By Peter Kipreou & Aneeka Smith, Physiotherapists, Sprout Health Studio, 2nd March 2017.

Hamstring muscles

  • The ‘hamstrings’ are a group of three muscles located at the back of the thigh
  • Hamstrings cross the hip and knee joints and are responsible for knee flexion and hip extension


  • A hamstring strain is described as an overstretching without tearing of the muscle or tendon fibres. It is important that if you are suspecting a hamstring strain, accurate diagnosis is carried out by a Physiotherapist before resuming exercise
  • Hamstrings are prone to straining during exercise, with hamstring strains making up 1/3rd of all acute injuries in the general population
  • Research shows that hamstring strains increase in prevalence during the later decades of life
  • Most hamstring strains occur during a 100% effort sprinting

Hamstring strain risk factors

  • Decreased hamstring muscle strength resulting in muscle fatigue during the landing and pushing of phase of running
  • Previous hamstring or lower back injury
  • Decreased range of motion at the hip joint
  • Lack of warm up before intense exercise

The Fix

  • The best evidence for injury prevention in the hamstrings is a sound hamstring strength protocol tailored for you by a Physiotherapist
  • Gradual return to sport or activity reduces the likelihood of re-injury by 75%. Focus on an output or milestone approach not a time frame
  • Strengthen the posterior chain, this means glut, calf, and hamstring muscles, using functional exercises such as squats, lunges and dead lifts
  • Ensure your technique is reviewed by a personal trainer or exercise professional prior to strengthening work.

Meet Peter and Aneeka and find out more about the physiotherapy services they can offer - or book a consultation with them at Sprout Health Studio.