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How Athletes Should Be Training Their Hamstrings To Avoid Injury And Improve Performance

For Athletes Who Never Want To Doubt Their Hamstrings Again…

For The Athlete Who Never Wants To Doubt Their Hamstrings Again.”

Power, strength & speed.

How Athletes Should Be Training Their Hamstrings To Avoid Injury And Improve Performance

All of these are the sought after abilities in a majority of sports around the world, but, are we chasing the golden egg before looking after the chicken?

Within team sports, one of the most common thread among successful teams is the relatively low changes made to the starting line-up from week to week. That means, their starting line up doesn’t get injured. This makes sense as it means the coach has his/her best squad available for selection week-in, week-out where the team can gel, develop more advanced competition strategies, and get in a better state of team flow.

This all points to one this: Availability is perhaps the best ability for an athlete.

“The Best Ability Is Availability”

This is a video of Dylan and I putting his hamstrings to the test.

How Athletes Should Be Training Their Hamstrings To Avoid Injury And Improve Performance

Soft tissue injuries and in particular hamstring strain injury (HSI), is a leading cause of missed games within numerous team sports around the world. What’s more important, however, as it is as with all soft tissue injuries, once one is sustained, the likelihood of sustaining another is significantly higher. This inability to resist further muscular damage is something that should be of primary focus to a strength and conditioning coach.

How Athletes Should Be Training Their Hamstrings To Avoid Injury And Improve Performance

The Damage Resistance Concept

How Athletes Should Be Training Their Hamstrings To Avoid Injury And Improve Performance

Damage resistance is a term that has been used lately to describe a muscle’s ability to produce high levels of contractile force and therefore reduce its likelihood of sustaining microdamage or tears, with particular reference to the hamstrings. With the arrival of the NordBord, a useful tool in quantifying the hamstring’s ability to produce force, there have been numerous research papers that have started to demonstrate a protective effect provided by hamstring strength. This finding doesn’t just pertain to uninjured hamstrings and the prevention of HSI, but to previously injured hamstrings that have acquired a large degree of strength back and have shown to have the same likelihood of injury as an uninjured hamstring. These findings create a strong foundation of reasoning for contributing time within a strength program for the improvement of isolated hamstring strength. With this said, how do we go about being prescriptive and targeted with our programming so as to elicit the best damage resistance response?

How Athletes Should Be Training Their Hamstrings To Avoid Injury And Improve Performance

The Proximal-Distal-Integrated Approach (PDI)

How Athletes Should Be Training Their Hamstrings To Avoid Injury And Improve Perfor

Due to the biarticular nature of the hamstring group, HSI can present either distally or proximally, both of which can occur with very different mechanisms and therefore need to be guarded against from a joint by joint approach, not just a hamstring approach. For this reason, we can break up our exercise prescription into proximal and distal orientated movements, therefore allow us to periodise accordingly.

Distal or knee dominant hamstring exercises can be seen as those that isolate the movement to flexion and extension at the knee joint, loading the distal attachment of the hamstring. Proximal or hip dominant hamstring exercises are those that are created from extension and flexion of the hip joint, therefore isolating the loading to the proximal attachment of the hamstring. These two isolated movements allow us to specifically overload the desired areas, with the third category of movement being an integrated exercise. Integrated exercises utilise the active lengthening and contraction of the entire hamstrings group, both distally and proximally. Integrated exercises are ultimately what we want to build up in our athletes, but to achieve this we must periodically overreach with our distal and proximal movements. This is the basic premise of our periodisation model, allowing a structured overload of both the distal and proximal attachments, building that foundational strength for integrated progressions.

How Athletes Should Be Training Their Hamstrings To Avoid Injury And Improve Perfor

When building isolated hamstring work into your current program, it is important to ensure it doesn’t reduce output within other lifts, but also isn’t left as just an add-on that athletes’ view as a non-essential. For athletes to get the most out of this style of exercise, a good buy-in must be bred to allow maximum output during eccentric aspects of loading, this is best done by treating the exercises as almost a key lift, usually positioned in the middle of a sequenced program, allowing large compound movements and plyometric work to be done first.

