Hamstring problems can be some of the most frustrating annoyances a runner can suffer from. If you’ve done everything you can to treat your hamstrings (stretches, foam rollers, physiotherapy), it might not be your hamstring that’s the problem. It could be your running technique. Assess your running style to see if one of these movement forms is causing your hamstring problems.
Pulling your hip back
As your leg swings forward to take the next step, your hamstring stops it from flying out in front of you. Instead, your leg stops and lands smoothly on the ground. Of course, the hamstring doesn’t work on its own – the pelvis also moves forward during each stride. Pain can be caused if the pelvis fails to move forward in time with the hamstring (or at all). If it doesn’t move, the hamstring is stretched beyond its ability – causing you pain. Warm up your core and your hips to help increase pelvic movement.
Poorly placed pelvis or hips too flexed
If your hamstrings are developing an ache rather than an overstretched feeling, you may be over flexing your hips, or leaving your pelvis too far back during strides. This causes the hamstrings to drive the forward motion of the legs – something they aren’t really designed to do. The over-work results in the ache and tension. Strengthen your glute muscles to aid musculature-driven propulsion.
Pelvis tilting gone awry
Some runners try to intervene with perceived pelvic tilt issues. The truth is that your pelvis is designed to tilt forward while running. This anterior tilt is best left alone, but some people try to encourage a ‘straight’ pelvis, or try to correct an arching back. As you try to adapt your posture in these ways, hamstring problems will result as they try to adapt also. Giving your hamstrings two jobs to do at once (tilt the pelvis and work with forward-moving legs) they are likely to become painful.
In summary, if you are suffering from recurring hamstring problems while running but treatment doesn’t seem to help, consider that the pain may be a symptom of a postural problem.
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Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site.
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