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How can the way I run cause hamstring strain?

Rick Olderman
Physical Therapy
When running, hamstring strain happens when the stride length is actually shortened, allowing the pelvis to be over the foot at foot strike. This immediately activates the gluteal muscles for propulsion. At the foot level, the foot strike should be less of a heel strike and more of a midfoot or forefoot strike. This turns on a large group of foot and lower leg muscles as well as more strongly activates the gluteal muscles. It also helps the hamstrings turn off. So the trick is to take shorter steps to turn on the gluteals (gluteus maximus and gluteus medius muscles), and then in order to run faster, you just increase your revolutions per minute (RPM) instead of your stride length.

Think about it: your stride length is finite, but your RPMs can be trained to increase. It makes more sense to work on moving the legs faster rather than try to reach out farther with the foot and pull harder.
Fixing You: Hip & Knee Pain: Self-treatment for IT band friction, arthritis, groin pain, bursitis, knee pain, PFS, AKPS, and other diagnoses

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Fixing You: Hip & Knee Pain: Self-treatment for IT band friction, arthritis, groin pain, bursitis, knee pain, PFS, AKPS, and other diagnoses

Hip and knee pain are often a result of poor pelvic muscle performance in combination with poor walking habits. This combination creates tracking problems in the hip socket or excessive rotation at...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.