Hamstring Injuries and How to Avoid them.


Now, on to the topic of Hamstring injuries. As you can see from the pictures your Hamstrings are a group of 3 muscles that run the length of your upper leg, and sometimes we martial artists can pull, rip or tear these. Depending on how much damage you do will result in how painful or disabling this injury can be.

It is my experience in teaching karate that the people most likely to injure this particular muscle, or set of muscles, are people who like to go out running. I think this is because your average runner tends to jog over long distances with a short stride pattern, rather than those who run flat out with a long stride pattern as seen in 100/200/400 metres sprinters.

Often these joggers have a shortened zenkutsu dachi (front stance), and I am convinced that this is because their jogging has tightened their hamstrings. Then, upon stretching their hamstrings (as in, for example, roundhouse kicks or back kicks) their hamstrings cannot take the sudden stretch and tear.

So, TO AVOID THIS the answer is simple – work at stretching your hamstrings EVERY DAY, and not just before and after jogging. ALSO make sure that in the karate class warm-ups you do a good long and low front stance.


Sensei Bill.