Hamstring muscles -- running along the back of your thighs -- bend your knees and move your hips backward. Hamstring injuries are most common in physically active people, particularly if you enjoy high-speed exercises such as running. These injuries can range from a minor strain to a tear in your muscle fibers. Several types of exercises are incorporated into rehab for hamstring injuries of all types.
After hamstring injury, you may lose some movement of both your hip and knee joints as the injured muscles tightens. Stretching exercises are performed in rehab to gently stretch your muscle to reduce pain and tightness. Your therapist may stretch your hamstrings for you, as well as teach you how to stretch on your own. Although specific instructions may vary by therapist, stretches are often held for 30 seconds each, several times in a row. Stretching may be prescribed 3 to 4 times each day during the first 6 weeks after injury to improve your range of motion. (ref 3, pg 4)
Lying Down Exercises
Strengthening exercises in hamstring rehab may initially be performed lying down to reduce strain on your injured muscle. Exercises such as bridges -- lying on your back with your knees bent, then lifting your hips up off the table, and hamstring curls -- bending your knee while lying on your stomach -- are often included in rehab.
Standing exercises increase your hamstring strength while also improving your balance. Hamstring curls can be performed in standing, with added weight from cuff weights. Standing exercises are also performed using resistance bands.