Hamstring Rehab

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Written by: Jason Smith, Registered Physiotherapist, MSc(PT), CSEP-CPT, CIDN, FCAMPT


Sometimes we have to get creative with our rehab exercise choices based on clients’ availability of equipment. No access to a commercial gym? No problem. We’ll make it work!

Here we show a strength progression for rehabilitation of a hamstrings strain, all using an exercise ball.

Scaling the difficulty of an exercise to a client’s current stage of recovery is important, and here we do that by considering the following to manipulate load on the muscle:

1️⃣ Double leg (less) vs. Single leg (more) load

2️⃣ Contraction type (isometric, concentric, eccentric, plyometric in increasing order of difficulty)

3️⃣ Contraction Speed (Influences peak force and time under tension)

4️⃣ Overall Tempo (E.g., manipulating contraction speed or adding holding time at a weak point to increase time under tension)

Changing these variables allows for numerous difficulty options to meet you where you’re starting, and progress you to where you need to be!

Jason Smith GRSM Kitchener-South Physiotherapist
Registered Physiotherapist

Jay graduated from McMaster University in 2011 with a Masters of Physiotherapy. His previous education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology in 2009 from Western University. Jason has obtained his FCAMPT (Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy) designation. This designation is internationally recognized, and follows a comprehensive post-graduate training program that solidifies manual therapy skills, teaches advanced clinical reasoning, and allows him to perform spinal manipulation. Jay is also certified in Integrative Dry Needling, which he uses to release muscular restrictions throughout in the body. Jay is also a Certified Personal Trainer with the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP-CPT). He enjoys working with high level athletes, especially towards the later stages of their rehab as they approach return to sport. In addition to this, Jay is a certified Sport First Responder, and former team physiotherapist for the Guelph Gryphon’s Men’s Varsity Rugby team. Jay is also certified in ImPACT Concussion Management, and is a Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Specialist.

In his spare time, Jay enjoys rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, camping, and spending time with friends and family.

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