolling and stretching(active isolated is my current favorite stretching besides pnf) at least 3x per week.
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:34 AM   #7
Paul Shortt
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Re: Sprints

Look at glute strength, including glute medius. Read somewhere ages ago that a significant percentage of hamstrings tears were caused by the hamstring tensing at late swing phase to try and stabilise the pelvis as the glute was not capable of doing this due to weakness..
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:44 AM   #8
Shane Skowron
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Re: Sprints

That sucks. I hope you recover quickly.


After having done lots of 10x100m all-out sprint workouts over the years, I've grown to realize that they are not useful. There are far better ways to get faster. Going all-out for 10 sets is just beyond what nearly anyone can handle and actually benefit from.

It's the equivalent of doing 10 maximal sets of squats or deadlifts, which is just stupid.
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:57 AM   #9
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Sprints

What have you found most helpful for speed development?

Do you see any conditioning benefit is 10x100m sprints but not speed benefits?
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:16 PM   #10
Nathan Kulas
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Re: Sprints

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamara Cohen View Post
There is a lot of info out there on rehabbing hamstring tears with squats and deadlifts. What Beau linked is great, and you can search for what Bill Starr has written also.

I rehabbed a hamstring tear mainly with deadlifts and manual therapy, although I didn't know enough at the time to consider other options. I also didn't realize how bad my injury was until a few weeks after it happened. You can read my log starting on this page to see exactly what I was doing:
http://board.crossfit.com/showthread...=48188&page=16 (WFS)
Are you 100% certain you pulled your hamstring? My understanding of a hamstring pull is this: you know it happened IMMEDIATELY. There is no second guessing it for the first 1-10 days (depending on severity), but basically, you did not pull your hammie unless you though "Oh *****" at the time that it happened. For me, there was an audible pop and an immediate pain. I was able to walk on it for a few minutes, but after the adrenaline wore off, and my muscles cooled down, and started swelling, even walking was extremely difficult. You may have had some other injury.
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