If, like a lot of my clients, you are an active person and you partake in sports that involve running then the chances are you have experienced a Hamstring injury of some kind at some point. It might be a spasm, a minor strain or a grade 3 tear. Hamstring injuries are pretty devastating for running sports so what can you do to reduce your risk of experiencing one? This blog will set out to look at some of the evidence available regarding stretching and foam rolling and asks whether they are effective. Then we take a look at some of the evidence on strength training and finally, give an evidence-based strategy for reducing your chances of getting a Hamstring injury so that you can get the most out of your sporting activities.
If you play sport or take part in some kind of sporting activity you probably do so because you enjoy being active, maybe your sport is your passion, your life purpose. But, in my experience, many recreational athletes don’t take their diet as seriously as they could. I have talked about this a lot on social media, but exercise needs fuel, for us humans that fuel is the Calories we get from food and beverages. If you take your sport or exercise performance even semi-seriously and you aren’t taking 24-hour energy balance (Calories in Calories out) into account you might be reducing your performance potential, not to mention harming your health. There isn't an evidence-based practitioner in the world who would say otherwise.
Endurance athletes tend not to do much in the way of strength training, preferring instead to do more of what they enjoy doing the most. That’s fair enough but there are some very specific and relevant adaptations to concurrent strength training for endurance athletes that really ought not to be ignored.
The hardstyle snatch is a full body exercise that develops explosive power, especially in the hips and shoulders. It can be used as a strength/power exercise or a cardio exercise. It also acts as a transition to other more complex kettlebell movements. Its origins are come from the world of Olympic lifting, where the barbell snatch is a staple lift alongside the clean and snatch (also adapted to kettlebell training).
If you are serious about your sport you have to get serious about your diet, not just counting Calories to keep the fat off but understanding the role of each macronutrient and how they benefit your performance, recovery and health. When it comes to sports nutrition the evidence is clear that carbohydrates are god (1). The ISSN recommend 3-5g/kg of body weight for moderately active exercises and 5-8 g/kg for elite level athletes (2) and, in some cases even higher (1,2). Although there is some sparse evidence to imply that a high fat low carb (HFLC) diet may benefit ultra-endurance athletes (9,10). The evidence in favour of HFLC isn’t great to be honest and trials done on cyclists showed that, at best, performance is unaffected and at worst it is negatively impacted. (3,4).