Hamstring Injuries Are The Worst. Here’s An Awesome Rehab Exercise That Can Reduce Your Risk Of A Hamstring Injury By 51%.

A new review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine looking at programs for injury prevention concluded that the Nordic hamstring exercise can reduce risk of injury by 51 percent.

The Nordic hamstring exercise is great for recovering from and hamstring injury and preventing them in the future. Runners rejoice!

Incorporating three sets of six to eight reps once a week can help keep your hamstrings strong.

The exercise strengthens the muscle and improves its ability to produce and withstand forces during running and other sports.

It almost seems too easy: an equipment-free, leg-focused exercise you can do anywhere, for just a few minutes, that may cut your injury risk and increase your strength and speed. Does it come with a unicorn?

It exists, and there’s research to back it up. Meet the Nordic hamstring exercise, also known as the Nordic hamstring curl—your potential new favorite go-to that can help keep you healthy while boosting your performance.

Here’s another eccentric hamstring exercise. Just like the Nordic, it’s great for reducing the risk of hamstring injuries.

According to recent research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine that assessed 15 studies on injury prevention across different sports—including age groups from 18 to 40 and both men and women—programs that included Nordic hamstring exercises showed an overall injury risk reduction by up to 51 percent.

Is this the magic-bullet exercise that will transform your running performance forever? Not quite,  But it may protect your hamstrings against injury, which could potentially help you run faster and further, he believes.

Here’s an example of a hands-on treatment technique that I love using with my athletes in Nashville, TN. This is dry needling with electric stimulation. It’s used to increase local blood flow and accelerate the healing process.

Why is it so protective? The Nordic hamstring exercise is an eccentric movement, meaning a motion that is done when the muscle is lengthening under load. It increases strength and alters the architecture of the muscle, he said, improving the ability of the hamstring muscle to produce and withstand forces during running and other sports.

Here’s another example of a hands-on treatment. This is cupping with active release. Just like dry needling, it’s used to increase local blood flow and accelerate the healing process.

In addition to trying the Nordic Hamstring exercise, we also recommend a good WARM UP ROUTINE and STRENGTH TRAINING PROGRAM. If you’re actively dealing with a hamstring injury, you may also benefit from some hands-on work. We’re big fans of DRY NEEDLING, CUPPING and TAPING. Most of our athletes and runners in Franklin, TN and Nashville, TN love it as well.  Check this RELATED ARTICLE on how I treated my recent hamstring injury.


Josh Orendorf is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and owner of Paceline Physical Therapy in Franklin, TN. He is an Ironman triathlete and Boston Marathon qualifier. He has a passion for helping athletes conquer injury and return to sport without pain. He lives in Nashville, TN with his wife, Leigh, and their dog, Annie.


This article originally appeared in Runners World. It has been modified and re-posted for this blog. You can find the original article HERE.