In regards to frequency of these exercises, two times per week looks to be an ideal loading strategy, but in-season, sufficient load can be achieved by one exposure to allow a protective effect to be maintained. One of the most important aspects to remember is each rep of most of these type of exercises are near maximum efforts, and therefore should not be prescribed at high intra-set volume, rep ranges of 3-6 appear to be most effective, with sets ranging from 2-4.

But the burning question remains, what exercises should I be doing, and where do I start?

How Athletes Should Be Training Their Hamstrings To Avoid Injury And Improve Performance

The Hamstring KVLR Protocol – Your Free 12-Week Download

How Athletes Should Be Training Their Hamstrings To Avoid Injury And Improve Performance

When I was working in pro sport, a lot of coaches in the industry looked to me for guidance on hamstring training — especially after the video of Dylan and I went viral around the world of him doing one of the advanced integrated hamstring drills I call a Razor Curl. But back then, I had to keep my cards somewhat close to my chest, because after all, hamstring health was a big influencer in athletic performance and was always seen as an advantage of ours at the Giants.

These days owning my own performance facility, I can share a lot more, so for the first time, I’m pulling back the curtain on the exact exercise progressions I used to bulletproof my boys from hamstring injury and make them ridiculously strong in the process.

Unlike most cheap gifts that are slapped together quickly, this KVLR Hamstring protocol — named after the material that goes into bulletproof vests — is a complete and comprehensive system, with everything you need to do it yourself.

There is no catch — it’s completely free and you can download it by clicking here.

How Athletes Should Be Training Their Hamstrings To Avoid Injury And Improve Performance

Summary

The concept of damage resistance and building a protective effect around hamstring musculature is becoming more abundant, and with this, there needs to be logical and effective principles for integrating into current programs. These type of exercises you can find in the KVLR Hamstring protocol do not replace the need for large compound lower body movements or well coached running mechanics. However, this type of training can build significant resilience to the exposures seen in team sport and as a result, contribute to the availability of players — the most important ability of all.

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Let's start with your contact details...

We’ll use your email address to send you our information before the call. We also respect your privacy like it’s our own. We will never sell, distribute or divulge your information to anyone, ever.

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We’ll use your email address to send you our information before the call. We also respect your privacy like it’s our own. We will never sell, distribute or divulge your information to anyone, ever.

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Monique Le Mottee

Athletic Physiotherapist & Rehab Coach

Qualifications:

  • Bachelors of Physiotherapy
  • Masters of Strength & Conditioning 

This may not be a PC thing to say, but when Lachlan and I met Mon, we were immediately in love. She got the role as an intern before she left the interview (which we never do).

We knew Mon would be an amazing fit from the get go — her passion for sports is infectious and she’s a dynamic young physiotherapist keen to combine her skills as a strength and conditioning coach. It’s the 1-2-3 combination we look for in our staff and any athletic facility can only dream of in a hire.

Since starting with us, we’ve had to put a pause on the amount of positive feedback we receive about her — it’s clogging my desk space.

You’ll see Mon on the gym floor, keeping our athletes tuned in the physio clinic and out on the pitch with the Mac Uni AFL team as their Head of Performance.

Justin Richardson

Athletic Physiotherapist & Rehab Coach

Qualifications:

  • Bachelors of Physiotherapy
  • Masters of Strength & Conditioning (undertaking) 

Justin has developed a passion for sports performance, finding his greatest interest in bridging the gap between traditional hands-on physiotherapy and the guidance and care required to get an athlete back to sport and performing at their best.

Having worked with the Cronulla Sharks and South Sydney Rabbitohs, he has a deep understanding of the requirements to succeed at a high level of sport and is committed to providing you with the expertise to help you get back to doing what you love.

