Most runners are quad dominant or in danger of becoming more quad dominant. This is where the quad muscles overpower the action of the hamstrings in the movement of the leg during a running stride. This can quickly lead to a host of hamstring issues, with strains, pulls and tears topping the list as the most common maladies.
So why are hamstrings so important for runners?
When you run, the quadriceps contract as you land and the opposing muscles, the hamstrings, act as the brake to stop your knee from hyperextending at the end of a stride. The quad works when the knee is locked out in extension with movement taking place at the hip.
If your hamstrings are significantly weaker than your quads, one of two things will occur:
1. Your hamstrings will tear as a result of not being able to take the load developed by the contracting quadriceps
2. You will run slower as a result of the diminished power from the hip flexors and knee extensors
So It is probably a good idea to start looking at adding in some hamstring exercises to your workouts.
We have provided 3 of the best exercises to develop stronger hamstrings.
The results found that these three exercises stimulate the hamstrings similarly and may be used interchangeably, as part of a strength building workout for runners.