Hamstring Pulls in the NFL


Jason Krantz asked me to comment on the high profile hamstring pulls in the NFL. Without knowing specifics I can make some general comments. Remember hamstring pulls are deceleration injuries. The main job of the hamstring is to decelerate the lower leg. I suspect that many of the clubs still do hamstring curls – this just creates neural confusion. It strengthens the hamstrings, but not in the manner the hamstrings are used in running. Also fast people must run fast! Sprinting is a specific skill, you do not learn how to run at maximum speed and plant and cut by jogging through movements. Too many times high profile players never go all out until the lights come on. Too much biking. Riding a stationary bike is work but it is not training for a sprint type athlete. Biking shortens everything up, the shortening of the psoas inhibits the hamstring which predisposes it to injury. The popular misconception that one of the main causes of hamstring is a lack of flexibility, so they do more stretching in warm-up and less activity. Passive static stretching does not get the body ready for activity. The warm-up must be active and dynamic.

For details on Hamstring Prention and the mechanism of injury go to www.gambetta.com and go to downloads and read the article that Dean Benton and I wrote on Hamstrings
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Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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