Alan Robinson

Lead Sports Physiotherapist

Qualifications:

  • Bachelors of Applied Science (Physiotherapy)
  • Masters of Sports Physiotherapy

Alan is a titled APA Sports & Exercise Physiotherapist who has spent his whole career living and breathing sports rehabilitation.

His career as a physiotherapist has seen him work with the NSW Waratahs and the Sydney Blue Sox, managing injuries that range from the acute-stage to end-stage rehabilitation. His philosophy aims to address long term athletic development and bring high-performance rehabilitation to athletes.

His work has been in close proximity to rehabilitation coaches, strength & power coaches, head coaches and high-performance managers, making him an asset on your journey to rehabilitation and back to full health.

Tom Longworth

Sports Doctor

Qualifications:

  • Bachelors of Medicine
  • Post Graduate Diploma of Sport & Exercise Medicine

Dr Tom Longworth became a registrar of the Australasian College of Sports and Exercise Physicians in 2016 and is currently in his 3rd year of specialist training. He completed his medical degree with the University of Newcastle in 2010 and has had 5 years of experience in Emergency and intensive care medicine across Australia since graduating.

He has a wide variety of experience working with elite sports people, currently assistant medical officer at The Sydney Roosters Rugby League Club, team doctor for the Sydney FC Youth League and Head Doctor of the World Champion Jillaroos (Australian Women’s Rugby League Team). Other sports coverage includes the Sydney 7s rugby union, Australian school boy rugby union, Bledisloe Cup and National Rowing regattas as well as voluntary work abroad with the Surfing Doctors’ Association.

Dr Longworth has recently completed his postgraduate diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine through the University of Bath (UK). He has published research relating to stem cell treatment for knee osteoarthritis and is currently investigating concussion incidence in the NRL, as well as conducting a trial on shin splint management.

Tom currently sees our athletes out of his home base at Eastern Suburbs Sports Medicine Centre.

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We’ll use your email address to send you our information before the call. We also respect your privacy like it’s our own. We will never sell, distribute or divulge your information to anyone, ever.

Lachlan Wilmot

DIRECTOR OF COACHING & PERFORMANCE

Qualifications:

  • Bachelors of Exercise and Sport Science
  • Honors in Rate of Force Development in Team Sport Athletes

Lachlan began his professional sports coaching career as the second ever employee at the GWS Giants in 2010-11 season prior to entering the AFL in 2012. Over 7 seasons, Lachlan grew a team of talented young men into back-to-back preliminary finals contenders. As the head of strength and power, his role was to turn teenagers into physically dominant men, developing their strength, power, speed and most importantly, their resistance to injury.

In 2018, Lachlan’s success afforded him the opportunity to shift codes, having been offered the role of High Performance Manager for the NRL’s Parramatta Eels.

In as little as one rebuild season, he had taken the wooden spooners of 2018 to the finals in 2019, where they inflicted the greatest defeat of the Brisbane Broncos in NRL history. By 2019, it was time for Lachlan to go ‘all-in’ on his other baby, Athletes Authority.

Now, Lachlan leads the performance program, designing the programs for all the athletes here. He works closely with the sports medicine team, just like he did in pro sport, to help athletes achieve more and reach new heights with their athletic careers.

Karl Goodman

FOUNDER & DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Karl began his career in coaching as a Personal Trainer back in 2007. After competing for NSW as a Baseballer, and then competing at an elite standard as a cyclist throughout university,  Karl received the opportunity to work with Gordon Rugby in the Shute Shield competition. From there, he found a way to marry his passion in sports and competition with coaching; selling his investment property to start Athletes Authority in early 2016.

Starting from humble beginnings, the facility vision was taken to another level when Lachlan and Karl partnered up in 2017 and Athletes Authority was incorporated. It was no longer just a gym training athletes; Athletes Authority was committed to becoming a brand athletes worldwide could rely on for quality coaching, advice and service.