The Biceps Femoris, Semitendinosus, or More Commonly Known as the Hamstrings, are key to ACL Injury Prevention
Are the #1 Muscle responsible for Speed, Acceleration and Bullet proofing your ACL by Preventing hyper-extension & Controlling Tibial Internal and External Rotation
WHAT DO THE HAMSTRINGS DO?
IN REALITY THEY ARE EXTENSORS OF THE TORSO...
Unfortunately the commercial fitness industry has skewed the way we see not only human performance but also the way we imagine muscles functioning.
Fancy machines designed to isolate individual muscles have placed focus largely on increasing the aesthetics of our muscles more so than the function and roles of those muscles.
WHY ARE FEMALE ATHLETES MORE AT RISK?
THE Q-ANGLE AND A LACK OF RESISTANCE TRAINING...
The Q-Angle is the angel of the Femur as compared to the Tibia, and creates an outward pressure thats slightly increased to a higher degree - on Average Medical authorities agree females tend to have a Q-Angle 3-4 degrees higher than of most male athletes. While this doesn't seem drastic, the resulting pressure on the knees is more than enough to make ACL Injury Prevention in female soccer players more challenging to say the least
In addition, and more impacting, is the tendency of female athletes to show largely under-developed hamstrings, and an even higher disproportion of quadricep-to-hamstring ratio.
It is our experience that due-in-large-part to the tendency of female athletes to less frequently engage in heavy resistance training, the posterior chain in female athletes has far less loading capacity, especially the hamstrings; as it has been documented that women also have a slower muscular response in the hamstrings and are more naturally quad dominant.
SO HOW DO WE DEVELOP HIGH FUNCTIONING HAMSTRINGS
That aid in the production of Speed & Power & Protect Athletes Knees?
Well the first objective is to identify how weak/at-risk your hamstrings are compared to your body. It's important to do this in a manner that challenges the hamstring in it's capacity during movement demands similar to what the athlete would experience while playing his or her sport.
That said, when athletes are competing and practicing, there hamstrings function in a closed chain environment, when the foot is making contact with the ground, and the hamstring becomes an extensor of the torso, rather then a flex of the lower leg.
Below are three exercises that can be used as a development tool to build stronger more powerful hamstrings, as well as an assessment tool that can be used to asses how prepared the athletes hamstrings and posterior chain is to withstand the demands of their sport & position.
SEATED BAND HAMSTRING CURL
RUSSIAN LEG CURL
KNEELING GOOD MORNING
ARE YOUR HAMSTRINGS STRONG ENOUGH?
Self Assessment vs. Professional Analysis
The exercises above are solid indicators of the status of your hamstrings, but as you can imagine, there are multiple factors that play into your performance on the field and even more that play a role in ACL injury prevention as well injuries in the hips and ankles.