Running is all about rhythm and coordination. So often one injury can have a cascading effect of the rest of your body. Take your hamstring for example. If you neglect strengthening and stretching this muscle, it can lead to acute pain in the upper leg and the bottom of your glutes, followed by ankles. An overstretched hamstring is another major pain point for runners
Running is truly a reminder of how all parts of our body work in tandem. When your hamstrings feel tight due to over-lengthening, stretching them out will not resolve the pain. It’s already over-stretched and, stretching it more will only irritate the muscle further.
This is what you can do instead to make your hamstrings fully functional again without damaging it further.
Stretch and/or roll your quadriceps and hip flexors with a quad stretch. It’s one of the simplest cool down drills, just pull up one of your legs towards your butt while cupping the forefoot in your palms.
Get started on some cross training. Cross-train with a stair climber or a swimming session to keep cardio up. Stair climbing uses a smaller stride, so this action may not bother your hamstring.
Use the low back stretch and pelvic tilt exercise to stretch your lower back muscles. The pelvic tilt should strengthen your abdominal muscles which will give better support to any hamstring motion.
Use some ice to treat the side that’s in pain despite stretching. Compression shorts could help support the affected muscles in a better manner.
Strengthen hamstring muscles with leg curls. Use no weight or a very light weight at first. Focus on moving the muscle through its full range of motion, hold it briefly at the top of the action, and then return slowly back down.
Finally some massage therapy can help by relaxing tight muscles, improving flexibility, facilitating circulation and healing, and restoring joint range of motion.